The Debunker: Do Diamonds Come from Coal?

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Thanks to the hard work of the Association of American State Geologists, the second week of October has been officially declared “Earth Science Week” every year since 1998. So we decided to have Jeopardy!’s rarest gem, Ken Jennings, school us on the hardest rock of them all: diamonds. Are they really forever? Are they a girl’s best friend? Let’s shed the cold, hard light of 10-carat truth onto some of these semiprecious superstitions.
The Debunker: Do Diamonds Come from Coal?
It’s one of Superman’s best tricks: hold a lump of coal in his soft, supple Kryptonian hands and casually compress it into a beautiful diamond. Lois Lane swoons. We nod appreciatively, dimly remembering from junior high that this is possible because diamonds are made of carbon, the same element that forms coal. Science!

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