Diamonds and Coal
Date: March 2001
Diamonds and coal are made from the same material -
carbon. Is it probable or possible to find them in the same location?
It is highly improbable. Diamonds are made under conditions of extreme
temperature and pressure in the earth's mantle. Coal is made by compaction
of dead vegetation near the surface of the earth. If coal were to be
transported to the earth's mantle, some of it may be transformed to diamond,
but then it would no longer be coal.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
Somewhere in the NEWTON archive is a question about
diamonds and coal that I answered some time ago.
You may want to take a look at that also.
Diamonds are not likely to be found with coal (although it
is theoretically possible), because diamonds are created
from virtually pure graphite (carbon) and tremendous pressure.
Coal has significant impurities (having resulted from
decayed organic material it is not pure carbon) and
normally resulted from less pressure.
David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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Update: June 2012