Originating from the Greek word adamas, used to describe the hardest substance known to man, diamonds are formed from atoms of carbon subjected to extreme pressure and temperature. It is a common misconception that diamonds take hundreds of years to form. In fact, the stones themselves are formed relatively quickly — the invention of synthetic diamonds suggests the actual process take approximately two weeks. It is the journey from the inner layers of the earth to a level that can be mined which takes billions of years.