The four ways diamonds are created

Everyone knows that diamonds are a woman’s best friend, a sign of affluence, grace, beauty, and style, but not many people know how they are made. Also, most people don’t know how old an average diamond also is, which is roughly one to three billion years old.

Diamond formation is not a simple or fast process and requires incredible amounts of heat, massive pressure, and carbon to produce diamonds.

The four ways diamonds are created

  1. Earth’s Mantle

The earth’s mantle is one of the few places on earth where the temperatures are high enough and the pressure is great enough to form these precious gemstones. However, only a small portion of the earth’s mantle is suitable for diamond formation which is located roughly 90 miles deep in the earth’s crust.

The pressure required to create diamonds is not as predictable as the temperature. The current theory held by many scientists is that the pressure needed to form diamonds is found beneath the center of continental plats, where there is constant pressure. Diamonds are created and subsequently stored in “diamond stability zones” until they are eventually brought to the earth’s surface in a deep-source eruption. Rare types of eruption takes out a piece of the mantle and carries it to the surface at an extraordinarily rapid rate.

These diamonds are dispersed throughout the earth’s crust where they can stay there for billions of years.

  1. Subduction ZonesAnother way diamonds are created is located in a subduction zone, which occurs when two tectonic plates collide, and one is forced down into the earth’s mantle. When carbon rocks located from the surface are subjected to the increasing heat of the mantle combined with the pressure from the colliding plates, tiny diamonds are formed in these rocks.

This process can occur at slightly lower temperatures and shallower depths than those necessary for diamond formation located in the “diamond stability zones.” When the subducted rocks return to the crust, these small diamonds can be found within them. Subduction-zone diamonds’ small size and lack of clarity make them unsuitable for industrial or commercial use.

  1. Impact Sites

An asteroid colliding with carbon rocks creates the pressure and heat needed to produce diamonds. Scientists hold a theory that an asteroid impact could create diamonds due to finding small diamonds at asteroid crash sites. Impact site diamonds are similar to subduction zone diamonds because they are not suitable for use due to their small size and low quality.

  1. Space Diamonds

Scientists from both NASA and Smithsonian have made diamond discoveries in meteorites. With carbon located in the meteorites, and heat and pressure necessary for diamond formation present in the meteorties’ creation, it is a reasonable assumption that diamonds could be found within meteorites. However, much like the other aforementioned diamonds, meteorite diamonds are not fit for industrial or commercial usage.

 

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