Fourth International Diamond School Convenes in Bressanone, Italy

The INDIMEDEA (Inclusions in diamonds: messengers from the deep Earth) research team, led by Fabrizio Nestola (University of Padua, Italy) along with co-organizers Steven Shirey (Carnegie Institution for Science, USA), Graham Pearson (University of Alberta, Canada), Matteo Alvaro (University of Pavia, Italy), and Wuyi Wang (Gemological Institute of America, USA), ran the Fourth International Diamond School in Bressanone, Italy, between 29 January and 2 February 2018. The event was part of the outreach and training program of the Diamonds and the Mantle Geodynamics of Carbon consortium (DMGC) group of the Deep Carbon Observatory.

The school provided a general overview of the recent advances in diamond research, combining geology, exploration, and the gemology of diamond.

Invited speakers were:

  1. Bruce Kjarsgaard (Geological Survey of Canada, Canada)
  2. John Armstrong (Karowe Mine, Lucara Diamond, Botswana)
  3. Herman Grütter (Peregrine Diamonds, Canada)
  4. Matteo Alvaro (University of Pavia, Italy)
  5. Wuyi Wang (Gemological Institute of America (GIA), USA)
  6. Mike Breeding (GIA, USA)
  7. Ulrika D’Haenens-Johansson (GIA, USA)
  8. Oded Navon (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
  9. D. Graham Pearson (University of Alberta, Canada)
  10. Steven B. Shirey (Carnegie Institute of Science, USA)
  11. Jeff Harris (University of Glasgow, UK)
  12. Thomas Stachel (University of Alberta, Canada)
  13. Pierre Cartigny (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, France)
  14. Emilie Thomassot (Centre Nationnal de la Recherche Scientifique, France)
  15. Dan Howell (University of Alberta, Canada)
  16. Steven Reddy (Western Australian School of Mines at Curtin University, Australia)
  17. Nick Sobolev (V.S. Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Russia)

Some 92 ‘students’, including Masters, Ph.D., postdoctoral, and professional levels, from 13 different countries, attended theory and laboratory classes as part of this unique diamond-focussed learning environment aimed at training new and experienced diamond researchers and exposing individuals in the diamond industry to the latest analytical techniques. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) provided a very strong gemological component to the workshop with a whole morning devoted to diamond gemology, colour centres, and diamond testing.

The school blended both student and professional perspectives, providing a cross- disciplinary approach for the participants and speakers, who ranged from those involved in diamond exploration, diamond mining, diamond gemology, petrologists, mineralogists, crystallographers, and geochemists.

GIA was a major sponsor of the school, which together with DCO, the Società Italiana di Mineralogia e Petrologia, Zeiss Group, and Horiba Italia enabled a very full academic and social program. The work of INDIMEDEA is supported by ERC grant number 307322, Department of Geosciences, University of Padua.


Diamond School students examining diamonds and their inclusions in the lab session. Credit: Image courtesy of D. Graham Pearson

Diamond School co-organisers, left to right: Wuyi Wang, Fabrizio Nestola, Graham Pearson, Steven Shirey, and Mateo Alvaro. Credit: Image courtesy of D. Graham Pearson

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