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Diamond

Stones - Information from Wikipedia

Diamond:-

DiamondIn mineralogy, diamond (from the ancient Greek adamas "unbreakable") is a metastable allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face centred cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at standard conditions. Diamond is renowned as a material with superlative physical qualities, most of which originate from the strong covalent bonding between its atoms. In particular, diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material. Those properties determine the major industrial application of diamond in cutting and polishing tools and the scientific applications in diamond knives and diamond anvil cells. Diamonds have been known in India for at least 3,000 years but most likely 6000 years. Diamonds have been treasured as gemstones since their use as religious icons in ancient India. Their usage in engraving tools also dates to early human history. The popularity of diamonds has risen since the 19th century because of increased supply, improved cutting and polishing techniques, growth in the world economy, and innovative and successful advertising campaigns. The most familiar use of diamonds today is as gemstones used for jewellery, a use which dates back into antiquity. The dispersion of white light into spectral colours is the primary geological characteristic of gem diamonds. In the 20th century, experts in gemmology have developed methods of grading diamonds and other gemstones based on the characteristics most important to their value as a gem. Four characteristics, known informally as the four Cs, are now commonly used as the basic descriptors of diamonds: these are carat, cut, colour, and clarity. A large, flawless diamond is known as a paragon. Diamond-bearing rock is carried from the mantle to the Earth's surface by deep-origin volcanic eruptions. Once diamonds have been transported to the surface by magma in a volcanic pipe, they may erode out and be distributed over a large area. A volcanic pipe containing diamonds is known as a primary source of diamonds. Secondary sources of diamonds include all areas where a significant number of diamonds have been eroded out of their kimberlite or lamproite matrix, and accumulated because of water or wind action. These include alluvial deposits and deposits along existing and ancient shorelines, where loose diamonds tend to accumulate because of their size and density. Diamonds have also rarely been found in deposits left behind by glaciers (notably in Wisconsin and Indiana); in contrast to alluvial deposits, glacial deposits are minor and are therefore not viable commercial sources of diamond. Roughly 49% of diamonds originate from Central and Southern Africa, although significant sources of the mineral have been discovered in Canada, India, Russia, Brazil, and Australia.

 

 

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