Thursday, April 9, 2009

Breakfast at Tiffany's


Diamonds are created 150-200 meters down in the Earth's mantle. They are made when carbon containing material is subjected to extreme temperatures and pressures. They are then ejected to the surface through volcanoes. Synthetic diamonds, on the other hand, are made by subjecting carbon containing material to high temperatures and pressures in a molten metal such as nickel or iron. The diamond crystallizes in the molten metal. These methods work because although graphite may be stabler at normal conditions, diamond is more stable at high temperature and pressure. These metals are not easy to interconvert because they both have strong bonds that must be first broken in order for the transition to be possible. A pure diamond is completely colorless while those with color tinges in them contain impurities. For instance, a diamond with a yellow tinge usually contains iron oxide as an impurity. These impurities get into the diamond while it is forming. The inherent color of a diamond is determined by the flashes of color it reflects when light hits it from different angles. A diamond reflects one fifth of the light that hits its surface. Glass is only able to reflect four percent of the light. The light that does enter the diamond is dispersed into hues which gives it the rainbow effect. Diamonds are not good conductors of electricity, but they are great conductors of heat. They feel cool to the touch because they conduct the heat away from your fingers. Experts can determine a fake from a real diamond by putting it on their tongue. Real diamonds will feel cool to the touch.


Interconvert- to transition or interchange

Impurity- Inferior component or additive


I never knew this much about diamonds. I knew that diamonds were made when carbon was combined with heat and pressure, but I didn't know that they were ejected from volcanoes or how they were mad synthetically in a lab. The part about how impurities change the color of it was pretty interesting too. Most of the diamonds I have seen in my life have had some tinge of color in them. I just hope my girlfriend doesn't see this article. I know that she wants a pure diamond that isn't made in a lab. Who knows where I'll get the money for that? I do love the fact that pure diamonds give off that rainbow effect when you shine light on them. They definitely are beautiful. I just wish they weren't so expensive!

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