Scientists Successfully Create Diamonds in Minutes at Room Temperature

The hardest naturally occurring mineral is a woman's best friend but that it takes billions of years to form makes it one of the most precious elements on the planet.

Since the late 19th and early 20th century, many scientists focused on making diamonds in the lab as the mineral had real industrial use and using naturally occurring ones would have cost more.

By applying pressure equivalent to "640 African elephants on the tip of a ballet shoe", scientists managed to create two synthetic diamonds— lonsdaleite and gem-grade diamonds.

We think this allows the carbon atoms to move into place and form lonsdaleite and regular diamond," Jodie Bradby, lead author of the study and a physics professor at ANU said .

When the team used advanced electron microscopy to better understand the process, they found that regular diamonds formed in the middle of lonsdaleite veins.

"Seeing these little rivers of lonsdaleite and regular diamond for the first time was just amazing and really helps us understand how they might form," said Professor Dougal McCulloch, co-lead author of the study.

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