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Rough diamond.jpg
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.
Category Native Minerals
Chemical formula C
Molecular Weight 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 habit Octahedral
Crystal system Isometric-Hexoctahedral (Cubic)
Twinning Spinel law common (yielding "macle")
Cleavage 111 (perfect in four directions)
Fracture Conchoidal (shell-like)
Mohs Scale hardness 10
Luster Adamantine
Polish luster Adamantine
Refractive index 2.418 (at 500 nm)
Optical Properties Isotropic

A diamond (from the ancient Greek αδάμας – adámas "unbreakable") is a re-arrangement of carbon atoms; those are also called allotropes.

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. This is because a diamond is very beautiful and also useful. It is very hard and it spreads light very well.

There are natural and synthetic diamonds. The earth makes natural diamonds. People make synthetic diamonds. 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 there are some mines not owned by De Beers, but the group has companies all over the world which work together to maniulates the market.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Epstein, Edward Jay 1982. The diamond invention (Complete book, includes Chapter 20: Have you ever tried to sell a diamond?)

Other websites[change | change source]