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Tag Archives: engagement rings

  • The Formation of an Exquisite Diamond ~ Is Coal Involved?

    diamond-formation

    Contrary to popular belief, diamonds do not form from coal.  Many of us are taught in our science classes that coal magically undergoes a metamorphosis from a black mineral to a shiny diamond.  This is not so.

    In fact, coal is rarely responsible for the earth's source of diamonds.  Many diamonds are dated as far older than coal, so this alone should tell us that diamonds form from another source.

    Another misconception is that when diamonds are being mined, they are excavated from horizontal sources deep within the earth.  In fact, most diamonds are found in vertical mines filled with igneous rocks.

    It is likely that are three ways in which a diamond is formed:~

    In the Earth's Mantle ~ Diamond formation occurs at very high temperatures and many diamonds are found within the earth's mantle, about 150 kilometres from the surface.  Much of the minerals that make up a diamond are believed to have been delivered to the mantle by volcanic eruptions which form the kimberlite and lamproite pipes actively searched for by diamond prospectors.

    Coal is rarely found deeper than 3.5 kilometres below the earth's surface, so is unlikely to be the carbon requirement for the formation of a diamond.

    Subduction Zones ~  Diamonds are found in rocks, subducted deep in the earth's mantle by tectonic movement.  It is possible that coal is involved in this process, but the most likely sources are carbonate rocks such as dolomite, limestone and marble.

    Impact Sites ~ When an asteroid hits the earth - and it is historical fact that asteroids have been falling on us since time began - the pressure and heat are so great it is believed that it could be instrumental in forming diamonds.  Small diamonds have been retrieved from impact sites, so would support the claim that asteroids have instigated the processes of diamond formation.  In this case, coal could have been present at the site of impact, as could other carbonate material such as dolomite, limestone and marble.

    The evidence supports the claim that coal is not instrumental in the formation of the world's favourite gems.  Diamonds are dated as much older than coal deposits so it would seem that other carbonate materials are responsible for the world's source of diamonds.

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    Discover the My Diamonds website www.mydiamonds.com.au and make your selection from our eclectic diamond showroom, or telephone 1300 66 55 20 and speak with a My Diamonds diamond specialist.

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