Whilst it is a fact that all women love fashion jewellery, it is recognised that one type of jewel (or stone) in particular occupies a very special place in most girls’ hearts – diamonds. Indeed, the natural beauty of these gleaming gems, as well as the intricate shapes into which they are cut, really is something which most women (and men too) find completely bedazzling.
However, whilst most people understandably covet and desire these precious stones, very few individuals take the time to think about where they came from or how they came to be. This is a shame as getting to know a little about the origin of these items can really help to enhance a buyer’s appreciation of them. Certainly, knowing the journey that these relatively small little stones undertake to get themselves perched on rings and hanging from pendants is enough to make any aficionado of diamond jewellery look at their favourite pieces with even more reverential awe!
Diamonds only form under very specific conditions, As well as intense heat, carbon bearing materials must also be exposed to extremely high pressures ranging from approximately 45 to 70 kilobars. Because of these stringent demands, most diamonds develop under the surface of the Earth in the mantle. In fact, it is believed that most diamond stones are formed at depths somewhere between 140 and 190 kilometres, sometimes even deeper.
Naturally, it is impossible for humans to mine diamonds at these kinds of depths; so that kind of begs the question: how do people get hold of them?
Well, the simple answer is: they wait for the actions of the Earth to carry them up.
Whilst this may sound a little fanciful, it is actually true. Indeed, it is a fact that diamonds eventually get forced up to the Earth’s surface when deep-origin volcanic eruptions release magma which carries precious stones (as well as many other things) up to depths from which they can be mined.
In general, diamonds which are carried up to the earth’s surface by way of ‘magma lifts’ are concentrated in certain areas. Most of the diamonds mined today are extracted from mines located in central and southern Africa, however notable concentrations are also to be found in Canada, the USA, India, Russia, Brazil and Australia.
Once diamonds have been identified and extracted, they still have to go through a complicated finishing process before they can be turned into super-desirable jewellery pieces. In general, this process involves highly skilled individuals shaping and polishing the stones to ensure they look as perfect as possible. It is only after this final stage is complete that diamonds can be set in beautifully stylised pieces of fashion and designer jewellery and sold all throughout the world.
So, anyone who appreciates diamond jewellery would do well to consider the remarkable story of their most precious stones next time they look down at the gleaming ring on their finger or the glinting pendant around their neck.