Diamonds are one of the most highly sought after precious stones on earth. These beautiful stones were first discovered by man in approximately the 4th century BC in India. They soon became a lucrative trading substance along the famous Silk Road as people believed they were gift from the Gods, bringing health and wealth. They still hold their awe and wonder, even though we now understand a lot more about how they are formed.
Many millions of years ago, when the planet began cooling down after being a molten mass, huge amounts of heat and pressure caused diamonds to form in the earth. Deep down in the ground is a layer called the mantle that separates the land that we see and the earth’s molten core. This is where diamonds were born, in temperatures above 2,000 Fahrenheit and massive pressure. This violent environment changed the atomic levels of graphite, forming a hexagonal pattern and becoming shaped like a triangle. This modified crystalline carbon became diamond.
Had the diamonds stayed so far down, we may never have stumbled across their beauty. Thankfully, the earth pushed them up via volcanic pipes. Magma was pushed to the surface during violent volcanic eruptions and this is where diamonds and other precious stones can be found. Stones are found in kimberlite pipes that leave a bowl-shaped pit in the ground after eruption. Other stones to be found here include peridot and garnet.
Diamonds can also form under the intense conditions of an asteroid strike on the Earth. Diamonds formed in this way are not likely to be of a quality for use in jewellery but could be used for industrial purposes due to their incredible strength. The diamonds found in a stunning engagement ring will have been found as a result of the volcanic process. For your very own Diamond Ring, visit https://www.comparethediamond.com/
Interestingly, diamonds are not exclusive to this planet. Carbon, which forms the basis of diamond is the fourth most abundant element in the universe, so can arrive here in diamond form on meteorites. The size of these diamonds is astounding, with scientists stating that they must have come from a planet that was destroyed in our solar system long before humans appeared.
We don’t always have to rely on nature to create diamonds for us. The first man-made diamond was produced in 1954 at the General Electric Laboratory. This process seems nowhere near as romantic though. The process used was called High Pressure High Temperature that recreated the environment of a volcano with heat and pressure applied to diamond seeds. More recent methods include using Chemical Vapor Deposition. This involves super-heating seeds in plasma and a diamond is produced within 28 days.
Don’t take your diamonds for granted. The glistening jewel in your ring, on your necklace or set into your favourite earrings has had a long journey from almost the centre of the earth. Man-made diamonds can look just as sparkly as the ones nature provided us with, but there remains something special about a jewel that was formed by the planet or even out in the cosmos!