Diamonds are an allotrope of carbon. Many of them are said to be recycled between the Earth’s crust and its surface. However, according to a new research theory, various Geologists now believe that the most precious diamonds were formed from carbon that is found specifically in the Earth’s Mantle. Majority of the diamonds are aged between 1 to 3.5 billion years and are found 150 to 250 kilometres deep inside Earth. The most precious gems may even be located at a distance of around 800 kilometres in the Earth’s mantle.
Why are they considered to be precious and expensive?
“Most of the diamonds people are familiar with are from the upper 250 kilometres of the planet,” says Margo Regier, a geochemist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. “Super deep” diamonds are from at least 250 kilometres underground, and “they’re really quite rare,” Regier exclaims. But the rarest of them are found under the range of 800 kilometres. “Often those are some of the biggest you find, like the Hope Diamond,” Regier says. They are the most expensive and are very worthy due to the properties they acquire as a result of the conditions under the Earth.
What do the researchers believe about diamonds?
“All the isotopes tell the same story in a different way,” says Margo Regier. “The carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, they’re all saying that subducting slabs are able to transport carbon and similar elements to a similar depth in the mantle. But at around 500 to 600 kilometres deep, most of that carbon is lost through magma” she further exclaims. “After that, the slabs are relatively depleted in carbon.” Those “form in a different way, from carbon already stored within the mantle,” Regier says. “The very deepest samples must have been [made of] primordial carbon that never escaped from the planet.”
Largest producers of diamonds
Russia: is the largest producer of diamonds in the world. In 2014 alone, Russia mined around 38 to 39 million carats. In recent developments, Russia also discovered a one of its kind, double diamond which is estimated to be around 800 million years old.
Botswana: Africa has always been on the top in terms of diamond export. Botswana always produces bigger and better diamonds as compared to Russia. In 2013, the country produced almost 23.2 million carats. In fact, it also produced the second biggest gem at 1,758 carats.
Democratic Republic of Congo: DRC’s 2018 tally of diamonds mined was assessed to be nearly 16.4 million carats, worth about $136.1 million. This figure increased to about 19 million carats in 2019.
Australia: In recent years, Australia’s diamond production has been falling due to strict labour laws and pollution norms imposed on mining. Nevertheless, the present output of 14.2 million carats is fairly high. However, the same is expected to fall to 134.7 thousand carats by 2021.
Canada: In 2013, Canada extracted 10.6 million carats of diamonds worth $1.9 billion, which increased to 23 million carats worth $2.7 billion in 2018.