Carbon is found in nature in the form of various compounds (especially in biology, being the basis of protein bodies), as well as in its pure form, for example, in the form of graphite or diamonds. Diamonds differ from graphite by a strict crystal lattice in the form of a tetrahedron. It is precisely because of this structure that a diamond is virtually the hardest and strongest material in nature.
The carbon from which the diamond is made is formed on stars in the process of thermonuclear fusion from lighter substances - from lithium, for example. I won't delve into the physics of this process, but I will note that it takes billions of years. During the evolution of stars, carbon and other substances are ejected into space and form planets. By the way, a planet was recently discovered near a distant star that is entirely made of crystalline carbon and is, in fact, a giant diamond.
According to scientists' calculations, there are approximately 1.85 billion gigatons of carbon on Earth.
On our planet Earth, diamonds were formed from carbon deep in its bowels more than 4 billion years ago when carbon was subjected to enormous temperatures and very high pressure. This happened at a depth of 100-150 kilometers from the surface of the earth, in the part between the earth's crust and the molten core.
Diamonds may remain deep underground until, as a result of tectonic processes in the crust, fractures occur, and molten magma brings them to the surface of the earth. Such eruptions from the bowels of our planet are called Kimberlite Pipes. They got this name in honor of the town of Kimberley in South Africa.
Kimberlite is a volcanic rock that brings diamonds closer to the surface of the Earth, serving as a "transporter" of diamonds from the depths to the surface. This rock initially is molten magma, similar to what flows from volcanoes, which then cools and solidifies. There are various Kimberlite Pipes around the world, but they all have a similar structure – a cone-shaped tube that widens towards the surface of the earth. The most famous ones are located in the USA, Canada, Russia, and South Africa. At one time, many illegal and even criminal enterprises were centered around diamond mining, utilizing slave or captive labor for diamond extraction. There were also illegal organizations trading in diamonds to fund various criminal gangs in Africa. Such diamonds are commonly referred to as "blood diamonds." To put an end to this practice, a special document called the "Kimberley Certificate" was created in 2003, which explicitly confirms that the diamonds were mined legally, without violence, and without connection to organized crime. To obtain this certificate, an organization involved in manufacturing and trading diamonds undergoes thorough inspection by independent international experts to ensure the legality of production and trade. This certificate also helps eliminate the illegal smuggling of diamonds and any unlawful operations with them. Currently, approximately 49 countries worldwide are part of this "Kimberley Agreement." It controls 99.8% of all diamonds on the market. Without a "Kimberley Certificate," no legal operations with diamonds are inpossible. Nowadays, "blood diamonds" have almost entirely disappeared from the market, and all raw diamonds that enter the jewelry market pass the “Kimberly Certificate.”
One of the very first diamonds was found in India, and it was there that the technology for cutting diamonds began to take shape. For a long time, diamonds were used in their unprocessed form. In ancient times, they were believed to possess a particular "magic" due to their properties, bringing luck and success. In the jewelry of that time, they were used "as is" - unpolished and uncut. The first attempts at cutting diamonds began in the 14th century – at that time, people tried to polish the stone to give it more sparkle, but the technology was still imperfect. In the 15th century, a method of cutting diamonds with diamond dust was invented. The first recipient of an engagement ring with a diamond was Mary of Burgundy – it was a gift from Archduke Maximilian III of the House of Habsburg. Natural diamonds are the most sought-after precious stones in the world. This marvel was a gift from the Universe itself. Many still believe that natural diamonds possess magical power and symbolize love and success.
Family jewelry with diamonds is passed down from generation to generation, and every year it becomes more and more valuable. Neither wars nor cataclysms nor any upheavals can overcome the magic of diamonds! It should be noted that in recent times, so-called synthetic diamonds have appeared. Today, there are two technologies for producing artificial diamonds: HPHT (High-Pressure-High-Temperature) and - CVD (Chemical- Vapor-Deposition) - chemical deposition of the gaseous form. Dealers of artificial diamonds have coined various terms for such products: grown diamonds, lab diamonds, green diamonds (Lab, Grown, Green Diamonds). Synthetic and natural diamonds have the same crystal lattice, optical, physical, and chemical properties.
The only difference is that natural diamonds were formed by Nature itself over billions of years, while synthetic diamonds were grown by humans in an artificial environment over just six weeks. Natural diamonds increase in value with each passing year, while synthetic diamonds are becoming cheaper and cheaper as their production technology becomes simpler and more accessible. The more artificial diamonds appear on the diamond-jewelry market, the less their value becomes. In recent years, the price of artificial diamonds has dropped many times. The same applies to other artificial precious stones – sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. The price of the latter among dealers ranges from 5 to 15 dollars per carat. The same fate awaits artificial diamonds. In conclusion, it can be said that natural diamonds, like genuine feelings, are valued much higher than any artificial imitation. It is natural precious stones, created by Nature itself, that are a symbol of sincere love. Therefore, a self-respecting man always gives his beloved only NATURAL diamonds.