Past the thick layer of earth’s crust lies an unbreachable segment called the ‘mantle’. Sweltering temperatures that would melt most objects on the surface, crushing pressure that would collapse certain metals and a darkness that does not allow for even the smallest flicker of light are found down there. Aside from absolute darkness, there are microscopic organisms that thrive in those environments and some gemstones that are providing a deeper look into the world of diamonds.
While our quest to dig that deep into the earth is a long way off, we have found a particularly neat discovery:
The Deepest Known Diamonds
An element that thrives in high pressure, Boron gets deep within the earth’s mantle by being attached to sinking tectonic plates. As those plates drive themselves into the earth’s mantle, they push the Boron deeper and deeper. The repercussions of that? Rare, blue diamonds.
Only about 0.02% of all diamonds are the color blue, making it likely the rarest color in the world of diamonds. A flawless blue diamond is so rare that they usually end up in the Smithsonian, which is why this discovery is of particular interest. However, within the earth’s mantle these blue gemstones have been discovered, which is yet another treasure awaiting those who are able to dig deep enough.
And the Other Gemstones?
The conditions for forming most gemstones have a specific range and, due to their hardness (or lack of), they would be crushed at depths too great. For example, Sapphire forms between 6 and 18 miles below the surface. That’s less than ⅓ of the way to getting out of the crust, let alone near the middle of the mantle where these blue diamonds are estimated to be. In fact, you would need to get about 410 miles within the earth to reach the deposits. Needless to say, we’re a long way off from being able to reach that.
So When Do We Dig!?
The Russians are working on that and have created some enormous holes such as the Kola Superdeep Borehole. I say created, but it’s over 20 years old at this point. In those 20 years, it’s dug a total of 40,230 feet (under 8 miles) and is approximately halfway through the crust. Since then, another deeper borehole was created in 2011 which dug a bit deeper, but unfortunately did not make any huge, additional discoveries.
While we might be a ways off from reaching these blue diamonds, there are plenty of gemstones that we can use! Give us a call or schedule an appointment to get started!