Diamonds are probably not as rare as they were originally believed to be. Scientists are saying that the precious stone might be present in plenty deep inside the Earth. According to a new study conducted by John Hopkins University’s Dimitri Sverjensky and colleagues, formation of diamonds deep and very deep inside the earth might be much more common than experts have always thought.
However, there’s no reason to think that these findings will result in big discounts on diamond pieces at jewelry stores. This is because physically exploring those precious stones hidden deep underneath the earth’s crust might be absolutely impossible.
Moreover, the presence of diamonds close to the surface of the Earth i.e. in places from where they can be mined depends on the relatively rare event of volcanic magma eruptions. Those eruptions perform the job of raising the diamonds from depths they are formed in.
The researchers came to know about the presence of plenty of diamonds deep inside the Earth when carrying out a study using a chemical model. They found that diamonds can be formed by means of a natural chemical reaction, which is much simpler compared to a couple of procedures that were so far believed to produce diamonds.
The chemical model-based study (scientists are yet to test the theory on actual materials) particularly showed that diamond formation is possible with a rise in acidity during interactions between rock and water. To date, it was thought that diamond formation takes place during movement of fluid by chemical reduction of CO2 (carbon dioxide) or oxidation of methane.
This new study revealed that water is capable of producing diamonds as pH of water tends to fall naturally (falling of pH makes water more acidic) when moving from one rock type to another.
The research team involved in this study, however, made it clear that it’s impossible to physically explore the depths where all those diamonds are formed. According to them, the precious stones are created around 144-193 kilometers beneath the surface of the Earth. That region below the Earth’s crust has a temperature of around 1000° C and always stays at an intense pressure.
Sverjensky informed that the deepest mining exploration conducted so far was at a place located around 13 to 14 km beneath the Earth’s surface.