Diamonds have fascinated humans for a long time. We like to wear them as jewelry or use them as cutting and grinding tools in industry.
However, have you ever wondered where diamonds come from and how they were formed?
A game of powerful natural forces
Between 70 and 150 million years ago, deep in the earth's interior, hundreds of kilometers below the earth's crust, diamonds were formed. Under intense pressure and red-hot heat, carbon atoms join into a solid crystal lattice to form rough diamonds. During volcanic eruptions, they are literally washed to the earth's surface with the lava. Therefore, rough diamonds are also found in the rocks of extinct volcanoes.
The largest diamond mines are located in Russia, Botswana, Congo, Australia and Canada.
In 1905, the largest diamond ever found was discovered in South Africa. It was named the "Cullinan Diamond" and weighed 3106.75 carats (621.35 g) in its rough state.
Diamonds are chemically nothing else than carbon. That is, the element that coal, soot or graphite are also made of. They are not evenly shaped, but distorted, because some crystal faces have developed better at the expense of others.