Blesq Diamonds
25 January 2019

Nothing is Created Like a Diamond
Part 1

Travel with us, from the oldest diamond, to the first find.

We’d like to share our passion and expertise for diamonds with you, which is why we’ve created the Blesq diamonds blog – read on for gripping tales and exciting news about the most precious gemstone on Earth.

Hard Diamonds Prefer Hard Conditions

Strangely enough, a diamond is created precisely under harsh conditions, in the places our common sense would actually classify as destructive and not very creative, namely under very high pressures and enormous heat. How and where these special conditions interact so magically, to form the hardest natural material in the world, to being as multifaceted as a diamond itself. Begins the journey through space and time, to the birthplace of a diamond, with a small excursion into the purely physical process which is certainly no less fascinating.

The Cubic Modification – from Carbon to Diamond

From a scientific point of view, the mineral source element modifies carbon, a naturally occurring solid, into a rough diamond under the influence of extreme heat and enormous pressure. During this process, the carbon atoms arrange themselves in a special crystalline lattice that is extremely stable. Usually they are octahedral crystals, but also tetrahedron, dodecahedron or cubes are possible. Diamonds are the hardest natural material in the world.

“Impurities” (e.g. by nitrogen) or crystal lattice defects can cause various colorings: green, yellow, brown and more rarely also orange, blue, pink, red or even grey to black. Pure, whiteand transparent diamonds are the most valuable, but also a beautiful coloration can create a very individual and almost priceless value – such as the famous and uniquely beautiful “Blaue Wittelsbacher”.

Diamonds from the Earth’s Mantle

For billions of years, incomprehensible things have been happening, especially under the Earth’s mantle. From a depth of 150 to over 600 kilometers, the critical temperature-pressure environment prevails that is responsible for diamond formation and stability: temperatures of at least 1050 degrees Celsius and pressure ratios of 100 to 150 kilobars. The blazing heat of the Earth’s core and tons of bubbling magma not only help to create a diamond, they also transport it via volcanic eruptions and pyroclastic currents to shallower depths of the Earth’s crust or surface, where we can finally find it. Many diamonds are therefore found in volcanic rock. When a diamond sees daylight, it can be up to 40 billion years old – almost as old as the Earth itself.

Diamonds from Subduction Zones (Plate Tectonics)

At subduction zones, tectonic plates are pushed under and on top of each other, and it is assumed that tiny diamonds can be formed, which are then transported to the surface again by this process. What is unusual, is that the enormous subduction process creates special conditions that can produce these small diamonds from a depth of 80 kilometers and a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius. Inclusions of oceanic origin in the diamonds led scientists to conclude that the seawater, carried by the plates, played a role in the underground formation. The carbon itself probably comes from limestone, marble or dolomite.