As we all know, a huge selling point of diamonds has been the old refrain, “Diamonds are forever.” Countless songs and ad campaigns have heralded sentiments along these lines for decades. Fiscally, this proves untrue, as the price of diamonds is artificially inflated. But what about chemically and physically? Do diamonds really last forever?
Diamonds are made from compressed carbon molecules that have been pressurized by the weight of the earth for hundreds of years. According to gem curator Dr. George E. Harlow at the American Museum of Natural History, ancient diamonds form eight-sided crystals during their billion-year creation process. Since the earth is constantly shifting and changing, the crystals may incorporate other other minerals or get a little squished as they make their way towards the surface of the planet. As such, the bonds in the gems dissolve and reform many times throughout the process, and tiny cavities can form, causing the diamonds to take on blue or pink hues.
Once the diamonds reach the surface of the Earth, they’ll remain exactly as they are. Diamonds are incredibly stable at low temperatures. So, yes, diamonds are forever, but only after the Earth is done making them.