What are Diamonds?

Jewelry & apparel make a great gift!
 
Jewelry Browse   >   Articles   >   What are Diamonds?
Jewelry Browse   >   Diamond   >   What are Diamonds?

   

What are Diamonds?

Diamonds are a particular form of the chemical element Carbon - one of several forms, known as "allotropes" Other allotropes of carbon include graphite (used in pencil "leads"). Diamond is in fact a less stable form of Carbon than graphite, but under nornaml conditions, the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is so slow as to be negligible.

In terms of chemical bonding, diamond is known as giant covalent. Each carbon atom is bonded (by a shared pair of electrons) to 4 surrounding carbon atoms, with the surrounding atoms arranged in a tetrahedral arrangement (bond angle 109.5°), which corresponds to a face-centered cubic crystalline structure. A perfectly formed crystal of diamond, is thus a giant molecule consisting of many millions of Carbon atoms bonded together.

Molecular structure of diamond:
Molecular structure of diamond

Because of its strong covalent bonds, and the large amount of energy required to break these bonds, diamond is know for its extreme hardness. Additionally, its structure also gives it the highest thermal conductivity of any bulk material.

A pure diamond will be clear, however diamond's structure can often be penetrated by impurities such as atoms of Nitrogen or Boron. These impurities, as well as defects that may arise in the structure, give some diamonds distinctive colors, including:
  • Blue (because of Boron impurities)

  • Yellow (because of Nitrogen impurities)

  • Brown (because of lattice defects),

  • Green (because of radiation exposure),

  • Purple

  • Pink

  • Orange

  • Red
Diamonds can be formed naturally, or nowadays, by artificial means:
  • Natural diamonds are generally formed as a result of extreme pressures and temperatures in the Earth's mantle, typically at depths of 87 to 118 miles (149 to 190 kilometers) - they become accessible, because they are brought closer to the surface by volcanic eruptions.

    Rough natural diamond:
    Rough natural diamond


  • There are two main processes by which synthetic (artificial) diamonds can be created - a HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) method which simulates conditions in the Earth's mantle, and a CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) method in which a gas of carbon is deposited on a substrate, potentially allowing us to grow very large diamonds for industrial purposes.

    Synthetic diamonds produced by the HPHT process:
    Synthetic diamonds produced by the HPHT process

Whether natural or artificial, diamonds have two main uses:
  1. As a gem stone

  2. Industrial applications - which usually have arisen to take advantage of diamond's extreme hardness and thermal conductivity. Some industrial uses including using diamond as grinding grit, diamond cutters, diamond drills, using diamond for making high performance bearings, and diamond containers for conducting extremely high pressure scientific experiments (a "diamond anvil cell").

    Scalpel with synthetic diamond blade:
    Scalpel with synthetic diamond blade

While it is true that industrial uses of diamond far exceed the substance's usage as a gem stone, it is also true that diamond is nevertheless extremely valued as a gem stone. That said, natural diamonds are generally preferred to artificial ones, as a gem and in jewelry-making. As a result, gemologists have developed techniques to distinguish natural and artifical diamonds, as well as to recognize some other used gemstones which can resemble diamond (known as "diamond simulants"), including Cubic Zirconia. and Silicon Carbide.

Silicon Carbide engagement ring:
Silicon Carbide engagement ring






Related Web Sites

Here are some other websites that may be of interest:
Related Pages

Here are some other pages on this website that may be of interest:

Your Comments

Please share your comments on this page.

   

Titanium Rings by JustMetal


 
      Jewelry Browse



Articles
   Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamond
   Diamond Body Jewelry
   Diamond Brands
   Diamond Clarity
   Diamond Clarity Enhancements
   Diamond Colors
   Diamond Color Grading
   Diamond Cuts
   Diamond Flaws
   Diamond's Four C's
   Diamond Scams & Tricks
   Diamond Shapes
   Diamond Weights
   Famous Diamonds
   Jewelry as a Gift
   Pearl Pricing
   Silver Care
   Wedding Jewelry
   What Is Amber?
   What is Amethyst?
   What Is Cubic Zirconium?
   What Is Diamond?
   What Is Emerald?
   What Is Gold?
   What Is Pearl?
   What Is Platinum?
   What Is Ruby?
   What is Sapphire?
   What is Silver?
   More Jewelry Articles



Amber
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings



Amethyst
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings



Body Jewelry
   Articles



Cubic Zirconia
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings



Diamond
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings



Emerald
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings



Gold
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings



Media
   Books
   DVDs
   Magazines
   Videos



Pearl
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings



Platinum
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings



Rings
   Engagement Rings
   Wedding Rings
   More Rings



Ruby
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings



Sapphire
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings



Silver
   Articles
   Bracelets
   Broaches
   Earrings
   Necklaces
   Rings

Buy Jewelry Online
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Note: Our company and this web site does NOT sell jewelry or gems. Any and all jewelry or gems that may appear on, or be linked from, this website, is an advertisement for a product sold by a third party. Please be sure to read product descriptions carefully, and do appropriate research and due diligence before purchasing jewelry or gems or other products. Sorry, we are NOT able to answer questions about jewelry or gems or third party products/websites.

Copyright © 2006-2018, Answers 2000 Limited

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE,COMES FROM AMAZON EU S. r.l. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

Disclosure: Our company's websites' content (including this website's content) includes advertisements for our own company's websites, products, and services, and for other organization's websites, products, and services. In the case of links to other organization's websites, our company may receive a payment, (1) if you purchase products or services, or (2) if you sign-up for third party offers, after following links from this website. Unless specifically otherwise stated, information about other organization's products and services, is based on information provided by that organization, the product/service vendor, and/or publicly available information - and should not be taken to mean that we have used the product/service in question. Additionally, our company's websites contain some adverts which we are paid to display, but whose content is not selected by us, such as Google AdSense ads. For more detailed information, please see Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures

Our sites use cookies, some of which may already be set on your computer. Use of our site constitutes consent for this. For details, please see Privacy.

Click privacy for information about our company's privacy, data collection and data retention policies, and your rights.

Contact Us   Privacy   Terms of Use   Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures

In Association With Amazon.com
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
In Association With Amazon.co.uk
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
As an Amazon Associate, our company earns from qualifying purchases. Amazon, the Amazon logo, Endless, and the Endless logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
All third party content and adverts are copyright of their respective owners.