Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Carbonados - Diamonds from the Sky

So excited, checking the mailbox every day for my diamonds from the sky.... well, from the sky via my diamond-guy:)

So what are they and why are they so exciting, well Wikipedia and Science Daily helped me to put the puzzle together:

Carbonados, often called black diamonds, a black carbon formation that resemble diamonds, have been show to have a chemical spectrum that indicates they originated before the formation of the Earth; their high hydrogen content suggests they are from a star-like environment. Since this carbon is only found in two locations on our planet, the Central African republic and in Brazil they may have arrived via an asteroid!!!!!

The term "carbonado" was coined by Portuguese in Brazil in the mid 18th century because it resembles porous charcoal. Carbonado diamonds are so tough that it took a 20-ton hydraulic press to break one. This means it is almost impossible to work carbonado into jewelry settings, since they are too hard to be polished or cut -- except with another carbonado. They get their hardness from their structure. While conventional diamonds are cut from a single crystal that breaks easily along a natural line, carbonados are made of millions of small crystals stuck together. Carbonados were first used to polish Brazilian hardwood before transporting it to Europe. In 1905 it was used to drill the rocks for the Panama Canal.

The origin of carbonado is controversial. Some proposed hypotheses are as follows:
1. Direct conversion of organic carbon under high-pressure conditions in the Earth's interior, the most common hypothesis for diamond formation
2. Shock metamorphism induced by meteoritic impact at the Earth's surface
3. Radiation-induced diamond formation by spontaneous fission of uranium and thorium
4. An origin in interstellar space.

None of these hypotheses for carbonado formation was generally accepted in the scientific literature by 2008.

Dr. Stephen Haggerty, a geoscientist from Florida International University, in the attached video, proposes that their material source was a supernova which occurred at least 3.8 billion years ago. After coalescing and drifting through outer space for about one and a half billion years, a large mass fell to earth as a meteor approximately 2.3 billion years ago, possibly fragmenting during entry into the earth's atmosphere, and impacting in a region which would much later split into Brazil and the Central African Republic, the only two known locations of carbonado deposits. Wow!
SO, to sum it up, Black Diamond also known as Carbonado is one of the most rare and most expensive diamonds that are existing on earth. Based from the experts black diamond was occur in irregular or rounded fragments, rarely distinctly crystallized, with a texture varying from compact to porous. Its natural colour is black or dark grey, and it is more porous than other diamonds. Can't wait to make my (the???) first eco-friendly carbonado ring!!! And they are conflict free, Brazil is part of the UN mandated Kimberly system of warranties

Meanwhile, back at the farm, it has been raining and raining and raining and I have been busy making rings, like this one , and this one

And awesome Natural Awakenings Magazine, gave me a shout wahoo!

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