What Are Diamonds Made Of?

A diamond is the hardest natural substance in the world. They are actually four times stronger than the next hardest element. Therefore, in order to cut through a diamond, we would need another diamond! 

Where did the word diamond come from? The Greeks felt like the word, adamao, best represented the hardest material they had ever known. Its meaning is invincible, unbreakable, and difficult to conquer. 

This led to ancient myths and beliefs of the gem having magical properties and the ability to shield anyone from danger. Cultures around the world have created their own symbolism to depict what it means and how they view the stone’s power and beauty. 

Where Are Diamonds Formed?

We bet some of the information below may be a surprise or at least a refresher of our school days. The five different ways diamonds are made are as follows:

  • In the Earth’s mantle
  • Subduction zones
  • Asteroids 
  • Space
  • Synthetic or lab-grown 

Earth’s Mantle

The Earth’s Mantle is the perfect environment for a diamond to blossom due to the high heat and pressure that is required. What are the ideal conditions? Ninety miles below the Earth’s surface, with a minimum of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and about 725,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. The only way diamonds formed here can rise to the surface, is through a volcano erupting. 

This eruption is stronger and more forceful than a typical volcano and is able to carry the stone to the surface, through what’s called a Kimberlite pipe. That is the magic in diamonds surviving this kind of environment and volcanic event, especially since humans have never witnessed this before!

Subduction Zones

A subduction zone is where two tectonic plates come together in the Earth’s Mantle and one plate naturally falls beneath the other. Everything that a diamond needs to form is here, as long as the plate has the perfect amount of carbon, or if there are carbon rocks that fall when the plates collide. The stones that are created here are usually not for jewelry or commercial use. 

Asteroids

When asteroids hit the Earth, there are diamonds inside. Although these diamonds are not large enough to be used in jewelry, they can be used for industrial purposes. The impact of the collision has the heat and temperature that are required. 

Industrial diamonds are used for their durability and the fact that they have a lot of incisions. Examples of industrial uses are diamonds in drill bits, speaker domes, heat sinks, and windows that are used in x-ray machines and lasers. 

Space

It’s not just on Earth where we can find diamonds. Just like the asteroids colliding, nanodiamonds are constructed out in space when meteoroids make contact. Since this material is very small (billionths of a meter in diameter), it will still be used as diamond material but is not large enough for commercial purposes or as a jewel. 

Fun fact: scientists discovered a planet that is rich in carbon and made up of one-third diamonds called 55 Cancrie. They believe it to be a super-Earth due to its size but has temperatures around 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit so nothing is able to live there.

Lab Grown

Just as we have had many technological advances in history, scientists have figured out how to compose a diamond in a lab. This took place in the 1950s and required some trial and error to get a favorable quality stone. 

When creating a memorial diamond with Eterneva, our loved one’s ashes or hair turn into carbon. That carbon will then crystalize and eventually over time, a raw diamond forms. How is this process unique? Every hair or ash has its own specific amount of carbon; therefore, scientists match the optimal solution of heat, pressure, and time for each individual who has passed. 

Diamonds Symbolism

Diamonds are the strongest material in the world. Seeing what else their character represents allows us to get a visual from multiple angles. Some say that having this special gem in our life will bring more peace, keep our dreams safe, or is a sign of admiration and importance. Below are a few cultures and how they incorporated diamonds into their everyday lives and the beliefs they carried about these precious stones’ value and power.

Greeks

Diamonds were worn to help give them strength, as they thought it could make them invincible, especially during times of battle. They also saw the diamonds as being tears from the gods or angels. 

Native Americans

This culture saw the gem as a butterfly, which is a sign of immortality. Just like the butterfly goes through its metamorphosis, a diamond transforms from carbon into a valuable jewel, because of the heat, pressure, and time that formed with the carbon. 

Western World

The basis in western civilization has to do with the stone having magical healing and protective abilities. A diamond would be used at night to keep unwanted spirits away and shield someone from any nightmares. 

During this time, since the diamond was a rarity, the only people who were able to acquire any were considered wealthy. Therefore; not everyone had access to them. It was also thought if someone wore a gem, they would be protected from unwanted diseases. 

Buddhism

Enlightenment may come to mind when you think about diamonds. The Buddha’s throne was constructed out of this material, and to the Buddhist, it symbolizes one of perfection and transcendence. 

Journey of a Diamond

How does the physical journey of a diamond, in all its evolution, relate to us and our everyday life? Every single one of us is a diamond at the core of who we are: our soul. We go through experiences in life that show us how strong we are and allow us to polish our internal and external appearances so that our souls can truly shine for all to see. 

These may be life experiences that are extremely difficult, yet oftentimes, those are the most transformational and where we find strength inside that shows us what we are capable of. Then we see that our power continues to build, and as we cultivate the courage and vitality within, we are able to uplift those around us. 

Just as the diamond needs to be excavated, we must recognize that deep down, we are that precious gem too. When the stone is being cut, we too are shedding away the people, ideas, and things that no longer serve us. The question to ask ourselves here is how can we let go of resistance to what naturally wants to fall away from our lives so that our gem, or soul, can really shine with who we are? 

As the diamond is polished, we continue to become aware of our life’s purpose so that we can radiate out into the world with our gifts. No two diamonds are the same just as no two people are. Experts study diamonds to be absolutely certain each cut is in exact precision to the brilliant beauty that it holds. 

The same sensitivity that is used here, is similar to how we must be gentle and compassionate with ourselves during our own metamorphosis. We are our own experts – no one else knows what your journey looks like. 

In Conclusion

Through carbon, time, and pressure, a diamond is born. The scientific process is both fascinating and exciting. The magnificent diamond represents strength and endurance, which is why so many people are drawn to it. It can hold sentiment in so many different ways. 

Are we able to see the people around us as the elegant and magnificent diamonds they are? Regardless of the stage in their evolution, can we still see them in their perfected state? We are all letting go and shedding the things that are no longer beneficial for our growth, yet sometimes we can be quick to focus on those aspects in ourselves and others. 

When we get fixated though, we draw more attention and energy to the thing that wants to pass through our system. In some ways, our society teaches us to hold on, yet if we let it go, we would be able to find that serenity again. In that magic of letting go, it’s just like the diamond being cut into the perfect shape. What is meant for that diamond and for us, will undoubtedly remain. 

Sources:

How Do Diamonds Form? | Geology

INDUSTRIAL USES OF DIAMONDS | Howard Fensterman 

55 Cancri E: Diamond Planet 40 Light Years Away | Sci News

BROWSE BLOG & RESOURCES BY CATEGORY

Featured Articles

Stay Up To Date

Sign up to receive our latest blog posts, grief wellness resources, and featured articles.

Ready to Start the Process?

The $100 Eterneva Welcome Kit contains everything you need to start the journey to memorialize a remarkable life.

Join the grief wellness movement by email or text.