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Diamonds history

Diamonds historyA diamond is a transparent crystal of tetrahedrally bonded carbon atoms (sp3) that crystallizes into the diamond lattice which is a variation of the face centered cubic structure. Diamonds have been adapted for many uses because of the material's exceptional physical characteristics. Most notable are its extreme hardness and thermal conductivity (900–2,320 W•m−1•K−1), as well as wide bandgap and high optical dispersion. Above 1,700 °C (1,973 K / 3,583 °F) in vacuum or oxygen-free atmosphere, diamond converts to graphite; in air, transformation starts at ~700 °C.

 

Those properties determine the major industrial application of diamond in cutting and polishing tools. Excellent optical and mechanical properties, combined with efficient marketing, make diamond the most popular gemstone.

 

Most natural diamonds are formed at high-pressure high-temperature conditions existing at depths of 140 km to 190 km in the Earth mantle. Carbon-containing minerals provide the carbon source, and the growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years, which respectively corresponds to roughly 25% and 75% of the age of the Earth. Diamonds are brought close to the Earth surface through deep volcanic eruptions by a magma, which cools into igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites.

 

Diamonds can also be produced synthetically in a high-pressure high-temperature process which approximately simulates the conditions in the Earth mantle. An alternative, and completely different growth technique is chemical vapor deposition. Special gemological techniques have been specially developed to distinguish natural and synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants.

 

Diamonds are thought to have been first recognized and mined in India, where significant alluvial deposits of the stone could then be found many centuries ago along the rivers Penner, Krishna and Godavari. Diamonds have been known in India for at least 3,000 years but most likely 6,000 years.

 

Diamonds have been treasured as gemstones since their use as religious icons in ancient India. Their usage in engraving tools also dates to early human history. Popularity of diamonds has risen since the 19th century because of increased supply, improved cutting and polishing techniques, growth in the world economy, and innovative and successful advertising campaigns.

 

The most familiar usage of diamonds today is as gemstones used for adornment, a usage which dates back into antiquity. The dispersion of white light into spectral colors is the primary gemological characteristic of gem diamonds. In the twentieth century, experts in the field of gemology have developed methods of grading diamonds and other gemstones based on the characteristics most important to their value as a gem.

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