Sparkling diamonds attracted our attention even in ancient times before humanity could explain where they come from or how they are created. Today, science can explain how a diamond is made. Today we will talk about this question and its connection to kimberlite rocks.
Many think that diamonds are created from coal that is induced to high-pressure conditions, such as those that occur deep inside the earth. It is not very accurate, and you can even say that it is simply not true; Diamonds were on earth before the coal reserves were formed; Diamonds were formed way deeper. So how are diamonds created in nature?
Most of the diamonds were formed in the earth’s shell; the shell is the middle layer, between earth’s core and the outer crust of the earth. Natural diamond formation requires very high pressure and temperature, and those conditions take place in areas located deep underground, about 150 kilometers under the face of the earth! In places at which the temperature is at least 200 degrees! At these extreme conditions, the carbon that is found in the depths of the earth turns into diamonds. That is not carbon sourced in organic coal, but carbon that has been there since the creation of the earth.
But if the diamonds are formed deep underground, the question is how do they get to the surface of the earth, to a place where people can find them. Well, different geological processes lead to the exposure of diamonds. One of the most common processes is volcanic eruptions. In a volcanic eruption, hot magma erupts from the center of the earth in a strong current that sweeps rocks from the earth’s mantle to the surface and the crust of the earth. Those are kimberlite rocks, volcanic rocks that may contain diamonds. Kimberlite is the main source for diamonds, and it’s named after the South
African town Kimberley, where, at the 19th century, a diamond weighing 83.5 carats was found.
At the meeting points between the tectonic plates of the earth, accurse a phenomenon in which one plate comes under another plate at an angle. When that happens, high temperatures are generated, resulting in an outbreak of magma that brings with it materials from the mantle of the earth which may contain diamonds.
The process that is described is probably the main source of the world’s tradeable diamonds, but certainly not the only one. Geologists and researchers found that other circumstances create diamonds, which are not always related to kimberlite rocks. Though not in large quantities, diamonds were found in craters created by asteroid impact. Asteroid impact generates considerable heat and pressure which causes the formation of diamonds. There are probably diamonds that were created in space and got to earth on a meteor.