Baltimore (410) 837-7373
Washington, D.C./Chevy Chase (301) 718-4825
Northern Virginia (703) 714-9553
Go Back
Diamonds

Where In The World Are Diamonds Found?

Jun 24, 2022

The Origination Of Diamonds: Location, Formation, & Purpose

These days, diamonds are everywhere. Not only that, but they serve multiple purposes. For some, diamonds are an aesthetic choice, meant to adorn a woman’s left ring finger, earrings, or neck. For others, diamonds are used for drill bits and saw blades because as one of the hardest materials, they can cut just about anything — including other jewels. But have you ever wondered where you can find diamonds? Join us for a brief history, science, and geography lesson about diamonds!

How are diamonds formed? 

So first off, the big one: how are diamonds made? Through a combination of incredible heat and pressure deep under the surface of the Earth, mixed with carbon atoms. The amount of pressure we’re talking about is approximately 60 elephants stacked on top of a single silver dollar. If you want to get technical, carbon atoms must be under 725,000 pounds of pressure per square inch at a temperature of over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. This mix of pressure, heat, and elements causes carbon atoms to rearrange themselves and form a natural diamond.

Cool, now we answered the question of how diamonds are formed. But if they’re way below the Earth’s surface, how did they end up in the hands of humans?

How did humans first discover diamonds? 

Volcanoes! Volcanic activity pushes diamonds to the surface, and along the way, they might mix with miniscule amounts of other minerals, like boron or radioactive uranium, to create fancy colored diamonds. Mother Nature does her job bringing diamonds to the Earth’s surface, and from there, it is up to humans to decide whether the diamond is suitable for jewelry or other applications. Fun fact: only a small portion of diamonds that make it to the Earth’s surface are actually suitable for jewelry!

When were diamonds first discovered? 

Now for the history portion of our lesson: as far as researchers can tell, diamonds date back to the 4th century BC in India. During that time period, diamonds were gathered from the country’s rivers and streams and transported along the Silk Road, a network of trade routes that connected China and India to Western Europe — that is, if they weren’t being used by members of India’s wealthy elite.

For many, diamonds served a practical purpose: they could refract light, engrave and cut metal, provide protection in battle, and some believed they could cure illnesses and heal wounds when ingested. It wasn’t until around the 1400s that diamonds became desirable accessories for European aristocracy.

Where can diamonds be found today?  

These days, diamonds tend to be found in places that have experienced volcanic activity in the past, including the ocean floor. The more we learn, the easier it becomes to predict locations for new diamond discoveries and today’s diamonds regularly come from Africa, Russia, Australia, and Canada — a long way from India and the Silk Road origins! With all that said, mining diamonds is no easy task: miners must move 250 tons of earth just to find a single carat.

Found in Botswana, the Lesedi la Rona diamond is up for auction and valued at $70 million.

Ethical Diamond Mining  

At Samuelson’s, we know that the ethics of diamond mining can be murky, which is why we strive to further the practice of sustainability by being thoughtful and intentional about how diamonds are used — such as when we acquire estate pieces and repurpose them into new designs.

If you’re interested in learning more about how diamonds are made or where diamonds are found, we’d love to share our knowledge! We’re also happy to share our collection of natural diamonds if you want to see what catches your eye. Call us today at (410) 837-0290 or contact us online to request an appointment with one of our certified experts today.

Read The Latest News From Samuelson's

Your Guide to Wallace Sterling Silver Flatware

Jun 26, 2024

Silver flatware is a prominent household feature that often gets passed down from one generation to the next. Wallace sterling silver is a leading historical name that has passed through many households while gaining value over time. If you’re interested…

Read More

Guide to Selling Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver

Jun 3, 2024

Since it first launched, Tiffany has been a leading name in fine jewelry, but jewelry isn’t all they sell. Tiffany sterling silver plays a central role in many products, ranging from jewelry and accessories all the way to flatware for the home. Let’s…

Read More

Guide to Selling David Yurman Jewelry

May 2, 2024

Some jewelry brands always stand out, and David Yurman jewelry thrills it's customers with every new release. Whether you have a single piece you’re ready to let go or you are eager to let your David Yurman collection meet a new owner, selling your…

Read More

The 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar: The Complete Guide

Apr 19, 2024

The 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar: The Complete Guide Some coins enter the world and change it forever, and the iconic 1964 Kennedy half dollar is one of them. Born from a shocking historical moment and designed to make sure we never forget, this coin is…

Read More

Stay In Touch

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Shopping Cart

Search