The slightly misshapen octahedral shape of this rough diamond crystal in matrix is typical of the mineral. Its lustrous faces also indicate that this crystal is from a primary deposit.
|Formula mass||12.01 g⋅mol−1|
|Color||Typically yellow, brown or gray to colorless. Less often blue, green, black, translucent white, pink, violet, orange, purple and red.|
|Crystal system||Isometric-Hexoctahedral (Cubic)|
|Twinning||Spinel law common (yielding "macle")|
|Cleavage||111 (perfect in four directions)|
|Mohs scale hardness||10 (defining mineral)|
|Diaphaneity||Transparent to subtransparent to translucent|
|Refractive index||2.418 (at 500 nm)|
|Melting point||Pressure dependent|
Diamonds have the highest hardness of any bulk (all one type) material. Because of this, many important industries use diamonds as tools for cutting and polishing things. Many of them are clear, but some of them have colors, like yellow, red, blue, green and pink. Diamonds of a different color are called "fancies".
Big diamonds are very rare, and are worth a lot of money. Only 20% of diamonds are fit for jewelry. The other 80% are not pretty enough. They are industrial diamonds, used to make things like drill bits and diamond saws. This is because even a diamond that is not beautiful is useful because It is very hard..
There are natural and synthetic diamonds. The earth makes natural diamonds. People make synthetic diamonds but they are very small because they grow slowly. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance known to man. Diamonds are made of pure carbon, the same chemical element as graphite, fullerene, and coal. But diamonds are very hard and in crystalline form. It is commonly believed that diamonds are formed from coal, but this is not true.
Because many diamonds are beautiful, people make jewellery using them. Diamonds are very effective electrical insulators, but also very good conductors of heat. On mohs scale of mineral hardness, diamonds are scored as 10 (the highest score possible).
Diamonds are made deep in the earth, where there is an intense amount of pressure and heat that makes the diamond form. The intense heat and pressure is forming the liquid ore to make volcanic eruptions which surfaces and becomes diamond crystals. (This makes the diamond a metamorphic rock.) Sometimes magma (very hot, liquid rock deep in the earth) having diamonds will come near the top of a volcano. People find diamonds where volcanoes were a long time ago. Sometimes people find diamonds on the top of the ground. But in places like South Africa, they must dig deep down into a diamond mine to get diamonds. Diamonds were first found in India.
Trading in diamonds[change | change source]
For many decades the trading of diamonds has been controlled by the De Beers group of companies. It is fairly well known that diamonds are not rare, but are stockpiled so that the price never goes down. It is not quite a monopoly, because some mines are not owned by De Beers, but the group has companies all over the world which work together to manipulate the market.
References[change | change source]
Other websites[change | change source]
|The Simple English Wiktionary has a definition for: diamond.|
- Media related to Diamond at Wikimedia Commons
- Properties of diamond: Ioffe database
- Interactive structure of bulk diamond (Java applet)
- Epstein, Edward Jay (1982). The diamond invention (Complete book, includes "Chapter 20: Have you ever tried to sell a diamond?")
- "A Contribution to the Understanding of Blue Fluorescence on the Appearance of Diamonds". (2007) Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
- Tyson, Peter (November 2000). "Diamonds in the Sky". Retrieved March 10, 2005.