The formation of the diamond dates back billions of years, almost to the beginning of time. Every diamond is extremely old, even formed long before dinosaurs existed. Even older than some stars in the sky, the history of the diamond is based on an astonishing journey. This journey has turned an ancient element into one of the immortal jewels of the world.
Diamonds dating back to pre-humanity are one of the world’s most incredible and unique gifts. Just like snowflakes, each diamond is different and unique. Each one tells a different story with its unique natural structure.
Have you ever wondered what really happened before a jewelry showcase displaying impressive sparkling diamond jewelry? How are diamonds formed? How are diamonds produced? What are the diamond production stages? How do diamonds, the hardest material in the world, become brilliant, beautiful, and precious diamond jewelry models?
How Is Diamond Formed?
Consisting of billions of carbon atoms, diamonds are an extraordinary miracle of nature. Each atom has a strong bond with four other atoms. For this reason, diamonds have the characteristic of being the hardest material known in nature. Diamonds, which can conduct heat strongly, have also a strong resistance to chemicals and have extremely high transparency.
Natural diamonds occur in completely different and yet extraordinary ways. However, one of them stands out in almost all of the diamonds we know. Natural diamonds are formed in the depths of the earth, in environments where high pressure and temperature conditions prevail. This incredible miracle occurs over millions or even billions of years in deeper layers of more than 120 km, at intense temperatures between 900 ° C and 1300 ° C, and pressure above 45 kbar and carbon crystallizes into the diamond. In order for diamonds to continue this journey, they need to get out of the highly strong pressure and temperature conditions that created them and start their journey towards the earth.
This journey takes place when it which is in the depths of the earth melts a part of the earth’s mantle and turns into magma, and then quickly rises to the earth and carries very deep diamonds. As time passes, magma gets cool. And it hardens and forms a rock which is called kimberlite. It is located in vertical structures that we call kimberlite chimneys. Kimberlite chimneys are very important sources of diamonds and almost all natural diamonds are obtained from this source. However, the fact that only a few amounts of kimberlite chimneys discovered all over the world have diamonds and only 1% of them are economically sustainable, reveals how rare diamonds are.
Tectonic plate movements are another source for forming diamonds. Extremely small-sized have been formed as a result of these movements. They found in Kazakhstan, China, and Norway where very high pressure (UHP) metamorphic movements happen. They have emerged from the surface of the earth by tectonic plate movement while the formation of mountains happens. When a tectonic plate enters under another tectonic plate and is forced to sink into the mantle, a tectonic process called “subduction” occurs. In this process, organic carbon can crystallize in the mantle and turn into a diamond.
The meteorite has an impact on diamond formation as well. Earth has been the target of meteorites several times since its existence. When a meteorite hits to earth, the resulting extraordinary temperatures and pressure conditions create an environment for this formation. Diamonds found in meteorite-affected areas are very small and of low quality. For example, the Popigai crater in Siberia is one of those places.
Nanodiamonds are also another formation process of diamonds. Those are several nanometers in diameter (one billionth of a meter). Researchers have found that there are large numbers of nano-diamonds around newly formed stars and in some meteorites. These are very little to be used. However, these diamonds are a great source of information about how our galaxy is formed and composed.
The extreme heat and pressure that formed 200 km below the earth’s surface billions of years ago transformed the pure carbon element into colorless diamond crystals. Diamond, on the other hand, is the only precious metal that consists of a single element. Volcanic movements caused the diamond to rise to the earth’s surface. During this voyage to the surface of the earth, it also housed many different minerals and colors in trace dimensions.
The diamond crystallized in the depths of the earth’s crust under extremely high heat and pressure, preserving its precious secrets until it was transported to the surface of the earth with the help of volcanic lava in volcanoes. Later, it faced the corrosive effects of nature for thousands of years. Only a small part of them managed to find it patiently relying on this difficult journey that astounded mankind. Few of these remained of the size and quality that could be used in jewelry.
During its journey to the earth’s surface, diamond takes on many other minerals and colors in trace dimensions. Diamonds referred to as extra white are extremely rare and are the most expensive. Most diamonds contain brown or yellow colors. Yellow and brown diamonds are therefore cheaper. However, blue, red, orange, pink, and green diamonds, which are other colored diamonds, are quite expensive and collectible since their number does not exceed 100.
This beautiful and popular precious metal may seem like a delicate glass to the eye, but this metal is the hardest natural material on Earth. Under normal conditions, a diamond only cuts or breaks a diamond mine, although it may be burned or broken if very severe conditions are met. The English word for diamond, “Diamond”, is derived from the ancient Greek word “Adamas” or “Adamantinos”, which means “cannot be tamed, cannot be broken easily”. This shows how people looked at the diamond in the early ages of the diamond.
The fact that diamond is the hardest substance in nature makes it also suitable for industrial use. It is used as a cutting tool in a lathe, milling cutter, drill, saw, and many other machines. According to experts, 80% of all diamond mines in the world are used for industrial purposes, only 20% of them are used in the precious metal and precious jewelry industry.
Diamond mining started in India more than 2800 years ago. Although many new and modern methods are used today, finding diamonds is still a very difficult task. Geologists search for nature’s most precious stones everywhere, from the frozen tundra of Siberia and Canada to the burning deserts of Africa and the ocean bottoms. To find a single diamond, they must sift through enough land to fill a house.
Today, diamonds are among the most preferred precious stones in jewelry. There are necklaces, bracelets, rings, and many other designs designed with diamonds on interesting jewels. Diamonds, which are gifts of nature to humanity, also continue to attract attention with their special meanings.
- B.C. 800-1000: Diamond is believed to have been discovered in India about 3,000 years ago.
- B.C. 327: King of the Macedonian Empire, Alexander the Great brought the first diamonds from India to Europe.
- 1074: The first use of diamonds on jewelry was made by embellishing the crown of a Hungarian queen with diamonds.
- 1375: The first cut shape for a diamond is developed. The diamond has been turned into a diamond for the first time with a point-cut shape. Pointcut means that the natural shape of the diamond is brought to a standard shape with some processing. Before this development, only diamonds found in nature with a good shape were considered valuable and taken, while diamonds that were in a bad shape from the mine were neglected because no one knew how to cut or shape them. For this reason, the diamonds that are first shaped in the formation of diamonds are point-cut diamonds and are one of the most important turning points in the history of diamonds.
- 1477: The diamond solitaire ring was given for the first time by Archduke Maximilian of Austria while proposing marriage to Mary of Burgundy and the tradition of the man proposing marriage with the diamond ring started. However, at first, this tradition was mainly followed by the aristocratic segment.
- 1520: A rose-cut diamond, resembling a blooming bud, is discovered.
- 1681: Peruzzi Cut is discovered by a Venetian diamond handler. Compared to the previous popular cuts, the number of facets in the crown of the diamond has been increased from 17 to 33 in the Peruzzi Cut, which significantly increased the brilliance of the diamond.
- 1902: Cullinan Diamond, the world’s largest raw diamond, was discovered in a mine in South Africa.
- 1919: Brilliant cut, still the most widely used diamond shape today, was discovered by Marcel Tolkowsky. Round cutting is the most effective factor in making it more popular than other cutting types in many respects such as the optical properties of the cut, cutting rates, and light reflection.
Diamonds, which have been in human life for thousands of years and have different areas of use, contain important historical moments and much more. It is found in nature in raw and processed form. Diamonds were distinguished from other mines with their brilliance in ancient times. Diamonds have different meanings throughout history.
B.C. It is believed that the diamond was discovered in India around 800-1000 BC. Later, BC. In 327, Alexander the Great, king of the Macedonian Empire, brought the first diamonds from India to Europe. The diamonds used on jewelry for the first time in 1074 also enabled the crown of a Hungarian queen to be decorated with diamonds.
In 1375, the diamond got its first cut shape. This cutting technique, called point cutting, has led to the emergence of a diamond for the first time. Pointcut means that the diamond is processed into a standard shape. The diamonds obtained by point cut in 1477 were combined with solitaire rings and were presented by Archduke Maximilian of Austria while proposing marriage to Mary of Burgundy. Thus, the tradition of choosing diamonds in marriage royalties started. In 1520, a diamond cut called “Rose Cut”, which resembles blooming buds was discovered.
In 1919, round cut diamonds, which are still widely used today, were discovered. The round cut attracts a great deal of attention due to the optical properties of the cut, which can reflect light well.
Is it Possible to Produce Diamonds by Human Beings?
Since the 1950s, diamonds have also been created by humans for industrial purposes. Industrialists have been able to produce their own diamonds for industrial use by copying the millions of years of underground diamond production in laboratories.
On the other hand, some manufacturers are able to produce precious metal-quality diamonds in laboratories today. Contrary to millions of years of natural occurrence, a diamond developed by man in days can have the same chemical, physical and optical appearance as natural diamonds.
The difference between natural and artificial diamonds with invisible differences can only be distinguished by special tests in the laboratory. While beautifully colored diamonds are extremely rare in nature, man-made diamonds can be made into the desired color during the manufacturing process. Man-made diamonds are less expensive than natural diamonds.
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