Diamonds are beautiful, dazzlingly bright
gemstones that are composed of carbon. Diamond is the hardest
known substance due to carbon atoms forming a tightly bound three
dimensional structure. It is strange that a soft mineral, graphite is
also made of carbon, but the atoms are far apart.
Diamonds form naturally within the Earth in a rare
volcanic occurrence that brings magma from the upper mantle in a pipe.
There are only a few places to find kimberlite pipes like India,
Brazil, South Africa, and even in the state of Arkansas. Many times
erosion will cause diamonds to settle in river beds, where they are
mined as placer deposits. Diamonds can be artificially made, but
usually do not have the clarity or brilliance of a natural diamond.
The crystal shape of a diamond is octahedral. However, diamonds have
many cleavage surface which allows them to be faceted. A diamond cutter
is skilled in the cleavage planes, and can use diamond dust and
oil to smooth the surface to create the splendor that diamonds produce.
Oppenhimer the largest Uncut diamond