"Alaska black diamonds" is the trade name of a mineralized form of iron oxide known as hematite. Hematite occurs around the world, and the milled gemstones created from it hold a lustrous black finish. Hematite has been called bloodstone because it can be ground into a dark red powder that the ancients believed to be coagulated blood, hence its use as an amulet for pre-scientific medical applications.Know More
Hematite powder's association with dried blood is not totally unwarranted. The red powder it degrades into is, in fact, rich with oxidized iron. Iron oxide is what gives red blood cells their characteristic color, and the compound, known commonly as rust, is also prevalent in the surface soils of Mars.
Hematite is common on Earth, and it is the main form in which iron is mined from the crust. The mineral was laid down globally in huge deposits known as banded iron formations mostly between 1.8 and 2.4 billion years ago as oxygen proliferated in the atmosphere. Free iron is unstable in the presence of oxygen, and the loose iron in Earth's oceans reacted to its presence by oxidizing and precipitating out to form the hematite deposits from which Alaskan black diamonds would later be quarried.Learn more about Precious Metals & Gems
Diamonds, which are one form of pure carbon, are created from intense heat and pressure that happen deep inside the earth over eons. In modern times, scientists have learned how to recreate this heat and pressure to make artificial diamonds.Full Answer >
A common process for mining diamonds is to remove and process kimberlite ore. Kimberlite ore can be found in underground mines and open pits and often contains a small amount of diamonds that must be separated from the ore. The process of mining can require several months or longer, depending on the size of the mine.Full Answer >
Diamonds are worn as jewelry and used in a variety of industrial applications. Diamond is the hardest natural substance in the world, and stones that are too small or do not have the requisite quality for jewelry mounting are often used as drill bits or ground into abrasive powder. Others become tools used to cut and polish gem-quality diamonds.Full Answer >
The best way to find a diamond is to look near a deep-source volcanic eruption. Diamonds are formed in the intense heat and pressure of the earth's mantle, and deep-source volcanic eruptions tear out pieces of the mantle, carrying them to the surface. There have been no deep-source eruptions since their identification, but diamonds are evidence of their existence.Full Answer >