Everyone is familiar with April’s birthstone, the Diamond, so where do we begin? Well, how are they formed? Diamonds are formed by intense heat and pressure acting on carbon atoms over millions of years. These carbon atoms come from either trapped carbon dioxide gas or from the melting of pre-existing rocks deep (at least 75 miles) beneath the earth’s crust. Over time volcanic forces push the diamonds to the earth’s surface revealing the intensely clear cubic crystal structure. Scientists believe that the oldest diamonds are somewhere around 3 billion years old.
But not all diamonds are clear. In fact some of the most valuable diamonds have colors ranging from pink to blue, and most colors in between. During formation, intrusion of atoms of nitrogen, boron and phosphorous creates colored diamonds; nitrogen and boron causing the yellow and blue color, respectively. However, given that the diamond is the most transparent of all known solid and liquid substances, it’s not a surprise that clear diamonds are the most popular and sought after.
HISTORY OF THE DIAMOND
It is believed that the first diamonds were discovered in India some 3000 years ago and were initially used for simple decoration because of their clear, crystalline beauty. They would soon come to be worshiped by the Greeks for being indestructible.
In fact, the word diamond comes from the Greek word, “Adamas” which means “unconquerable”. Continue reading