Monday, 20 May 2013

Diamond Origins

As you pass a jewellery store in town you may notice the large number of diamonds displayed in the shop window ready to grab the attention of the numerous loved up couples. Recently in Geneva a colourless, pear-shaped, 101 carat diamond sold for a world record auction price of $26.7 million. This is just over £17million. So what makes diamonds so special? Diamonds consist of a lattice of carbon atoms and it requires large amounts of pressure and extremely high temperatures to transform carbon into diamond. This high pressure and heat can be found in the Earth’s mantle where diamonds are formed. So how do we manage to get our hands on them? Well, diamonds are brought to the surface of Earth by powerful magma eruptions. These are found by mining in the form of rough crystallised stones and then need to be cut to make jewels. Rough diamonds are cleaved, sawed, cut and polished to form the diamonds we see in shop windows. The price is determined by the cut, clarity, weight (carat) and colour. Clever marketing is then what helps make these gems so desirable. So what is so special about diamonds? Well it is a tiny bit of sparkle formed under the surface of the Earth which undergoes a long journey to get under the surface of our hearts.

Diamonds found on the Earth's surface will have come from the mantle or outer space!