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From Element to Riches

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From Element to Riches

A diamond in a sense is the most communal, elegantly, used jewel used in circulation today. Do people in actuality understand the concept and edifice of this mineral? A diamond is known as the hardest rock in existence and to most of the world it is a piece of jewelry, but do we know what the chemical composition of a rock and how is it formed?
A diamond in actuality is carbon in its most concentrated form. While a few diamonds may have trace impurities such as boron or nitrogen, most diamonds are composed mostly of carbon. Carbon is a chemical that is fundamental in the process of life and used in various amounts of ways on the Earths surface. In diamonds, carbon atoms share all four valance electrons with adjacent carbon atoms, which form a tetrahedral unit. The covalent bond that is formed in this process is responsible for many of the diamonds superlative properties. As a result of the highly symmetrical arrangement of eight atoms that are fundamentally arranged in a repeating structural unit diamond crystals can form a variety of different shapes known as crystal habits. The octahedron is the most common of these crystal habits, but others include cubes dodecahedra and combinations of theses shapes. All however, are manifestations of the cubic crystal system to which the mineral diamond belongs. Diamond crystals that are real do not have entirely smooth faces which can be seen in the trigons that reflect the subtle changes of height in the diamonds face. However some raised trigons that point the same direction as the crystal face can occur from dissolution, etching, and the crystals natural growth. Another notable property that the diamond is well known for is its hardness. Diamonds are the hardest substance known, receiving a ten on Moh’s hardness scale. While diamonds are not fragile or prone to breaking they can fracture or shatter. The best place for splitting a diamond is along one of its lines of cleavage as the crystal is know to have fewer chemical bonds on the plains of its octahedral face which allows for its perfect cleavage. Two of the most valued attributes of the diamond are its brilliance and luster, qualities obtained from the diamonds great ability to refract light. Light that passes through a diamond is reduced to approximately 77,000 mi...

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...uses such as super electronics, indomitable optical windows, and un-scatchable surfaces, to many more things that have yet to be thought up. This mineral is definitely a very unique and diverse substance, unmatched by any known to man. So while the diamond may be appealing to the eye, this beauty is one with depth and purpose far beyond that which meets the eye.

Bibliography

Bonsor, Kevin. “How Diamonds Work.” HowStuffWorks. 1 Dec. 2004. http://science.howstuffworks.com/diamonds.htm “Diamond.” BambooWeb Dictionary: Open Content Encyclopedia. 1 Dec. 2004. http://www.bambooweb.com/articles/d/di/Diamond.html

"Diamond." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Britannica Concise
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“The Nature of Diamonds.” American Museum of Natural History. 1 Dec. 2004. http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/diamonds/
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