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It's been said that diamonds are forever — probably because "diamonds are billion-year-old mutant rocks exposed to many lifetimes of crushing pressures and scorching temperatures in Earth's deep mantle" doesn't have the same snappy ring to it.
Either way, it takes a long, long time for a chunk of carbon to crystallize into a sparkling diamond — so long, in fact, that scientists aren't positive how they're made. One popular theory maintains that many diamonds form when slabs of seabed (part of an oceanic plate) grind underneath continental plates at so-called tectonic subduction zones. During the process, the oceanic plate and all the minerals at the bottom of the sea plunge hundreds of miles into Earth's mantle, where they slowly crystallize under high temperatures and pressures tens of thousands of times greater than those on the surface. Eventually, these crystals mix in with volcanic magma called kimberlite and burst onto the planet's surface as diamonds.
Diamonds - Paraphernalia - Diamonds - Deposits - Salt
Unlike most diamonds that end up in wedding paraphernalia, fibrous diamonds are clouded with little deposits of salt, potassium and other substances. They're less valuable to jewelers, but arguably more valuable to scientists looking to uncover their underground origins.
"There was a theory that the salts trapped inside diamonds came from marine seawater, but it couldn't be tested," Michael Förster, a professor at Macquarie University in Australia and lead author of the new study, said in a statement.
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