Rockshop Genuine Diamond009350
Curious Minds Did You Know? The earth is made up of four layers – the inner core, outer core, mantle and crust!
Diamonds are a precious gemstone much loved in jewellery. But if you're like the geeky Curious Minds Science Shop team, you'll know that they're just little lumps of carbon, which have been subjected to enormous heat and pressure. The heat and pressure turn the black carbon into a beautiful crystal with a hardness of 10 on the Mohr scale. In other words, diamond is hard! In fact, diamond is the hardest known bulk material on the planet and boasts the highest thermal conductivity rating. It is so hard that we value diamond for producing super sharp knives used in industrial processes.
The extremely high temperatures and pressures required to form diamonds are found somewhere between 140 -190 kilometres below the earth's surface. We can’t go this far down, but the precious gems are brought to the surface layers of the earth's crust as a result of volcanic activity and are mined from igneous rocks.
If you would like to understand more about the crystal structure of the metastable allotrope of carbon, which makes up a diamond, check out our Diamond Structure Modelling Kit.