Diamonds, an occasional component of rare igneous rocks called lamproites and kimberlites, have never been dated satisfactorily. However, some diamonds contain minute inclusions of silicate minerals, commonly olivine, pyroxene, and garnet. These minerals can be dated by radioactive decay techniques because of the very small quantities of radioactive trace elements they, in turn, contain. Usually, it is possible to conclude that the inclusions are older than their diamond hosts, but with little indication of the time interval involved. Sometimes, however, the crystal form of the silicate inclusions is observed to resemble more closely the internal structure of diamond than that of other silicate minerals. It is not known how rare this resemblance is, or whether it is most often seen in inclusions of silicates such as garnet, whose crystallography is generally somewhat similar to that of diamond; but when present, the resemblance is regarded as compelling evidence that the diamonds and inclusions are truly cogenetic.
According to the passage, the age of silicate minerals included in diamonds can be determined due to a feature of the