What is a natural diamond?
A diamond is made up of billions of carbon atoms. Diamonds have a unique cubic crystal structure. Each carbon atom in a diamond is strongly bonded to four others, making them the hardest known natural element. Diamonds also exhibit high thermal conductivity, are resistant to chemicals, and are exceptionally transparent.
Did you know?The word diamond comes from the Greek word “Adamas” and it means invincible or indestructible.
How are diamonds formed?
Natural diamonds were born deep below the earth’s surface in environments of extreme pressure and temperature. At depths of over 100 miles, intense heat between 1600°F and 2200°F, pressures of 45 kbar and above, and over billions of years, this breathtaking miracle is produced – carbon crystallizes to form diamonds. In order to continue this tremendous journey, the diamonds need to be released from the intense pressure and heat under which they’re formed in order to embark upon their voyage to the earth’s surface.
This happens when a part of the earth’s mantle melts into magma and rapidly erupts to the surface, transporting diamonds from great depths. As the magma cools, it hardens to form kimberlite, mainly in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes. These are the most significant source of diamonds, accounting for nearly all natural diamonds. However, of the 15% of kimberlite pipes that have been discovered, only 1% are economically viable, emphasizing how truly rare diamonds are.
Did you know?Diamonds are found in every color of the rainbow. The rarest and most expensive diamond color is red.
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Where are diamonds found in the world?
Diamonds are present in about 35 countries. South Africa, Russia, and Botswana are the main producers of gem diamonds while Australia produces most of the industrial diamonds. They are also found in India, Brazil, and Canada.
In Africa, diamonds are also found in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. This is a mineral rich continent, but diamonds from some of these countries are referred to as conflict diamonds since the money is used to fund civil wars and other human rights violations. Sierra Leone and Angola are notorious for this.
In Canada, conflict free diamond mining began at a time when African diamonds were rocked with corruption. This country is the third largest natural diamond producer in the world. The first mine in Canada, EKATI diamond mine found in the North of Yellowknife, produces an average of 4-5 million carats per annum.
The second diamond mine to be discovered was DIAVIK located at Lac de Gras East Island, Yellowknife. It produces an average of 7-8 million carats per annum. The mine is only 20km from the EKATI mine. It leads in environmental standards and produces high quality and colorless, ethically sourced diamonds.
Still, three of the five biggest diamond mines in the world are located in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in Siberia, Russia. Yakutia, a harsh Siberian region, is one of the coldest places on earth. Temperatures in the capital, Yakutsk, can drop below -70°C, and the ground remains frozen all year. All Siberian diamonds are ethically sourced, and approximately eight percent of annual revenue goes towards the “Diamonds that Care” initiative which supports environmental, social, and cultural projects in the areas where the country operates. In 2021, $200 million was donated. Russian rough diamonds contain a high proportion of regularly-shaped crystals and are considered to be among the world’s best for color.
Contact The Diamond Store to learn more about the conflict free diamonds we offer.
Did you know?80% of all diamonds are sold in New York City.
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