Diamonds hold a very important place in the lives of people today. Everyone thinks about buying a diamond at least at the time of their engagement and marriage. Though many people use diamonds, majority of them do not know the source of the diamonds. Some think that diamonds are natural while others think that they are manmade. The truth is that there are both natural and manmade diamonds. Some diamonds are naturally formed inside the earth whereas some are artificially made by scientists in the laboratory.
Natural Formation Of Diamonds
Diamond is nothing but carbon. The covalent bond between the atoms of carbon is the reason for the unique properties of diamond. Diamond is the hardest substance man has ever known. In extreme temperature and pressure, the carbon atoms, which have a crystalline structure, are bonded tetrahedrally to make a strong stone.
Through their studies, the geologists and scientists have concluded on how the diamonds are formed in the mantle of the earth. It is commonly believed that an ideal temperature of 900°C to 1300°C along with a high pressure of 650,000 psi to 850,000 psi is necessary for the diamonds to form in the earth mantle. This condition is met only in the mantle part of the earth and that is the reason why diamonds are formed only here.
There are the parts of the continental crust called cratons and it is under these that the diamonds are formed. More diamonds are found in the countries of Africa and Australia because the cratons are more in this region.
The diamonds are formed also in the subduction zones. When the tectonic plates undergo collision, one part of land may be buried under the other in a region. That region is called the subduction zone. Usually the diamonds formed in such subduction zones are very small and cannot be used for commercial purposes.
Diamonds can also be formed by the impact of asteroids on the earth’s surface. When the asteroid hits the earth surface, huge temperature and pressure is created in which the carbon may be converted to small diamonds. The Popigai crater in Russia is an example for this.
Artificial Making Of Diamonds
The diamonds are made in the lab by the process called High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT). The seed crystals are used which are grown in the appropriate conditions into a diamond. Another method called Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) can also be used to create diamonds in the lab. The second method is preferred to the first because it is ideal and effective.
So, this is how diamonds are formed or made.