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Minerals 2019, 9(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9010036

Origin of Blue Sapphire in Newly Discovered Spinel–Chlorite–Muscovite Rocks within Meta-Ultramafites of Ilmen Mountains, South Urals of Russia: Evidence from Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd Isotopic Data

1
Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry Russian Academy of Sciences (GEOKHI RAS), 119991 Moscow, Russia
2
Institute for Geosciences, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 55122 Mainz, Germany
3
Ilmen State Reserve, Chelyabinsk Region, 456317 Miass, Russia
4
Bahrain Institute for Pearls & Gemstones (DANAT), WTC East Tower, P.O. Box 17236 Manama, Bahrain
5
Institute of Geology and Petroleum Technologies, Kazan Federal University, Department of mineralogy and lithology, 420008 Kazan, Russia
6
Institute of Mineralogy, Ural Branch Russian Academy of Sciences, Chelyabinsk Region, 456317 Miass, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Abstract

Blue sapphire of gem quality was recently discovered in spinel–chlorite–muscovite rock within meta-ultramafites near the Ilmenogorsky alkaline complex in the Ilmen Mountains of the South Urals. More than 20 minerals were found in the assemblage with the blue sapphire. These sapphire-bearing rocks are enriched in LREE and depleted in HREE (with the negative Eu anomalies) with REE distribution similar to those in miascites (nepheline syenite) of the Ilmenogorsky alkaline complex. 87Sr/86Sr ratios in the sapphire-bearing rocks varied from 0.7088 ± 0.000004 (2σ) to 0.7106 ± 0.000006 (2σ): epsilon notation εNd is −7.8. The Rb-Sr isochrone age of 289 ± 9 Ma was yielded for the sapphire-bearing rocks and associated muscovite. The blue sapphires are translucent to transparent and they have substantial colorless zones. They occur in a matrix of clinochlore-muscovite as concentric aggregates within spinel-gahnite coronas. Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) analyses showed values with trace elements typical for “metamorphic” blue sapphires, with Ga/Mg < 2.7, Fe/Mg < 74, Cr/Ga > 1.5 (when Cr is detectable), and Fe/Ti < 9. Sapphires overlap “metasomatic” at “sapphires in alkali basalts” field on the FeO–Cr2O3–MgO–V2O3 versus FeO + TiO2 + Ga2O3 discriminant diagram. The sapphires formed together with the spinel-chlorite-muscovite rock during metasomatism at a contact of orthopyroxenites. Metasomatic fluids were enriched with Al, HSFE, and LILE and genetically linked to the miascite intrusions of Ilmenogorsky complex. The temperature required for the formation of sapphire–spinel–chlorite–muscovite rock was 700–750 °C and a pressure of 1.8–3.5 kbar. View Full-Text
Keywords: corundum; blue sapphire; meta-ultramafic rocks; LA-ICP-MS; Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopy; Ilmenogorsky complex; Ural Mountains; metasomatism corundum; blue sapphire; meta-ultramafic rocks; LA-ICP-MS; Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopy; Ilmenogorsky complex; Ural Mountains; metasomatism
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Sorokina, E.S.; Rassomakhin, M.A.; Nikandrov, S.N.; Karampelas, S.; Kononkova, N.N.; Nikolaev, A.G.; Anosova, M.O.; Somsikova, A.V.; Kostitsyn, Y.A.; Kotlyarov, V.A. Origin of Blue Sapphire in Newly Discovered Spinel–Chlorite–Muscovite Rocks within Meta-Ultramafites of Ilmen Mountains, South Urals of Russia: Evidence from Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd Isotopic Data. Minerals 2019, 9, 36.

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