Diamonds for everyone

Jul 26, 2020 20:27 | Feature & Viewpoint

Why are diamonds so expensive? Why are they considered so valuable? 

Diamonds are highly valued stones.

Diamonds have three other crucial ingredients: pressure, heat, and time. 

Diamonds are formed in the Earth's mantle, somewhere between 1 and 3 

billion years ago which is approximately 25% to 75% of our earth's age. Formed by heat and pressure, diamonds are then delivered to the Earth's surface by deep-source volcanic eruptions or the movement of subduction zones that bring the diamonds up to the ocean floor.

While colorless diamonds are often considered the most valuable, diamonds exist in a wide range of colors due to mineral contamination or lattice deformation. For example, black diamonds come from graphite contamination, red diamonds from plastic deformation, purple from plastic deformation and hydrogen contamination, green from irradiation deformation, pink from plastic deformation, and brown, yellow, orange, and blue from nitrogen.

The term “carat” is derived from the carob seed, the ancient unit of measure for diamond weight. As technology evolved, jewelers began using mechanical balances and electric scales to measure carat weight accurately. Precious stones are weighed in carats; a single carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Carat is also a variant spelling of karat, which measures the purity (but not the weight) of gold.

A karat is 1/24 part of pure gold by weight, so 24-karat gold is pure gold.