Diamonds throughout the ages have symbolized wealth, strength, unsurpassed quality, and social status. Through time and different civilizations, diamonds may have been called different names, but a diamond by any other name still represents the same thing. Diamonds are the world’s hardest naturally occurring substance and provide beauty in the form of jewelry and industry in the form of various saw blades. They are formed deep within the earth, in the mantle layer which is roughly 125 miles below the earth’s surface. But the most intriguing question is not really how diamonds are formed, but how old they actually are.
Studies done in the diamond mines of South Africa, where diamonds are most abundant, have concluded with some very interesting facts about the origin and future of diamonds. Researcher Dr. Steve Shirey indicates that there have been three time period’s in our planet’s history when diamonds were formed. The oldest diamonds were formed along with the earth over 3.3 billion years ago. The next phase followed about 2.9 billion years ago. The youngest of all diamonds are still a massive 1.2 billion years old, which far surpasses any age of human civilization by a long stretch. Nevertheless, whether the diamond was created 3.3 billion years ago, or 1.2 billion years ago, diamonds are no longer being produced in the same way that they used to be. Scientists suggest that this may be due to the earth being cooler, or perhaps rock composition being different billions of years ago.
For those fearing a diamond extinction, don’t fret just yet. Diamonds are not exclusive to earth and there has been plenty of evidence to suggest that many planets are quite capable of producing diamonds. Scientists theorize that there may be diamonds found on Neptune and Uranus. The two planets contain a great deal of methane gas, which when focused with intense heat can produce diamond dust. Furthermore, a discovery of a mass of crystallized carbon, that was previously a star in our galaxy, is understood to be a true diamond. It is estimated to be 2,500 miles across and weighing in at 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 carats! Unfortunately, it’s fifty light years away, but the fact that it exists provides further evidence of diamonds’ existence elsewhere.
The universe is theoretically able to harvest diamonds, but currently there is a diamond shortage here on earth in relation to the products’ high demand. There is still plenty of work to be done by way of discovering and excavating new diamonds. While the earth may not produce diamonds like it did billions of years ago, there are still plenty of diamonds yet to be discovered right under our noses.