“Diamonds” – When we hear this word, the first thing comes to our mind is its sparkling beauty followed by its cost, and also Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blood Diamond movie. Why Diamonds are so costly? Why it is very special? What exactly it is? This Article is going to deal with all these questions and many!!!
The word “Diamond” comes from the Greek word “Adamas” and means “unconquerable and indestructible”. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on Earth. The diamond is a birthstone for people born in the month of April. The Earth is estimated at 4.5 billion years old. The oldest diamonds are believed to have been crystallized around 3.3 Billion years ago.
How Diamonds Form
The formation of natural diamond requires very specific conditions—exposure of carbon-bearing materials to high pressure, ranging approximately between 45 and 60 kilobars, but at a comparatively low temperature range between approximately 900 and 1,300 °C. These conditions are met in two places on Earth; in the lithospheric mantle below relatively stable continental plates, and at the site of a meteorite strike.
Geologists believe that the diamonds in all of Earth’s commercial diamond deposits were formed in the mantle and delivered to the surface by deep-source volcanic eruptions.
Reason Behind Its Crystalline Structure
Diamonds form about 100 miles below ground and have been carried to the earth’s surface by deep volcanic eruptions.
Under the immense heat and pressure far below the earth’s surface, the carbon atoms bond in a unique way that results in diamonds’ beautiful and rare crystalline structure.
Properties of Diamonds
Diamond has a hardness of 10 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, with 1 being the softest (talc) and 10 being the hardest.
Diamond is the best known thermal conductor (heat transfer) among naturally occurring substances.
Under the normal pressures and temperatures we experience on the Earth’s surface, diamonds are actually thermodynamically unstable, slowly transforming into graphite. But it is too slow for humans to notice.
Diamond has a high specific gravity. A diamond does not conduct electricity well (it is a semiconductor), but conducts heat extremely well. At a high enough temperature in the presence of oxygen, diamond can burn.
Diamond has a high refractive index (2.417) and moderate dispersion (0.044) properties which give cut diamonds their brilliance.
What Diamonds Are Made Of
Diamonds are made out of the element carbon. So, all the atoms in a diamond are alike. Each one is bonded to four neighboring carbons, each exactly the same distance away. Once they get put together that way, it is very difficult to move them around. So, a diamond is one of the hardest substances we have.
Diamond is the most concentrated form of pure carbon in the natural world and the strongest mineral on Earth, far exceeding other carbon allotropes such as graphite and fullerite. The secret to diamond’s superior strength is found on the molecular level.
In Ancient Times
The ancient Romans and Greeks believed that diamonds were tears cried by the gods or splinters from falling stars, and Romans believed that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamonds.
Ancient Hindus used diamonds in the eyes of devotional statues, and believed that a diamond could protect its wearer from danger. Most diamonds found in nature are between one to three billion years old.
Sources of Diamonds
The countries that are the main sources of diamonds have changed over time. India was the world’s original source of diamonds, beginning in the 1400s when Indian diamonds began to be sold in Venice and other European trade centers. Then in the 1700s India’s diamond supplies declined and Brazil became the world’s major source of diamonds, until the late 1800s when a huge diamond reserve was discovered in South Africa.
The U.S. is the world’s largest diamond market. Although the U.S. accounts for less than one-percent of total global gemstone production, America buys more than half of the world’s total gem quality diamonds.
Interesting Facts About Diamonds
The Kohinoor is one of the oldest and most famous diamonds in the world. The history of the Kohinoor goes back in history to more than 5000 years ago.
The diamond was first owned by the Kakatiya dynasty, which had installed it in a temple of a Hindu goddess as her eye.
Today, the diamond is set in the front of The Queen Mother’s Crown, part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, and is seen by millions of visitors to the Tower of London each year.
The 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond was found in South Africa in 1905 and cut into nine separate stones, many of which are in the British Crown Jewels.
In November 2015, the world’s second-largest gem quality diamond has been discovered in Botswana. The 1,111-carat stone was recovered from its Karowe mine.
Diamonds occur in a variety of colors—steel gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown, and black.
Colored diamonds contain interstitial impurities or structural defects that cause the coloration, whilst pure diamonds are perfectly transparent and colorless.
Surat is a major hub of diamond cutting and polishing. Gujarati diamond cutters, emigrating from East Africa, established the industry in 1901.
By the 1970s, Surat-based diamond cutters began exporting stones to the US for the first time. Surat is known as diamond heart of world.