Diamond image

How long does it take for a diamond to form?



April 13, 2024

  • The natural process of diamond formation is complex and lengthy one, occurring deep within the Earth’s mantle over millions to billions of years.
  • It involves intense heat and pressure acting on carbon atoms. While it’s challenging to determine the exact time required for diamond formation, scientific estimates suggest that the process typically takes between 1 billion to 3.3 billion years.
  • Diamonds are formed from carbon that is subjected to extremely high temperatures and pressures found at depths of around 87 to 120 miles (140 to 190 kilometers) beneath the Earth’s surface.
  • This environment exists in regions of the mantle known as the diamond stability zone.
  • Over time, carbon atoms within the mantle arrange themselves into a crystal lattice structure, creating diamond.
  • Volcanic eruptions or other geological processes can then bring these diamonds closer to the Earth’s surface, where they can be mined.
  • It’s important to note that not all carbon subjected to these conditions becomes a diamond, as the formation also depends on the presence of certain minerals and the specific geologic conditions.
  • It’s worth mentioning that synthetic diamonds can be created in laboratories using various methods, such as high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD).
  • These synthetic diamonds can be produced in a much shorter time span, typically within a few days to a few weeks.