Diamonds are forever expensive. Planet Earth’s insatiable appetite for diamonds continues to go rampant. Despite the increase of annual diamond production, prices for gem-quality diamonds are still soaring higher and higher. DeBeers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto, Diavik, and other diamond mining companies are having a hard time producing enough supply to keep up with the world’s ravenous craving for this precious gem.
The demand for diamonds is so great that scientists are now forced to synthetically create gem-quality diamonds at a very prohibitively high cost of $2,500 or more per carat. It only takes around $60 to mine for natural diamonds but, despite the advances of technology, mining companies can only produce 26,000 kilograms of diamonds every year. Although very costly, around 100,000 kilograms of synthetic diamonds are also being made annually just to cool down this overheated market.
This short supply problem will be over soon, Dr. Kevin Baines of NASA’S Jet Propulsion Laboratory, recently published a scientific paper claiming that Saturn is having massive “diamond rains.” While some naysayers questioned Baines’ theory, more planetary scientists actually agreed with his observation. Baines made this disclosure during the Division for Planetary Sciences that was held in Denver last October 6-11, 2013.
Baines says his theory is all based on simple chemistry. It is already established that Saturn’s atmosphere is mostly made up of methane and hydrogen. Therefore, when Saturn experiences lightning storms, the lightning fries the methane, producing pure hydrogen and burnt carbon or soot. These huge clouds of soot eventually falls down, and when they do, the pressure forces them to clump up together to form graphite. The extreme pressure gets more intense as they fall nearer towards the land mass of Saturn, these graphite rocks are compressed or forged into pure diamonds.
This rain of diamonds is fascinating and yet totally believable. We all know Earth’s diamonds are made from high pressure volcanic frying of carbon deep inside our planet. Baines estimate that Saturn is producing at least 1,000 tons of diamonds every year. He also said the average size of those diamonds is probably way larger than what we can find here on Earth.
Diamond industry leaders are therefore already scheming on how they can get those million-kilograms of gem-quality diamonds. Plans are already being dreamed up of sending diamond-mining specialist robots to Saturn. Take note, NASA has already sent observer robots to Mars. The advances of technology within the next two decades will enable humans to successfully send robots to Saturn as well.
Experts are already saying that the cost of sending robot miners to Saturn will prove to be more economical than the current cost of making synthetic diamonds. The planet’s supply of natural diamonds, like oil, will soon be exhausted maybe within 50 years. Robot mining Saturn’s diamond rains is therefore a great idea to keep humans’ addiction to diamonds properly satisfied.
Due to the great advertising tactics of DeBeers, almost all weddings are now preceded by a diamond engagement ring. Not only Hollywood stars or millionaire rappers love their bling bling. Even ordinary guys have to cough up $5,000 or more just to buy a decent diamond engagement ring so that he can propose to his girlfriend.
Diamond-adorned rings and other jewelry have an estimated total retail annual revenue of $57 billion. This huge market opportunity is enough inspiration for capitalists to really come up with a robot spaceship that is capable of catching all those diamond rains in Saturn. Due to the high pressure of that planet (100,000 times greater than Earth’s sea level), those diamonds will melt once they hit Saturn’s ground surface. DeBeers probably does not like seeing that many diamonds going to waste. It is more than likely that they are probably willing to spend $100 billion just to develop and build a spaceship robot that can get all those diamonds on Saturn.