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What Are Diamonds?

With their extraordinary hardness, brilliance, and durability, diamonds are among the most valuable and rare gemstones in the world. They are typically found in kimberlite pipelines or alluvial deposits and have formed underneath the earth over billions of years under intense heat and pressure. The significance of these gemstones stems from their pervasive application in numerous industries. In the jewellery industry, these have great value for their elegance and uniqueness, and they are used to create exquisite, high-end items of jewellery. The worth of a diamond is established by the well-known “4 Cs”: carat weight, color, clarity, and cut. 

Because of their distinct physical properties, such as exceptional durability and thermal conductivity, these are also extensively used in the industrial sector. They are used in cutting instruments, polishing abrasives, and electronic devices as radiators. 

What Are Diamonds, and How Are They Form?

The origin of the word diamond is the Greek word Adamas, which translates as unbreakable. It is the only known mineral composed of just one component, Carbon, other than graphite. Carbon atoms (Chemical Composition – C) are crystallized in a cubic (isometric) configuration to form a diamond. 

Diamonds are formed approximately 140–190 kilometers beneath the Earth’s surface, within the mantle. The formation of these stones is a complicated process that requires specific temperatures, pressures, and chemical breakdown conditions. Carbon elements are exposed to extreme pressure and heat to create them. The high pressure is typically caused by the immense weight of the underlying rock and sediment, whereas the extreme temperature is caused by the internal combustion of the Earth. 

When charcoal-rich resources, such as biological material or carbon dioxide, are under high pressure and temperature, diamond formation commences. It leads the carbon atoms to form crystalline bonds, resulting in the formation of diamond crystals. The diamond particles eventually get to the surface of the planet via volcanic eruptions. These gemstones are transported in volcanic magma, which solidifies into igneous rocks as it cools. These rocks, known as kimberlites or lamproites, possess unpolished diamonds. 

In addition to volcanic activity, wear and tear on existing kimberlite pipelines or alluvial deposits can bring diamonds to the surface. These processes gradually expose the diamond-bearing minerals and make them mineable. 

In general, the formation of these jewels is a complicated procedure that takes millions of years and occurs deep within the mantle of the Earth. These gemstones are some of the most valuable and sought-after gems in the world due to their rarity, attractiveness, and durability.

The two fundamental processes that lead to diamond formation. 

Mantle process: This mechanism is the most widespread method of diamond formation. Approximately 140-190 kilometers beneath the Earth’s surface, these form in the mantle at excessive temperatures and pressures. The high pressure is typically caused by the immense weight of the underlying rock and sediment, whereas the elevated temperature is caused by the internal heat of the Earth. Under such severe circumstances, carbon atoms form diamond crystals by bonding in a crystalline structure. These diamond crystals are then conveyed to the surface of the planet by volcanic eruptions, where they are discovered. 

Subduction process: The technique requires the re-use of the seafloor crust into the Earth’s mantle via the subduction process, in which one plate of tectonics is forced beneath another. Carbon-rich debris from a subducting plate can be added to the mantle during this process. Under extreme pressure and temperature, this substance can crystallize into diamonds. This type of diamond is typically found in the form of small crystals within rocks carried to the surface of the Earth by volcanic eruptions.

Chemical Components of a Diamond 

Carbon atoms are structured in a lattice of crystalline structure to form diamond, a naturally occurring mineral. Consequently, it contains a number of distinct chemical properties, such as: 

Hardness: The diamond is the most durable known organic substance, with a Mohs hardness scale rating of 10. This implies that it is unable to be damaged or scratched by any substance other than another diamond. 

High melting point: Diamond’s exceedingly high melting point of approximately 3,500 degrees Celsius makes it highly resistant to high temperatures and thermal shock.

Chemical Stability: Extremely chemically stable, diamond does not react with the majority of compounds involving acids and bases. Thus making it a suitable substance for use in severe or corrosive environments. 

Low reactivity: Diamond is a weak electrical and thermal conductor and cannot interact with numerous other elements and compounds. 

Refractivity: Diamond has a refractive index that is elevated, which means it distorts and slows down sight more than the majority of other substances. This characteristic gives these gemstones their characteristic brilliance and sparkle. 

Carbon content: Diamond is almost exclusively composed of carbon, with minor quantities of additional substances such as nitrogen and boron. This high carbon content endows diamonds with distinctive characteristics that make them one of the most expensive and coveted gemstones in the world.


Diamonds are the outcome of incredible geological processes that occur deep beneath the Earth over extremely long periods of time, and their stunning brilliance and appealing looks are the result. Their primarily carbon chemical composition and distinctive crystal formations provide them with extraordinary attractiveness and durability. These continue to maintain an unmatched appeal for humans, whether they are mined, lab-grown, or used in industry. Knowing how these gemstones are made and what chemicals go into them might help you appreciate their beauty and value even more.

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