It’s hard to imagine something harder than diamonds, but researchers have found it. A meteorite was recently discovered to have carbon material with a consistency harder than diamonds. The rock was found in Finland in 1971 after falling to earth. As researchers polished it recently, they were surprised to see raised surfaces in its face. These surfaces remained after a diamond-filled paste was used to sand it down. The resilience of the raised surfaces against the diamonds proved to be something more than mere carbon.
The meteorite’s diamonds may not be suitable for a ring or necklace, but they are a telling find for geologists. “The discovery was accidental but we were sure that looking in these meteorites would lead to new findings on the carbon system,” said Tristan Ferroir of the Universite de Lyon in France.
Scientists speculate that these meteorite-bound diamonds were created in a similar fashion to man-made diamonds. The diamonds were created in a process similar to that of synthetic diamonds including intense head and exponential pressure. Scientists predicted the existence of these ultra-hard diamonds many years ago but they had never found the evidence in nature.
These “space diamonds” give geologists and gemologists invaluable information that will help in the manufacturing of diamonds for use in the consumer gem market.