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Interesting Diamonds Facts
Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth: between 100 km and 200 km below the earth's surface. Diamonds form under remarkable conditions.
The temperatures they are formed at are about 900 - 1300 C in this part of the Earth's mantle where diamonds form. The pressure is between 45 - 60 kilo bars. (kB) 50 kB = 150 km or 90 miles below the surface 60 kB = 200 km or 120 miles below the surface.
Diamonds are carried to the surface by volcanic eruptions. The volcanic magma conduit is known as a kimberlite pipe or diamond pipe. We find diamonds as inclusions in the (rather ordinary looking) volcanic rock known as kimberlite. The kimberlite magmas that carry diamonds to the surface are often much younger than the diamonds they transport (the kimberlite magma simply acts as a conveyer belt).
To ensure they are not converted to graphite, diamonds must be transported extremely rapidly to the Earth's surface. It is probable that kimberlite lavas carrying diamonds erupt at between 10 and 30 km/hour (Eggler, 1989). Within the last few kilometers, the eruption velocity probably increases to several hundred km/hr.
All natural diamonds are at least 990,000,000 years old. Many are 3,200,000,000 years old (3.2 billion years) how do we know this? Age: from Carbon dating? No! C-dating only works for very young carbon. You need to use other radioactive decay schemes (e.g., uranium-lead) to date inclusions in diamonds. Inclusions used for dating are around 100 microns in diameter (0.1 mm).
Diamond is the hardest material.
Diamond is the hardest gem on the Mohs hardness scale and graphite (also made from carbon atoms) is the softest! The rating of a mineral's "Hardness" or resistance to being scratched can be given using Mohs' scale. This was devised by the German geologist Frierich Mohs (1773-1839).
Rating Type Mineral Everyday
1 Talc Baby powder
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