Science Articles

WHAT IS A DIAMOND?

Diamond is a precious stone used in jewellery which consists of a clear and colourless crystalline form of the pure carbon. Diamond is known to be the hardest naturally occurring substance owing to the arrangement of the carbon atoms.


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Diamond is a precious stone used in jewellery which consists of a clear and colourless crystalline form of the pure carbon. Diamond is known to be the hardest naturally occurring substance owing to the arrangement of the carbon atoms.

Due to the long lengths of time that nature takes for producing diamonds (basically, millions of years), scientists have devised a way for manufacturing synthetic diamonds through laboratory. There can be various colours of diamonds found in nature. The coloured ones are rare and hence they are more expensive than the white one.
Diamonds have several special optical properties like high dispersion, high luster, high index of refraction etc which makes it the world’s most popular gemstone. The quality of a diamond is determined by its cut, colour, clarity and carat.

WHAT ARE THE PROPERTIES OF A DIAMOND?

? It is an extremely hard substance. Owing to their hardness, they are even used as an abrasive. Extremely
small particles of diamonds get embedded in saw blades, drill bits etc for cutting, drilling or grinding
hard materials easily.
? It doesn’t conduct electricity or heat owing to the absence of free ions. All the four valence electrons
are paired and are used for forming the four single covalent bonds with the other carbon atoms. Since
electricity is said to be the free flow of electrons, there is absence of free electrons in the diamonds,
and hence it cannot conduct the heat and electricity.
? It has a high melting point.
? It has high thermal conductivity owing to strong covalent bonding and because they have low phonon
scattering.
? The diamond is said to be free from inclusions and fractures i.e. the particles of the foreign materials
within the stone itself.
? It has an extremely high refractive index of 2.415 which is the reason for its extraordinary brilliance.
? The gravity of the diamond is known to be 3.52.
? The natural diamond is transparent to X-rays while the artificial or synthetic diamond is opaque to the X-
rays. This is the one property that makes it easy to distinguish between the synthetic diamonds and the
natural diamonds.
? Diamonds are not reactive in nature under ordinary conditions. They do not react with acids, alkalis,
organic compounds etc and remain unaffected.
? Diamonds are insoluble in nature irrespective of the liquids.
? Diamonds exhibit fluorescence i.e. emission of various colours and intensities under the ultraviolet light.
This gives them colour.