How real natural diamonds are made is quite a fascinating thing. Every couple’s story is unique and beautiful. Similarly every diamond, when formed naturally through the perfect combination of heat and pressure, is rare and unlike any other.

What Are Diamond Made Of?

Diamonds consist entirely of carbon. But wait, isn't graphite made entirely of carbon too? Even though graphite and diamonds share the same chemical composition, their properties are completely different. Graphite is soft and used in pencils whereas diamonds are the hardest substance on earth.

Where Do Diamonds Form?

Let’s talk science. The diagram illustrated by Peter Johnston/GIA shows the earth's three main layers. The crust which is the top layer, the mantle which is the middle and the core. The mantle layer is where all of the magic happens in creating diamonds. Between the earth's crust and upper mantle layer, there are cratons which are stable parts within the earth that consist of ancient rocks. Cratons are generally found in the interior of tectonic plates. Cratons heat and pressure create an ideal condition for diamonds.

GIA illustration of the earth's key layers

How Do Diamonds Get To The Surface?

Diamonds form in the mantle layer. They are then brought to the earth’s surface through excessive force such as volcanic activity or tectonic plates shifting. Volcanic activity doesn’t mean every time a volcano erupts, it shoots out diamonds. Think of that type of explosive power but greater. It might be hard to imagine because the last time something like that happened was over 20 million to 2.5 billion years ago.

There are still massive deposits of diamonds sitting in cratons deep down in the earth. However, they are over a hundred miles down with no way of reaching them and will sit there for millions of years just waiting for an explosive eruption to bring them to the surface. When an eruption like that happens, only a small percentage of diamonds will make it to the surface. This is why diamonds are so precious and rare.

How Old Are Diamonds?

Natural real diamonds are tens of millions to billions of years old. But how can scientists tell the age of a diamond? By testing the inclusions within the diamond. Scientists can then determine how old they really are. Don’t worry, there will not be a test on all this information after.

A picture of two round diamonds on black coal

After diamonds are brought to the surface, they have to be mined, cut, and polished. Of course, it’s more complex on how diamond rough turns into a sparkly beautiful rock. But the whole process of how diamonds are made, brought to the earth’s surface, and how they get to jewelry stores is pretty remarkable. Steven Singer Jewelers takes pride in being real experts, on real diamonds and are always there to help. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Steven’s expert jeweler Ashley personally or any of Steven’s other expert jewelers.

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