How diamonds erupt from deep within Earth
Thanks to their hardness, durability, and rarity, diamonds are symbols of eternal love and wealth. A new analysis of how these gems emerge from the depths where they were forged billions of years ago suggests that they should also evoke images of diamond-studded fountains of gas and rock.
Almost all diamonds come from volcanic deposits called kimberlites. Tens of thousands of such deposits, some more than a kilometer across, have been found protruding through Earth's surface. However, only one in every 200 of them contains gem-quality diamonds. Increasingly, scientists are looking at kimberlites' odd mix of geological characteristics to discern how diamond deposits get