Diamonds and coal are made from the same substance, carbon. They are both formed by heat and pressure, but the results are very, very different.
Coal burns and can be a source of energy, though it is not a very clean source of energy because it’s full of impurities. Diamonds have few impurities and won’t burn.
Diamonds on the other hand are among the hardest substances. They can be used in industrial applications for cutting metal and similar uses because they are so hard and immutable.
Coal is soft and combustible. Coal is dirty and rubs off everywhere.
Diamonds are clean, translucent, rare and beautiful. Diamonds are highly valued, while coal is something we would rather not use if we had other choices, even for burning up in a fire.
Coal is formed relatively near to the surface of the Earth, while diamonds are formed deep within the Earth. Diamonds and coal are both formed by heat and pressure. The difference is in degree.
Diamonds are subject to much greater heat and much greater pressure over a much greater length of time. Coal forms relatively more quickly under less heat and less pressure, and the result is that coal is full of impurities and still combustible.
Scientists don’t actually know exactly how diamonds are formed, but perhaps the greater heat burns away the impurities, and the greater pressure produces the hardness, resiliency, translucence and beauty.
I have heard that diamonds form from coal, but they don’t. Though diamonds and coal do form from the same substance – carbon – one doesn’t form from the other. Carbon can be formed into diamonds, or it can be formed into coal. It’s one or the other.
These facts that I have taken some time to gather in relation to diamonds and coal prompt a question: Would you rather be a diamond or a lump of coal?