A diamond is a crystalline substance with a transparent form of pure carbon. Diamonds symbolize strength and purity because of their hardness and dazzling nature. They are known to be the hardest naturally formed material on the earth. The word “diamond” is derived from the Greek term “adamas”, meaning, “unbreakable”, or “unalterable”. The mineral is said to have been first recognized and valued in India, about 3000 years ago, for its ability to retract light. During the ancient days, the stone was used for decoration and as a talisman to protect people from evil spirit.
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The origin and existence of the mineral is surrounded by myths that are uncertain in explaining its nature. For instance, there is a myth about the valley of diamonds, where the diamonds are protected by snakes, making it hard to fetch them. As history unravels, people from different backgrounds come up with ideas and theories explaining the origin of the mineral. However, the only definite theory that explains its origin is that of underground formation. In addition to this, it was proven that micro diamonds are formed when meteors strike the earth surface; moreover, they are not valuable because of their extreme small size.
Diamonds are formed about 100 miles beneath the earth’s surface in its upper mantle. According to Bauer (1968), this layer consists of molten rocks that are put under extreme heat and pressure; in this condition carbon atoms bond forming the hardest stone. They are then pushed to the surface through a tunnel called kimberlite pipe, formed during magma eruption. Additionally, others are found on the river beds, or brought on the surface through volcanic eruptions and then washed away. Their formation and mining require a particular condition; that is why it is extremely difficult to find them on the earth’s surface.
For many centuries, India was the main source of diamonds, but with time, their sources were depleted. Today, southern and central Africa is the producer of nearly half of diamonds distributed globally.