5 Unknown Facts of Diamonds: Are Diamonds Made From Coal?


A diamond is basically a mass of carbon molecules.

Carbon is also what coal is mainly made up of. 

Although diamonds can now be artificially produced under high temperature and high pressure conditions, the presence of naturally-existing diamonds means that such a special situation can occur in nature. 

Is Diamond Made From Coal?

Coal is a fossil energy resource of plant origin, once known as a black diamond. 

Plants pile up at the bottom of lakes and swamps in the ancient times, tens of millions of years to hundreds of millions of years ago, and are affected by heat and pressure in the ground. 

Carbon is concentrated to produce coal.

Coal can be a stable resource.

Coal is widely distributed throughout the world, including the United States, Russia, China, India, Australia and Europe. 

More than 60% of oil is concentrated in the Middle East, but coal is a readily available energy resource because there is little regional distribution of coal and the amount of production is large even in countries that are politically stable. 

The amount of verifiable reserves of coal is approximately 890 billion tons, and it is possible to mine for over 100 years at the current production rate.

Chemical Composition of Diamonds

Did you know, a diamond and the core of a pencil are basically the same thing?

Among rare gemstones, diamonds are well-respected. 

Bright, transparent and shiny, this tough mineral, chemically speaking, is made up of carbon atoms.

Coal and pencil lead are actually also made of carbon.

However, these three substances have completely different appearances and properties because the arrangement of atoms in each is different. 

Depending on the structure, carbon becomes transparent or black. 

How Diamonds Are Formed

Diamonds are created under intensely high temperature and pressure. 

Diamonds are said to be created by magma deep underground. 

Therefore, some people thought that if the environment of high temperature and high pressure was reproduced, black charcoal might become a diamond. 

General Electric Company of the United States has succeeded in making diamonds in a highly pressurized environment of 1400-1600 degrees. 

It is the early invention of an artificial diamond. 

Next, the "shock compression method" was created. 

When you detonate explosives and momentarily apply high pressure to coal, some of the finely dispersed carbon becomes diamonds. 

Although it is nearly invisible to the naked eye, less than a few hundred microns in size, it is used as a material for industrial abrasives and cutting tools.

Diamonds Require More Heat and Pressure

At the chemical level, a diamond is simply a mass of carbon molecules shaped in a tetrahedron. 

This crystal structure makes a diamond the hardest natural mineral and is more durable than most manmade materials.

We know that diamonds are special, but where did they come from in the first place?

Because diamonds are formed in extreme conditions, they can also be found at asteroid collision sites and in space meteorites. 

However, we believe that most natural diamonds were made millions of years ago, or billions of years ago, from the vast amount of lava within the Earth.

Extremely high heat and pressure formed carbon molecules into tetrahedral diamonds more than 160 kilometres deep from the surface of the earth. 

Deep volcanic eruptions pushed them to the surface at about 40 km/h.

Where Do Diamonds Come From?

Diamonds are formed in the Earth’s crust in a high temperature and high pressure environment. 

The intense heat and pressure caused carbon atoms to form into diamonds inside the Earth.

Molten magma form and expand in the Earth’s mantle. 

How Do Diamonds Move to the Surface of the Earth?

The rapid expansion forces the magma out of the Earth and onto its surface. 

Diamond-bearing rocks are ejected out of this eruption and forms pipes to the surface, called Kimberlite pipes.

The name, Kimberlite, comes from the South African town in which diamonds were first discovered in this type of rock.

Synthetic Diamonds

Synthetic diamonds have basically the same chemical composition and crystal structure as a natural diamond.

They also have the same optics and physical properties.

Both natural and synthetic diamonds:

  • Are made of carbon only
  • Have a very high thermal conductivity
  • Have a refractive index of 2.417
  • Have a fire source dispersion of 0.044

Conclusion

Were you surprised to find out that a diamond is basically the same as the lead of a pencil? 

Although their chemical composition is virtually the same, they are very different from each other because of the arrangement of atoms.

This is one of the reasons why natural diamonds are so unique.

There are no two that are exactly the same.

 

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