How Diamonds are Formed


Diamond is a naturally occurring mineral with an extraordinary crystalline structure and strong chemical atomic bonds that account for its strength and durability. The carbon atoms that form diamond are released when the rocks carrying them melt under...

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Diamond is a naturally occurring mineral with an extraordinary crystalline structure and strong chemical atomic bonds that account for its strength and durability. The carbon atoms that form diamond are released when the rocks carrying them melt under intense heat. These atoms, given an environment of the right levels of heat and pressure, bond together and start to form diamond crystals. It is, however, a very delicate process since a small increase in temperature causes the crystals to melt, and a drop in temperature halts their growth.

Diamonds were formed at least 990 million years ago, although some are estimated to be as old as 4.25 billion years, older than life on planet earth. They were crystallised in various types of rock, under enormous pressures of 45–60 kilobars, at temperatures of 900–1000 centigrade, and at depths of 125–200 kilometres below the earth’s surface. Some rare specimens developed at depths of 300–400 kilometres.

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