The Diamond Essay

The Diamond Essay

Length: 1321 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Diamond

Diamond is the best known gem. It is known as the “king of gems” for its brilliance and for being the hardest mineral on earth. (Foa, p.50) Its characteristics enable it to be used for many different purposes. Since diamonds are the hardest gems on Mohs’ scale, they make useful tools for industrial purposes, such as drilling hard materials. However, they are quite rare, which makes them very valuable. Their beauty and brilliance make them perfect for jewelry.
     Diamond is made up of carbon. Another form of pure carbon is graphite. Graphite is the stable form of carbon, found at the earth’s surface. Despite the fact that they have identical chemical composition, the two minerals are drastically different. Diamond is the hardest known substance and is usually light colored and transparent, while graphite is greasy, easily powdered, and very dark in color. Diamond is the hardest gem on Mohs’ hardness scale and graphite is the softest. Diamond is very hard because of its dense packing and interlocking atomic arrangement. Graphite, on the other hand, although it is the same element, is more loosely packed and has a six-sided, layered configuration, which makes it soft (Pough, 1991). The differences between graphite and diamonds are accounted for by the conditions in which they are created.
Diamonds form over long periods of time, between 100 km and 200 km below the surface. At this great depth, carbon gets a chance to cool very gradually, forming diamond crystals. When volcanic eruptions occur, magma carries the diamonds up to the surface of the earth. Kimberlite lavas carrying diamonds erupt at anywhere between 10 and 30 km/hour and increase their velocity to several hundred km/hour within the last few kilometers. (Pough, 44) At the surface, this lava cools and turns into Kimberlite rock. That is why diamonds are often found in kimberlite, a volcanic rock, which is often much younger than the diamonds themselves. All diamonds that are around today are at least 990,000,000 years old. If the same element carbon found its way to the surface, before it got a chance to form crystals and solidify, it would turn into graphite.
Diamond crystals occur in a variety of shapes and forms. There are octahedral, cubic, and dodecahedral diamond crystals. The octahedral crystals are formed with eight sides, the cubic ones have six sides, and the dodecahedra...

... middle of paper ... where mining takes place, high quality diamonds are not abundant at all. On the average, a diamond mine yields less than one carat of diamond for every five tons of rock. Of this, on average, less than 20% is usable for gems and half of this is lost in cutting. (Arem, p.37)
In order to be used in jewelry, after diamonds are mined, they must be cut. Because diamonds have such a high hardness, they are cut using other diamonds. What allows them to be cut at all is the fact that they do not have uniform harness throughout the entire stone. For example, the point of an octahedron is harder than the surface of an octahedral face. Therefore, when powdered diamond is used to cut a diamond crystal, the powder will always contain some particles that are oriented in a “hard” direction in relation to the crystal being cut. (Arem, p.38).


Arem, Joel E. All-Color Guide: Gems and Jewelry. 2nd edition. Geoscience Press, Inc.

Fisher, P. J. The Science of Gems. Charles Scribner’s Sons. New York, 1966.

Foa, Emma. Pockets Gemstones. DK Publishing. New York, 1997.

Pough, Frederick H. Peterson Guide to Rocks and Minerals. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston, 1991.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Blood Diamond: Supply and Demand Essay

- During 2012, Sierra Leone’s diamond industries were unbelievable, and the amount of exporting was over one hundred millions of dollars in U.S. dollars (Sierra). The principles of supply and demand seem central in the characterization of the various trends in the market. In various market structures, the black market tends to be rarely regulated. However, the black market observes in the venture allow for the integration of some strategies in the effort of the market to the interest traders. Traders pegged to the various black market on the places where best deals are secured on illegal merchandise....   [tags: Sierra Leone's diamond indistries]

Strong Essays
989 words (2.8 pages)

The Neil Lane Diamond Engagement Ring Essay

- As the Neil Lane diamond engagement ring sparkled off of her finger, Sally Albino,30, a Staten Island Hospital clerk and Cosimo Zingaropoli,32,a retail manager, both of Staten Island were in complete awe over their recent engagement. The white gold ring consisted of diamonds all around the band glistening from every angle. But it wasn’t all sparkles and diamonds saving up for this lifelong engagement ring. Albino and Zingaropoli have been together 6 years before getting engaged. “I wanted to get her the ring she wanted and loved.” Zingaropoli said....   [tags: Engagement ring, Diamond, Engagement, Rings]

Strong Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on What Makes A Colored Gem From A Diamond?

- When shopping for jewelry, you have probably experienced the feeling of euphoria caused by seeking that special gem—the one specifically made for you. Nevertheless, shopping for jewelry is comparable to walking into a fancy restaurant unable to decide between lobster and steak. Usually, you enter the store with several ideas while trying to leave without having buyer 's remorse. However, with an infinite array of gemstones available from diamonds to jadeite, how can one recognize whether to pick a colored gem from a diamond....   [tags: Gemstone, Diamond, Facet, Garnet]

Strong Essays
1283 words (3.7 pages)

From the Mines to the Wedding Finger: The Journey of a Blood Diamond Essay

- Deep within African mines, elusive diamonds lay enveloped in the Earth’s crust. Possessing much influence, beauty, and tension, nature’s hardest known substance causes parallel occurrences of unity and destruction on opposite sides of the globe. Diamonds, derived from the Greek word "adamas", meaning invincible, are formed deep within the mantle, and are composed entirely from carbon. Moreover, only under tremendous amounts of heat and pressure can diamonds form into their preliminary crystal state....   [tags: Diamond Mining, Mining Impact]

Strong Essays
1994 words (5.7 pages)

Looking At Blood Diamond With The Archetypal Criticism Essay

- Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, stated in a conference, “I was one of those children forced into fighting at the age of 13, in my country Sierra Leone, a war that claimed the lives of my mother, father and two brothers. I know too well the emotional, psychological and physical burden that comes with being exposed to violence as a child or at any age for that matter,” (Brainy Quotes). He grew up during the civil war in 1991, when the Revolutionary United Front (R.U.F.) attempted to overthrow the government....   [tags: pink diamond, civil war, sierra leone]

Strong Essays
1203 words (3.4 pages)

Diamond Coated Machine Tooling Essay

- Diamond Coated Machine Tooling Diamond is the hardest material known to man, in this day and age. Typically, diamonds have been known to demonstrate hardness values up to 12000 HV (Vickers Hardness) or approximately 100HRC. Diamond-coated Tungsten Carbide tools have demonstrated improved machining characteristics over coated tool steels commonly used today. With the increased use of composites, ceramics, and other ultra-hard / lightweight materials in numerous industries, diamond-coated machine tools are becoming more common since their performance improvements generally out weigh their increased cost....   [tags: Research Paper Diamond Coated Tool]

Strong Essays
1916 words (5.5 pages)

Marginal Utility: The Missing Link in the Diamond-Water Paradox Essay example

- Marginal Utility: The Missing Link in the Diamond-Water Paradox. American Heritage Dictionary describes a paradox as “a seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true”. I feel this definition applies to “The Diamond-Water Paradox”. Water is of immeasurable value to human survival, however it has virtually little or no monetary or trade value. While this seems to be a contradiction, it is in fact the absolute truth. On the other hand a diamond has no real value of use to mankind, however it is one of the most sought after and expensive items in the world....   [tags: Diamond-Water Paradox]

Free Essays
1196 words (3.4 pages)

The Diamond Essay

- The Diamond Diamond is the best known gem. It is known as the “king of gems” for its brilliance and for being the hardest mineral on earth. (Foa, p.50) Its characteristics enable it to be used for many different purposes. Since diamonds are the hardest gems on Mohs’ scale, they make useful tools for industrial purposes, such as drilling hard materials. However, they are quite rare, which makes them very valuable. Their beauty and brilliance make them perfect for jewelry.      Diamond is made up of carbon....   [tags: Diamonds Jewelry]

Strong Essays
1321 words (3.8 pages)

How Blood Diamonds Can Be Considered Diamonds Essay

- Namibia Blood Diamonds Sabrina Torres 5 October 2014 Part I-Background of Topic Blood diamonds could be considered diamonds that are obtained through dangerous methods that have caused harm to a human being, brutal fatalities including the severing of limbs or death. These objects of great worth cost more than just material money, but also the abuses human rights. They first we brought into the view of the diamond industry ten years ago. Until present day blood diamonds may are mined within areas controlled by guerilla forces that create conflict within countries and are opposed to the larger legal system, such as governments that are internally recognized....   [tags: Diamond, Blood diamond]

Strong Essays
2130 words (6.1 pages)

Essay about Diamond Mining

- All over the world are different locations where you can find this precious jewel, Africa being the main location. How do we get diamonds out of the earth you ask. By MINING them!!. The definition of Mining is the act, process, or work of removing ores, coal, etc. from a mine, glacial deposit, etc. Physical Properties of a Diamond Hardness: Diamond is a perfect "10", defining the top of the hardness scale Clarity: Diamond is transparent over a larger range of wavelengths more than any other mineral Thermal Conductivity: Diamond conducts heat better than any other mineral Melting Point: 3820 degrees Kelvin (the highest) Lattice Density: Diamond atoms are pac...   [tags: Mine Mining Techniques Diamonds]

Free Essays
484 words (1.4 pages)