Last week (30th March), I wrote a blog post containing a list of 10 jewelry-related movies to watch while you’re safe at home to give both myself and our readers a break from coronavirus-related news.
I had a great deal of fun doing it, and it served as a much-needed reminder of how much I like to just write, not necessarily about a controversy or a lawsuit, or with clicks in mind, but just for the sheer pleasure of finding an expressive way of sharing something I enjoy.
With that in mind, I’m having fun again this week, this time by sharing five facts about diamonds gleaned from a webinar.
On Thursday 9th, geologist Evan Smith, a research scientist at the Gemological Institute of America, held the first in what is going to be a series of online “Knowledge Sessions” presented by GIA.
The webinars will feature presentations on gemology from scientists, field gemologists and educators, continuing [Thursday 16th] with Mike Breeding, GIA senior research scientist, talking about identification methods for lab-grown diamonds.
(GIA is currently building a web page for its Knowledge Sessions; we will share it as soon as it is available.)
Smith’s talk, “The Unique Story of Natural Diamond,” focused on what makes the hardest substance on Earth—and one of the world’s most popular gemstones—so interesting to geologists.
I’ve interviewed and written about Smith’s research here and there over the years; he was the lead author of an article on blue diamonds that landed on the cover of Nature, a scientific journal, in 2018, and his diamond research made the cover of Science in 2016.
He alluded to both these studies in his presentation and taught me a few new things about diamonds as well.
Please feel free to comment below if you’ve learned anything, or if you just feel like saying hello. You also can view the presentation in its entirety on YouTube.
1. Diamonds form deeper in the earth than other minerals.
Most minerals including corundum (ruby and sapphire) and beryl (emerald, aquamarine and morganite) form in the Earth’s crust, which is the layer upon which we all live.
But not diamond, which Smith said is “completely exotic … because it is formed much deeper in the Earth,” beneath the crust at depths of 150-200 kilometers (93-124 miles) in the base of old, thick continents.
Some go even deeper than that, forming at the boundary between the Earth’s mantle and its outer core. These are known as superdeep diamonds.