How are diamonds made? It is a question that is highly interesting to answer. One of the viable causes of the development of diamonds on the Earth is identified as the conversion of Earth from a molten planet to where it is today. If we go back in history, Earth was a molten planet where lava was predominantly present. But with this, lava got converted into the land. During this, high heat and pressure were generated. This heat and pressure lead to the development of diamonds below the Earth’s top surface. Today we excavate this surface and extract diamonds from the Earth.
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The making of a Diamond 💎
The diamonds are made 100 miles below the Earth’s top surface. A layer called the mantle is present between the Earth’s crust and the top surface. This is the layer where the diamonds are formed. The mantle has a temperature of about 2000 degrees Celsius and a pressure of about 725000 pounds per square inch. Such high pressure and temperatures are responsible for the development of diamonds.
The extreme heat and pressure present in the mantle combine with graphite, a crystalline carbon compound. The graphite gets restructured from a hexagonal shape to a triangular shape, leading to the development of diamond.
The more interesting phenomenon than the creation of diamonds under the Earth’s surface is its transport to the upper surfaces for extraction. The diamonds generated in the mantle of the Earth’s surface are transferred to the upper layers with the help of volcanic pipes. The deep-source volcanoes start three times deep as the typical volcanoes. The high magnesium and carbon dioxide present in these volcanoes force the magma to the surface, resulting in violent eruption. The diamonds present on the Earth’s surface are sent to the top surface with the help of kimberlite pipes which are bowl-shaped in the Earth after a volcanic eruption. Mining at these kimberlite sites results in finding precious and semi-precious gemstones such as garnet and peridot.
Other ways of diamond formation
Apart from the formation of diamonds due to high pressure and temperature. Another way a diamond can be formed is by the collision between the Earth and an asteroid. Russia claims that they have a deposit of diamond that was created due to the collision of an asteroid with the Earth 35 million years ago. The diamonds created due to the collision between the asteroid and Earth are not of gemstone quality. These diamonds have a similar strength to the gemstone diamond and are mostly used for industrial purposes such as cutting.
Meteorites are also considered to deliver diamonds. Carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe. Thus diamonds are not limited to Earth. They are also present around the universe and even in places unknown to humans. Hence, scientists were not shocked when diamonds were found in the meteorite strike, but they were astonished by the size of the diamond. When scientists found diamonds that were pretty large, they assumed that such big-sized diamonds could only be found on a planet that was destroyed in the solar system early in history.
When humans thoroughly studied the process of the creation of diamonds, they came up with an idea to create artificial diamonds that could be afforded by people with low budgets. Since diamonds are primarily made of carbon, finding material for diamonds wasn’t that difficult because diamond is one of the most abundant elements throughout the universe.
The first artificial diamond was created in 1954 at the General electric laboratory. Similar conditions such as high pressure and temperature were created to create an artificial diamond. The high pressure and temperature apply force on the diamond seeds. Artificial diamonds are usually synthesized in labs using the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique. This technique takes around 28 days to create a diamond. In the CVD technique, the diamond seed is heated to a plasma state that is then converted into a cube-shaped diamond.