Diamonds do not come from coal

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36 Responses to “Diamonds do not come from coal”

  1. jonnygoldstein says:

    What about human created diamonds? What do they make them out of?

  2. Listener43 says:

    F*cking diamonds! How do they get made?

  3. Diamonds are the hardest natural material, so nope… nothing smushed about them. However, if struck at *certain* angles, they can crack. 

    @jonnygoldstein You are probably thinking of cubic zirconia re: “human created” diamonds. Those are made out of zirconium dioxide. There are other, newer ways to recreate diamonds artificially, too. 

    • GlyphGryph says:

      I’m pretty sure he was asking about the actual man-made diamonds, not the cubic zirconia type non-diamonds. I’m actually pretty interested myself in the state of the carbon they use for the process.

      Though, really, let’s be honest – diamonds are just inferior moissanite in every way except pure hardness, and moissanite is pretty competitive there too.

    • zish says:

      Wurtzite boron nitride FTW!
      I think graphene is more durable than diamonds, albeit discovery of it’s strength is fairly recent.

  4. pupdog says:

    So what Ferris Bueller told us about Cameron and the piece of coal isn’t true? John Hughes lied to me? What else do I have to question now?

  5. pishabh says:

    Hollywood told me that diamond was made from blood

  6. Rob Cockerham says:

    Diamonds are made of highly-organized, super-tightly packed molecules of marketing.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Amethysts were valued as highly as diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires until somebody found an endless supply in Brazil.

  7. ImmutableMichael says:

    So the sign promising “organic diamonds” was a lie?

  8. MonkeyBoy says:

    Some scientists think the carbon is stuff that’s existed in the Earth since this planet was formed.

    Careful there – you are nearing the theory of Abiogenic petroleum,  a crackpot theory favored by Creationists and Peak Oil deniers that the petroleum in the earth was formed at the earth’s creation and is slowly seeping up and will never run out.

    While coal comes from land plants, petroleum comes from ocean algae which has been around longer and may have been subducted.

    • Halloween_Jack says:

       Uh, I really don’t think that that’s where Maggie was going; even without believing in abiogenic petroleum, obviously there had to be carbon on earth before there was life, and it wasn’t all necessarily distributed on the earth’s surface.

    • Mark Dow says:

      Thomas Gold was a scientist, a long shot away from a crackpot.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gold

      • MonkeyBoy says:

        “Thomas Gold was a scientist, a long shot away from a crackpot.”

        Just because someone is recognized as a scientist doesn’t mean that they cannot be crackpots. Would you like examples of crazy scientists?

        Currently all advocates of “abiogenic petroleum” are crackpots or have a hidden agenda.

        Your wikipidia link reads as a puff piece that fail to mention how ridiculous many of his theories are and how they were derided at the time he proposed them, as well as barely mentioning his plagiarism issues.

        As one small example, consider his theory that coal is made by bacteria from the methane that flows underground, as opposed to being fossilized plants. This flies in the face of coal containing fossils of recognizable plants.

        • Mark Dow says:

          I don’t have a hardened opinion or expertise with respect to origins of various hydrocarbons. I was just pointing out that Tommy Gold was a scientist to the bone. He held some unorthodox views; some held up, some didn’t. He was a scientist long enough to shift or let go when evidence contradicted those views, go out on a limb when there were interesting possibilities, and to do the work to support his views. 

          I know enough about his work on origins of hydrocarbons to recognize  that “…petroleum in the earth was formed at the earth’s creation and is slowly seeping up…” is a misrepresentation of his viewpoints and work. He would not deny that coal often contains fossils of recognizable plants. I’ve met him, read some of his work, used scientific facilities he helped develop and managed and have seen him speak. It’s a good bet he was more careful, rigorous, rational and reasonable (able to be reasoned with) than you, but I’m guessing he wouldn’t give you the time of day unless you had something to say he hadn’t heard or thought about before.

          It’s fine to call him crazy and a crackpot, MonkeyBoy. This brand of criticism was freely expressed when he was able to defend himself. But I’m not going to let it go by without mentioning that he was a scientist.

  9. Jake0748 says:

    I liked the part where Superman crushed the lump of coal and when the diamond came out it was already cut and polished perfectly!  

  10. Antinous / Moderator says:

    CS Lewis covered this in The Silver Chair.

  11. Halloween_Jack says:

    Probably the diamonds-from-coal trope came from the fact that both are mined, and that you have the image of the precious mineral being created directly from the common fuel. Plus, as already mentioned, Superman creating one directly from the other has been a recurring theme in comics until relatively recently. 

  12. penguinchris says:

    I feel like I should have something intelligent to add, but I got a B- in mineralogy and a C in petrology and have avoided the topic in subsequent courses and research. But I do remember a lot about kimberlite pipes, where most African diamonds come from, which are pretty cool as far as geology goes and the ones in Africa have unbelievably deep mines going into them (they are also often excavated as open-pit mines creating the deepest man-made holes in the ground in the world).

    Also, the professor who gave me a C (and who gave me a 6/100 on one of the exams) showed me some of the exceedingly rare rocks from his research in his office, including ones chock-full of (non-gem-quality) diamonds that formed in the mantle. There are very few ways for rocks to come to the surface intact from the mantle (without being metamorphasized) which is why there’s so little known about this stuff.

  13. Nezrite says:

    So why isn’t Diablo surrounded by diamonds, Blizzard?  GOD I hate inaccuracies in my fantasies!

  14. Maggie, I love that you keep hittin me this way. Gimme more.

  15. sockdoll says:

    And natural pearls don’t form around a grain of sand that’s irritating an oyster.

    • I learned that this weekend at the jeweler! It’s a little worm that gets in, and the oyster reacts to the foreign protein.
      As the jeweler said, there’s a lot of sand around where oysters live.

  16. Goran Petrov says:

    one does not simply walk into a natural diamonds creation facility.

  17. Well my science teacher had never told me that, thanks for clarifying it.

  18. Mari Lwyd says:

    I learned of this from the Hunger Games, I shit thou not. HG claims diamonds are made from graphite.

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