Diamonds aren't as rare as you might think, scientists say

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Why the Diamond Industry Hasn't Lost Its Sparkle


Diamonds are a girl's best friend — but they aren't as rare as you might think, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins University.

"Diamond formation in the deep Earth, the very deep Earth, may be a more common process than we thought," Johns Hopkins geochemist Dimitri A. Sverjensky, said in a news release.
But don't expect sales at Zales just yet.
The report, published today in Nature Communications, adds that the diamonds being formed are so deep into the Earth that they're virtually inaccessible.
These diamonds "are not necessarily the stuff of engagement rings," either, the report adds. In fact, most are microscopic, measuring just a few microns in diameter.

SEE MORE:Who cares about diamonds? This man proposed with a ring made from his wisdom tooth

The discovery, however, refutes common beliefs about how diamonds form from rock.
Until now, scientists believed that diamonds are formed through a "redox" reaction involving the movement of fluid by the oxidation of methane or the chemical reduction of carbon dioxide. Oxidation results in a gain of electrons.

The recent research proved that water, as it becomes more acidic, could produce diamonds while moving from one type of rock to another.

"The more people look, the more they're finding diamonds in different rock types now," Sverjensky added. "I think everybody would agree there's more and more environments of diamond formation being discovered."

See photos of a diamond deposit in Arkansas:

12 PHOTOS
Crater of diamonds state park
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Diamonds aren't as rare as you might think, scientists say
This June 24, 2015 handout photo provided by the Crater of Diamonds State Park Bobbie Oskarson holds the 8.52-carat diamond she found at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park at Murfreesboro. Park officials said Friday that the gem found by Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, is the fifth largest diamond found since the park was established in 1972. The park does not provide an estimate of the diamond's potential value. (Crater of Diamonds State Park via AP)
This June 24, 2015 handout photo provided by the Crater of Diamonds State Park shows a 8.52-carat diamond alongside an Arkansas commemorative quarter that includes a symbol of Arkansas's diamond site on it. Park officials said Friday that the gem found by Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, is the fifth largest diamond found since the park was established in 1972. The park does not provide an estimate of the diamond's potential value. (Crater of Diamonds State Park via AP)
This June 24, 2015 handout photo provided by the Crater of Diamonds State Park Bobbie Oskarson holds the 8.52-carat diamond she found at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park at Murfreesboro. Park officials said Friday that the gem found by Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, is the fifth largest diamond found since the park was established in 1972. The park does not provide an estimate of the diamond's potential value. (Crater of Diamonds State Park via AP)
Brian, left, and Amber Green, right, of Ward, Arkansas, visits the Crater of Diamonds State Park with their 4-year-old daughter, Alexia. (Photo by Allen Holder/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
Lucky fortune diamond hunters can find diamonds on or just below the surface at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Southwest Arkansas. (Photo by Allen Holder/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
People look for diamonds in 100-degree heat Wednesday, July 10, 2002, at Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Ark. The 37-acre dirt field that sits on the eroded top of a volcanic pipe, is the eighth-largest diamond deposit in the world. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Veteran diamond hunter James Archer, 77, of Nashville, Ark., uses a knife to scrape gravel as he searches for diamonds Wednesday, July 10, 2002, at Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Ark. Archer has found more than 2,000 of the gems, including a 5.25-carat diamond, in 33 years of searching. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas. (Photo by Michael Snell / Alamy)
Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas. (Photo by Michael Snell / Alamy)
Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas. (Photo by Michael Snell / Alamy)
A handful of real diamonds found at Crater of Diamonds State Park in southern Arkansas. (Photo by Michael Snell / Alamy)
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