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Any queries, please contact Vida Ras (vida@visserdiamonds.co.za).

 

Diamonds

Diamonds are pure carbon, like charcoal, only in a crystalline form. Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring mineral found on earth. Diamonds melt at 4,000oC, much higher than most metals, and are resistant to chemical alteration or contamination, though they can catch fire almost as well as coal does. It is best to not examine a diamond ring in an open flame because it can burn.

Diamonds have excellent heat conduction capabilities, four times better than copper. Diamond has a density of 3.51 g/mL,and so is more dense than graphite which is also made of carbon. The density of graphite is only 2.26 g/mL. High pressure is required to make diamond from graphite. Coal is formed from particles of graphite along with organic impurities.

Diamonds are thought to originate at a depth of 90 miles (150 kilometers) under high pressure. They are found at the surface because volcanic pipes carry them explosively quickly to the surface, and result in a type of mineral called kimberlite that is known to be associated with diamonds. One theory, that the explosive pipes are created by the movement of liquid carbon dioxide, is described in Science News. Large diamond mines are found in South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Russia, and Australia.

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