The 3-billion-year-old Okavango diamond has a unique blue color thanks to plate tectonics

The oval-shaped blue diamond weighing 20.46 carats is one of the rarest diamonds in the world. Named the “Okavango Blue Diamond,” it was discovered in the Oraba mine in Botswana, and it holds many secrets about our land with its strange sky-blue color.

“From the first moment we saw the diamond, it was clear that we had something very special,” said Markus ter Haar of Okavango Diamond Company. statement. “Everyone who saw the 20-carat polished diamond was amazed by its unique colour, which many saw as different from any blue stone they had seen before. It is incredibly unusual for a stone of this color and nature to come from Botswana – a discovery that only happens once in a year.” the age.

The diamond is believed to have come from about 668 kilometers (415 miles) underground, according to reports PopSci. This depth is where boron is not commonly found, yet the Okavango diamond is full of it. It contains more boron than nitrogen, which is a more common element in the environment and typically contains the largest share of most diamonds.

To some extent, the Okavango blue is related to the Big Blue, as it is believed that boron was able to reach deep into the Earth as a result of the collision of tectonic plates, sending one underground and taking the boron with it from the ocean. It all happened wonderfully Three billion years ago. It’s a process known as subduction, and it’s a process we’re learning more about through rare and distinctive gemstones like the Okavango blue diamond.

It was declared a “once in a lifetime find” after being discovered by the government-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) in Botswana. As a rough stone, it weighed 41.11 carats, but as a cut diamond, it is now graded as an LLB “Fancy Deep Blue” type and a brilliant oval cut, one of the highest polished color ratings that can be given to a blue diamond.

These stones are only found in certain mines around the world, because the gemstones here share a geological history that contributed to their color. Diamonds are usually colorless due to the fusion of carbon atoms, but impurities can give them different colors.

Colored diamonds are rare, accounting for about 0.01 percent – ​​one in every 10,000 – of diamonds mined across the planet. Blue, pink, green, violet, orange and red are the rarest of all, while yellow and brown are slightly more common.

Polished Okavango diamonds

Diamond in its polished form.

Image source: Okavango Diamond Company

The title of the world’s most expensive diamond may be about to go to a hunk of pink carbon called the ‘Lulu Rose’. Like the Okavango diamond, it comes from a mine where many other rocks of the same color have been discovered, but here it is the result of continental expansion and its occasional flow on the surface.

We’re learning more and more about diamond’s formation and distribution over time, and recent discovery about how it travels to the surface may help us find it. Of course, if you can’t find one, you can always turn to one.

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