The word diamond is derived from the Greek word adamas, meaning “unbreakable” or “indestructible”. The definition of diamond is “a pure or nearly pure, extremely hard form of carbon, naturally crystallized in the isometric system”. These carbon formations are formed deep within the Earth’s mantle, at the site of a meteorite strike, or in space and then transferred to the Earth by asteroids. Since meteorite and asteroid strikes are not terribly common, the majority of these stones come from the Earth. Wherever they are formed, the conditions must be very specific. Carbon-bearing minerals in the Earth’s mantle are subjected to extremely high temperature and pressure, and over long periods of time, will become crystallized. This process can take up to one billion years or more. The diamond is then forced toward the Earth’s surface along with magma from deep volcanic eruptions. The magma travels through volcanic pipes and cools into igneous rock close to the Earth’s surface. Some diamonds are expelled by the pipes and may be washed further away by running waters.These volcanic pipes, riverbeds and beaches become mining sites for diamond trading companies, who then determine whether a diamond is gem quality or only appropriate for industrial use.
Carbon Periodic Table Block
Earth Core Layers Diagram
Diamonds have long been the most popular of all precious stones. First mined in India, they were revered as religious icons. Today they grace all kinds of jewelry. Engagement rings and wedding bands are typically worn on a daily basis, and the diamond’s durability and ability to maintain its polish make it an obvious choice. A gem-grade diamond will be assessed by grading four major characteristics, or the “4Cs”; carat, clarity, color & cut. Carat is the measurement of the actual weight of the diamond. Clarity is gauged with regard to the number of flaws or imperfections in the diamond, with “flawless” being the most ideal. The purest of these gemstones are colorless, although the majority is yellow or brown in color. Other colors are naturally occurring due to impurities and irradiation among other things. The resulting “fancy colored” stones can be blue, green, black, pink, orange, purple and red. A diamond’s brilliance depends greatly on its cut and there has been much recent improvement in cutting procedures to maximize a diamond’s light performance. The interest in ideal cut diamonds
indicates that more and more consumers are also educating themselves on the cut quality of the stones they are considering buying.
Volcano Eruption Multi Layer Diagram
If a diamond is not of gem quality, it will be relegated to a more industrial function. It is believed that diamonds were used by early humans as cutting tools. They are the hardest natural material on Earth, according to the Moh’s scale of mineral hardness, and most can only be scratched or marred by another diamond. Because of this property the material is used in powder form as an abrasive and also placed in many tools used for cutting and drilling. Diamonds are also valuable for their thermal conductivity. They are used in various computer and electronic applications, and the possibility of using them as semiconductors in microchips could widen the prospects for their industrial use.
Consider for a moment the time it takes a diamond to form, the exact conditions that need to be met, the arduous path to become accessible for mining, the digging, the recovery, inspection and valuation processes. Combine these with the beautiful brilliance of a diamond’s refractive light performance and its strength and durability, and it’s no wonder they are so highly valued and sought after.