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Updated on: Aug 14, 2014

Diamond

Diamond is a very precious gemstone, which have taken a very special recognition since antiquity. Diamond is the hardest known natural material in the earth. The word Diamond is derived from the ancient Greek word called “adamas” which means, proper, unalterable, unbreakable, and untamed. The first recognition of Diamonds has been in India for at least 3000 to 6000 years ago. Diamonds are very costly as mostly used for adornment. The popularity of diamonds has risen since the 19th century as of its increased supply, improved cutting and polishing techniques and growth in the world economy.

Scientifically, Diamond is the allotrope of carbon compounds where the carbon atoms are arranged in a face-centered cubic crystal structure known as diamond lattice. The covalent bonding between the carbon atoms has made the diamond very hard and with high thermal conductivity. Because of the extremely rigid lattice of diamond, it has very few types of impurities such as boron and nitrogen. Diamond has the high optical dispersion capability as it is exposed to light. The color of diamond is determined by the impurities it has. For example, the presence of boron gives blue color to diamonds, nitrogen gives yellow; brown if there has been defects in lattice structure while its formation, green due to radiation exposure, etc. The hardness of Diamonds is also determined by the impurities it contains. Paragon is known as the flawless diamond.

Diamonds are formed at high temperature and high pressure and depth of earth’s mantle of about 140-190km deep from the surface of the earth. The volcanic eruptions called magma brings them near to the earth’s surface as it explodes. When the hot magma cools, they turn into igneous rocks. The ones that contain diamonds are known as Kimberlites and Lamproites.

Diamonds are the most expensive gemstones. There has been the difficult problem of the diamond theft. The Kimberley Process was developed to monitor the rough trade of diamonds. Before exporting, they are to be certified by the government of the country of the origin. Kohinoor diamond is the oldest, most famous and most expensive diamonds in the world that is presently the crown jewel of British Queen which history says belongs to India.

Diamonds are very renowned with the superlative qualities. Diamonds are used to cut glass and can scratch other diamonds. In the world today, approximately 130,000,000 carats of diamonds are mined annually and are sold in high price. It is said that roughly 49% of the world’s diamonds extract is from Central and Southern Africa. Other important sources are discovered in Canada, India, Russia, Brazil and Australia. Diamonds after being prepared as gemstones, extracting from its ore and refining, are sold on diamond exchanges called bourses. There are 28 registered bourses in the world. New York City stands the first centre where almost 80% of the world’s diamonds are sold including the auction sales and the DeBeers Company stands as the world’s largest diamond miner.