Whether you are thinking about buying an engagement ring, loose diamonds or diamond jewelry, it’s no secret that diamonds are a major purchase. However, buying a diamond does not need to be a stressful exper...
What is a Diamond Made of?October 9, 2018 - Diamond Articles
Get answers to the following questions:
- What is a diamond made of?
- How are diamonds are formed?
- What are white diamonds are made of?
- What are colored diamonds made of?
What is a diamond made of?
The answer to what is a diamond made of is quite simply carbon. Graphite, just like the kind in your pencil, is also composed of carbon, but diamonds have entirely different properties. Diamond’s distinctive properties come about during their formation process.
After we cover how diamonds are formed, we’ll explain what gives white and fancy colored diamonds their color.
How are diamonds are formed?
Diamonds can be formed in four ways:
- The first formation method we will discuss is for diamonds that were created within the Earth’s mantle between one and three billion years ago. These diamonds are formed within diamond stability zones which contain the perfect environment for a diamond to form. Diamonds are formed about 100 miles below Earth’s surface, with at least 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and 725,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. In this environment, carbon atoms form a rigid bond with each other, resulting in outstanding durability. Deep-source volcanic eruptions help bring these diamonds to the Earth’s surface. These types of volcanoes are three times as deep as typical volcanoes. High amounts of magnesium and carbon dioxide force the volcano’s magma to the surface, causing a powerful eruption. These deep eruptions are pushed through cracks in the Earth called Kimberlite pipes and carry diamonds during their ascension.
- Diamonds can form in subduction zones, which are when two tectonic plates meet and one plate is forced down the Earth’s mantle. During this time, carbon rocks are exposed to the mantle’s heat and the pressure from the colliding plates. This great heat and pressure can cause diamonds to form, however, the resulting diamonds are too small for jewelry and industrial use.
- Diamonds can also form when an asteroid hits earth, which creates intense heat and pressure. These diamonds are mainly used for industrial purposes because they are small and do not meet the desired qualities for jewelry piece diamonds.
- Diamonds can also be made synthetically in a lab by artificially creating great heat and pressure, known as High Pressure High Temperature or HPHT. The first commercially successful synthetic diamond was made in the 1950s by General Electric. These artificial diamonds are used in jewelry and come at a lower price point than their natural counterparts.
What are white diamonds are made of?
White diamonds are essentially colorless and are devoid, or have very few minerals, that will alter its color, such as nitrogen. When diamonds are evaluated, one of the characteristics that gemologists look at is a diamond’s color. White diamonds are graded on a scale from D to Z, where D is colorless and Z is a light yellow. Ideally, a white diamond should have a color grade as close to D as possible.
What are colored diamonds made of?
Diamonds can come in an array of colors because of mineral contamination during the formation process or changes in its molecular structure. Below are several fancy colored diamonds along with what gives them their distinctive color.
- Yellow: Nitrogen
- Orange: Nitrogen
- Blue: Boron
- Green: Radioactive materials
- Brown: Irradiation or nickel impurity
- Purple: Hydrogen
- Pink: Some scientists believe that the pink color comes from structural defects which selectively absorbs light, but no one really knows for sure.
- Red: Structural defects
- Grey: Nitrogen impurities and select boron atoms
Unlike white diamonds, fancy colored diamonds do not have a letter color grade, instead they are graded from a scale of Fancy Light to Fancy Vivid depending on their color intensity. It takes a highly trained gemologist to identify a diamond’s proper color. The stronger the color, the more the diamond is worth. The rarest fancy colored diamonds are red diamonds followed by blue diamonds, while brown diamonds are the most common. Many fancy colored diamonds can contain multiple colors such as purplish pink or orangey yellow.
How to sell your diamonds
Now that you’ve learned what a diamond is made of as well as the other minerals that create beautiful colors, you may be wondering how much your diamond is worth.
To sell a diamond safely, quickly and for the best price, WP Diamonds is your best option. At WP Diamonds, we are expert diamond buyers with an in-depth understanding of the second-hand diamond market. Our service is so easy and fast that you can receive payment in as little as 24 hours after you complete our online form. This competitive, fast and hassle free service has earned us an A+ rating with the BBB and hundreds of positive reviews.
Selling your diamonds with WP Diamonds is easy and only takes 4 steps.
- Complete our online form with information about your diamond.
- Receive a tight price quote.
- Schedule an appointment at one of our offices in the US, UK or Hong Kong. OR use our completely free, insured, trackable and overnight mailing service.
- Receive a final price for your diamonds and accept payment by bank transfer, check or cash (in-person appointments only). OR have your diamonds mailed back to you for free through the same secure mailing service.
WP Diamonds makes selling your diamonds easier than ever, click the button below to find out just how much you can get paid for your diamonds.