Diamonds have long been viewed as one of the world’s most prized gemstones. Admired for centuries, with a glittering appeal that shows no sign of waning, the scintillating stone captivates onlookers with its beauty and profound mystique.

It is often asked – where do diamonds come from and what makes them so desirable? Here we catch up with our expert, Debbie McKernan, for a closer look into the unique origins of diamonds.

What is a diamond?

Diamonds are essentially carbon, but it is their unique crystalline structure that creates the sparkling stones we use in fine jewellery and timepieces today. An environment of intense pressure and temperatures of up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit combine to transform this crystalline structure into the treasured gemstones we know and love.

A closer look at carbon

Carbon is a naturally occurring single element that is present in all living things. With an inherently versatile bonding ability, carbon encapsulates diverse physical properties that are truly exceptional. An example of this is through a comparison with graphite. Diamonds are made of four covalent bonds, formed in a cubic structure that allows them to be tough and durable. Graphite, however, is only made of three covalent bonds formed in a hexagonal structure, in turn creating layers that cause the construction to be brittle and weak. While diamonds are not indestructible, their strength is superlative, meaning the only thing capable of scratching a diamond is another diamond.

Where do diamonds come from?

Today, diamonds are mined all over the world with the most abundant resources in Canada, Australia and Russia. Today, most diamonds are found in kimberlite pipes. This mining method involves vertical volcanic structures (kimberlite pipes) where diamonds form over billions of years, miles beneath the earth’s surface. Magma pushes the diamond crystals along with other minerals and rocks to the earth’s mantle where they can be collected. Diamond crystals can also be found in shallow alluvial deposits, due to geological activity, and flow into riverbeds from Kimberlite pipes. This process proves the value and rarity of natural diamonds.

Loose diamond

Environment is everything

The environment in which a diamond is grown can significantly alter the gem’s optical properties. As we know, diamonds come in an array of beautiful colours and this individuality can be attributed to the presence of trace elements as well as changing environments during growth.

yellow diamond

Yellow diamonds have become increasingly popular over the years thanks to their timeless appeal yet unique look. Their creation is an incredible feat of nature, with the signature colour attributed to the presence and quantity of nitrogen during formation. This Platinum & Yellow Gold Oval Cut Yellow Diamond Ring adds a special twist to a classic style. Displaying a stunning 1.01ct oval cut yellow diamond, the centre stone is adorned with a fusion of additional white diamonds for a glittering finish that embodies elegance.

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