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June 1, 2007 — Carbonados, black carbon formations that resemble diamonds, have been show to have a chemical spectrum that indicates they originated before the formation of the Earth; their high hydrogen content suggests they are from a star-like environment. Since this carbon is only found in two locations on our planet, it may have arrived via an asteroid.
Carbonados, or black diamonds, have long been a mystery. They're the oldest, toughest and rarest diamonds around. Now, some researchers have a theory about its origin, and it's out of this world, literally.
Traditional diamonds are formed deep in the earth and came to the surface through two volcano eruptions that happened 100 million and one billion years ago. Carbonados are older than 3.8 billion years. "They clearly did not form in the same way that conventional diamonds formed," Dr. Haggerty says.
Most diamonds can be found all over the world, but carbonados are only found in Brazil and Africa. Dr. Haggerty believes black diamonds came to earth during an asteroid event that struck when the two countries were still one continent. "Maybe it is a maverick, or a fringe idea, but no one has come up with an alternative," Dr. Haggerty says.
Carbonados have hydrogen in them, suggesting the diamonds formed in an environment, like a star. When examined under infrared radiation, researchers found a spectrum similar to a type of diamond that exists in space.