Weddings

How is a Diamond Made?

For many, the go-to carbon source associated with the creation of diamonds is coal. However, science confirms that naturally conceived diamonds created by the earth and space, do not require the metamorphism from coal to form these jewels. To support this, scientists discovered that coal needs plant sources to exist. And that dated diamonds were created before the world’s first plants even existed. Hence, it would be incorrect to assume that the method for the creation of diamonds is reliant on coal. Furthermore, as a sedimentary rock, coal embodies a horizontal rock form. However, diamonds are presented in the shape of vertical pipes packed with igneous rocks. 

There is one man-made process for creating diamonds and four natural occurrences that make up the world’s diamonds, these are as follows;

Lab-Created

With the use of science and technology, since the 1950’s we have sought to attempt to recreate the diamond for commercial use in jewels and industrial equipment. At present, with the use of an abundance of electricity to mimic a high temperature/pressure environment, the USA and China (the leading country for creating diamonds) are capable of producing almost superior diamonds in regards to diamond clarity. These VVS (very very slightly) diamonds include incredibly minor inclusions that the naked eye can not see without the assistance of 10x magnification.

Earth’s Mantle

According to geologists, extremely high temperatures and pressure are the necessary environments needed to create natural diamonds. Because of this, the limited zones within the earth’s mantle are the perfect atmosphere for diamonds to form and flourish. And so, for this method, the creation of diamonds originates around 90 miles below the earth’s surface and continental plates. The temperatures within this area are expected to reach a minimum of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. These diamonds are forced to the earth’s surface by a volcanic eruption that occurs from deep within the ground pushing the diamonds upwards. 

Subduction Zones

50 miles below the earth’s surface diamonds are subducted into the mantle by plate tectonic processes. The temperatures within the subduction zones amount to 390 degrees Fahrenheit, a much lower heat source than used in the earth’s mantle method above. Following the diamond’s formation, they are delivered to the surface. However, these diamonds are scarce, and usually upon their discovery, they are unsuitable for commercial use.

Impact Sites

The velocity and pressure of heat from an asteroid are likened to the heat from the sun’s surface. In turn, providing the required conditions for diamonds to form on what is referred to as impact sites (where the asteroid lands and shatters the earth’s surface). To support this concept, diamonds have been uncovered around asteroid impact sites at the meteor crater in Arizona and the Popigai crater in northern Siberia.

Space

Similar to impact sites, extracts from meteorites by Smithsonian researchers have demonstrated the existence of nanodiamonds within samples from, for example, the alien hill meteorite. High-speed collisions in space accumulate the required temperature and pressure to form diamonds, similar to those created and found when an asteroid strikes the earth. However, due to the nanosize of the diamonds, they can not be used as jewels or for industrial purposes.

The processes above create diamonds of different variations, some of which are suitable for mining and commercial use, and others that are too insignificant in size or rarely ever found.

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