If you love diamonds, you might have asked yourself this question: How are diamonds formed? There has been a long going misconception which states that diamonds are formed from coal metamorphosis. This couldn’t be further from the truth and here’s the reason. Coal is formed from plant fossil.
There have been several studies done on old diamonds and results show that there is strong evidence that these diamond were formed long before there was any vegetation on the planet. This happened during the pre Cambrian period before there was any plant life on earth. Diamonds are also found about 150 kilometers below the earth’s surface while coal normally forms at only 4 kilometer below the earth’s surface.
Several theories explain the ‘how are diamonds formed’ phenomenon. They are thought to have aided in formation of natural diamonds.
Formation in the earth’s mantle.
The earth’s mantle and is found about 150 kilometers below the earth’s crust . Here, temperature are about 1200 degrees Fahrenheit or 1050 degrees Celsius. There are also very high pressures and the combination of those two aspects is very conducive for diamond formation from carbon rock. After formation, the diamonds are brought into the earths surface by deep volcanic eruptions. This form of diamond formation provides most of the global commercial diamonds. It is good to note that this temperature and pressure combination can only be found of selected places world wide.
Formation on subduction zones.
When a tectonic plate is forced deep in to the earth’s surface, diamonds are formed when it is brought back up.
As the plate is goes deep in to the surface, great pressure is created.This form of diamond formation can occur as low as 60 kilometers below the earths surface and only a temperature of about 390 degrees Fahrenheit of 200 degrees Celsius is needed. This form of tectonic movement happens to oceanic plates because they are easy to subdue due to their high density. This explains why diamonds found in Brazil have properties of oceanic crust. Diamonds formed this way are however very tiny and are not used for commercial purposes.
When asteroids fall on the earth, a great crater is created on impact. When this happens, a combination of great pressure and temperature is created. The pressure is further accelerated by the speed in which the asteroid travels. The energy created is similar to several nuclear weapons and the temperature is hotter than the sun’s surface. The place of impact has to have a carbon rock though to enable diamond creation. This is the reason why asteroids have been falling for millions of years and diamonds have only been found in a few locations.
Diamonds from space.
A large number of nanodiamonds were found when cutting through the Allen meteorite. As meteorites travel through space, they are prone to collisions amongst themselves and other objects and this produces great pressure. Meteorites also contain carbon and the heat that meteorites carry if also high thereby creating an excellent atmosphere for diamonds to form. Diamonds of this nature are however not suitable for commercial use and are used as source of diamond material.
Diamonds are the most rare, beautiful and magical stone there is on earth. Now your question on ‘how are diamonds formed’ is less ambiguous and you now know where your gorgeous stone might have originated from. Learn more here.