Where Do Diamonds Come From? (The Simple Version)

Mountain lake

The creation of diamonds is a complex endeavor, so complex that experts can’t even agree on what type of carbon they’re made from. Most people think diamonds are made from coal, but that’s been repeatedly proven as very unlikely.

With all of the big terms and scientific jargon around diamonds, we wanted to take a second to give an explanation that’s a bit easier to understand.

Before we get into it, you should know that two conditions are required for the creation of diamonds: extremely high temperatures and extremely high pressure:

1. Asteroids

Few things create high temperatures and pressure on earth like an asteroid crashing into the surface. Due to this reaction, diamonds can often be found at the site of asteroid collisions. Since coal is basically dead, archaic plant matter, people often think that this proves that diamonds are made from coal, but the jury is still out on that. In fact, most geologists would argue it’s not.

2. Volcanoes

Think of earth like a layered cake. The surface is the frosting and there are layers under that. The first layer is the Continental Crust and the second layer is the Mantle. That second layer is often where diamonds are formed since it has a lot of heat and pressure.

So how do we get to them? Well, volcanoes do most of the work for us. Every time there’s an eruption, it pushes those diamonds up into the first layer where we can access them.

If you’re wondering why we don’t just dig deeper, give this a thought: the deepest hole we’ve ever drilled was the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia and it’s only 40,000 feet. The pressure inside earth is so extreme that it doesn’t give us many options for digging super deep.

3. Volcanic Rock

Those diamonds that are formed in the second layer, discussed in the previous point, sometimes get wrapped up in molten lava and form inside rocks. These rocks can be found a variety of places including the ocean floor, which is why some diamonds have been reported as being found at the bottom of the ocean.

These are referred to as “foating mines” and are typically around African states such as Namibia. Due to their accessibility, they’re being mined up incredibly fast and may be exhausted in the next few decades.

Can we just make our own?

Since high pressure and high temperature are required, you might be wondering if humans can replicate this process. As a matter of fact, China and USA are leading the push for lab-made diamonds (though China is well in front of that race). Using machines that create the proper environment, they have been able to produce low-quality diamonds, though as technology and processes improve we’ll likely see diamonds of a high grade being offered for less.

The Diamond Reserve offers the largest selection of GIA-certified diamonds in the Denver area. If you’re shopping, let us help you! Just Contact Us or call us at 720.560.3548 and we’ll make sure you get the diamond you deserve, no matter how it was created.