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Diamonds, a Long Sought After Commodity, More Often Than Not, Form 90 Miles Below Surface

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It has been long believed that the basis of which diamonds form is coal. However, geologists have been disputing just how much of a role coal plays in the formation of these complex gemstones. So far it has been determined there is a small role but not as significant as one may believe. As it turns out, it is carbon and rock which undergo extreme pressure and heat, who are the main contributors to the creation of these beautiful stones.

There are four natural methods of diamond production, consisting of Formation in the Mantle, Formation in the Subduction Zone, Impact Zones, and Space Formation.

Formation in the Mantle

Kimberlite, an igneous rock that has become synonymous with diamonds, forms deep in the Earth's mantle and is forced to the surface by volcanic eruptions. During this sudden and violent process, the rock undergoes the extreme conditions needed to produce the coveted diamonds. Once the kimberlite reaches the surface, weathering and erosion will then allow the rock to expose the stowaway diamonds in sedimentary deposits such as streams and coastlines.

Subduction Formation

This process once again occurs in the mantle but where two tectonic plates meet one another below the ocean's surface. When the plates collide, the pressure and heat presented creates the perfect scenario for the formation of diamonds. However, many of these diamonds are far too small for commercial use once they reach the shorelines.

Impact Zones

For as long as the Earth has been in existence it has been struck by meteors and asteroids. When these massive space travelers strike the Earth, they are traveling at such high speeds that their hypervelocity is a recipe for diamonds. Their impact creates the temperatures and pressure needed for diamond formation but the rock the asteroid hits must contain carbon, making diamonds that form in this manner exceedingly rare.

Space Formation

When two meteorites or asteroids make contact with one another in space, the force of impact allows the carbon to become perfectly pressurized to create diamonds which are embedded into the said masses. However, these diamonds are about the size of a nanometer and are far too small for commercial use.

While there are a variety of ways for diamonds to naturally occur, the one thing they all have in common is the presence of carbon enduring high pressure and temperature for these gorgeous, beloved stones to exist.

Did you like this? Read Highlighting April's Birthstone The Diamond

Since 1979, Bellevue Rare Coins has been a trusted, family-owned business serving the Greater Seattle Area with locations in Bellevue, Lynnwood, and West Seattle.

Specializing in gold, silver, diamond, and jewelry purchasing, in addition to dealing in rare coins. We now offer a vast selection of fine, vintage and custom-designed jewelry for sale. Visit anyone of our three friendly locations for the best deals selling or buying.

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