Diamonds

Diamonds may be dazzling, but there's more to them than their appearance.  They are some of the oldest crystals on Earth and there are diamonds in space that are even older.  Discover what diamonds can reveal about our solar system and how their amazing natural properties are put to use. 

  • Diamond is formed in huge pressure and heat, deep within the Earth
    How diamonds are formed and found

    Find out about the formation of diamonds, a process that involves intense heat, crushing pressure, and the passage of millions of years.  

  • The Allende meteorite contains diamond formations which can be seen with a microscope
    Diamonds from space

    Could diamonds give us a glimpse of the universe before our solar system was born? Find out about scientists' research on diamonds that fall to Earth in meteorites.

  • A cut diamond with a large violet-red garnet inclusion
    How old are diamonds?

    Diamonds could have formed as early as the first continents on Earth, around 3.3 billion years ago. But how do scientists know this? And can they be sure?

  • A tray of diamond heat spreaders.
    Properties of diamonds

    Diamonds are the hardest natural substances on earth and the most transparent. Find out how these special properties can be used in communications, engineering and even medicine.

  • The Aurora Pyramid of Hope © Alan Bronstein and Harry Rodman /  Aurora Gems, New York.
    Diamonds at the Museum

    The Vault gallery at the Museum includes a rare collection of 296 naturally coloured diamonds, not to mention a wide range of other gemstones.