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We were taught back in school that diamonds, like oil and coal, are formed from underground carbon being exposed to immense temperature and pressure over millions of years. These are dug up in diamond mines around the world, and form most of the diamonds for sale on the market today. What about diamonds that weren’t made on Earth though, how are those made? Well, the short answer is that nobody knows, exactly. In fact scientists have argued over where extraterrestrial diamonds come from for years now. There’s a few theories flying around, including a new one based on new evidence from a particularly famous meteorite which fell to Earth in 2008. In fact, the Almahata Sitta meteorite, already famous for being the first meteorite ever identified and tracked before impacting the Earth, has just got even more famous.
The traditionally accepted view is that extraterrestrial diamonds are formed when asteroids collide. The immense speed and shock would easily be enough to crush carbon atoms into tiny impact diamonds. We have even seen this on Earth with the Popigai crater, with Russian scientists determining that the crater was formed about 35 million years ago when an asteroid hit the area, creating ‘trillions of carats’ of industrial-grade ‘impact diamonds’. However, the Almahata Sitta meteorite has thrown this collision theory for a spin, having helped uncover more evidence about the riches our celestial neighbours may hold.
According to a new study from Japanese scientists exploring the site of meteor’s remains, several fragments of the Almahata Sitta contain diamonds which are simply too large to have been created through impact events. The study, which is set to be published in the August edition of the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, reveals that these diamonds are far larger than any extraterrestrial diamonds found on Earth to date. It also speculates that these diamonds were formed on a planet which already existed when our solar system was forming. The planet has since shattered, sending diamonds in various directions as it was destroyed, including towards us.
The reasoning behind this theory is that several of the diamonds which were recovered were broken. Despite this their separate crystals were all ‘orientated correspondingly’. This suggests that the diamond crystals were all once part of an unbroken, larger whole. This would not have occurred if the diamonds had been formed from an impact in space, however large the impact, as the diamond would not have broken like this space.
So right now, nobody knows exactly where extraterrestrial diamonds come from, other than that they can come into existence naturally in a number of ways. One thing that scientists are certain of, however, is that meteorites heading to Earth have the potential to bring trillions of tiny diamonds with them. You don’t need to wait for a meteorite to strike near you to get a spectacular diamond though. Simply stop by Marlow’s Diamonds today for all the high quality ethically sourced diamonds you could need today.