Jewellery That’s Out Of This World
Everyone admires the beauty of precious metals and fine gemstones but how many people realise that their treasured pieces may be literally out of this world? Some of the Earth’s most precious resources did not actually originate here which makes them all the more exciting to own. Whilst humankind attempts to venture deeper and deeper into outer space it turns out that material from the wider universe is already here.
The gold deposits on Earth did not form on this planet but were actually delivered here by meteor strikes. Natural processes should have left little gold close to the planet’s surface with the majority being deposited back into the Earth’s core and yet there are considerable volumes of gold on Earth. This fact prompted copious amount of research which revealed that 3.9 billion years ago the planet was impacted by a massive bombardment which formed the craters we can see on the moon and delivered our precious gold to us. 20 billion billion tons of material impacted our planet containing much of the precious metal we so value today.
Most diamonds are formed naturally on Earth but have a fascinating history. They are created deep in the planet’s mantle and only rise to the surface during deep-origin volcanic eruptions. Usually formed at a depth of 140 – 190 kilometres, diamonds can emerge from as deep as 300 kilometres as the eruptions reveal the Earth’s secret treasures. Such eruptions are highly uncommon hence the rarity and sparse distribution of diamonds. If you want to see and dig for diamonds yourself the one place you can do this is at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, USA. Here diamonds literally sit on the surface and for a small fee the public can search for the gems themselves and keep what they find too. The park sits on the site of an ancient volcano and some very impressive gems have been recovered over the years.
Whilst most diamonds are not extra-terrestrial it is now believed that some could be. Carbonado diamonds found mostly in South America and Africa may have been delivered to us by asteroid strikes some 3 billion years ago although there is no scientific agreement on exactly how these gems were formed. Research into the subject continues and it will be fascinating to see if these stones are from deep space!
A New Light
Knowing that some of the Earth’s most reassured material was delivered here from space certainly makes you look at jewellery in a different light. It somehow makes precious gems and metals seem all the more valuable and extraordinary and it is a sobering thought that if they were delivered here form space then there aren’t going to be any more unless we are struck again! The next time you look at your charm bracelet or earrings consider the origins of the materials and the incredible journey they went through to arrive in your jewellery box. This material has been with us for over 3 billion years but once it is gone it may never be replaced.
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business woman who divides her time between writing and running her bridal shop.