I can't stand diamonds. No, really, they just tick me off, because nearly everything about them is a lie. Diamonds are neither rare nor intrinsically valuable nor uniquely romantic. Those are ideas invented by the diamond industry. And no, despite what the ads tell you, diamonds are not forever. They are flammable and will burn brightly with a little help from a torch. This makes perfect sense when you consider that they are made of pure carbon, which reacts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide ("reacts with oxygen" just being another way of saying "burns").
Diamond has one legitimate claim to fame: It is still, as far as we know, the hardest substance. Despite its hardness, though, the chemical bonds that hold the carbon atoms in diamond together are actually weaker than those that hold together the other common form of pure carbon, graphite. The difference is that in diamond the bonds form an inflexible, three-dimensional lattice, whereas in graphite the atoms are tightly bonded into sheets. But those sheets can slide easily against each other, making graphite soft and slippery.
If your house burns down with the family jewels inside, you can collect the pools of melted gold, but the diamonds will be gone in a puff of CO2. Cheaper, more attractive stones, such as cubic zirconia and synthetic ruby and sapphire, are made of refractory metal oxides that easily withstand the same heat. So it's actually mall trinkets, not diamonds, that are forever.
Achtung!Don't try this demonstration at home. Diamonds can burst violently when heated. (We ruined an expensive camera lens with diamond bullets that could easily have taken an eye out.)
"Diamond has one legitimate claim to fame: It is still, as far as we know, the hardest substance."
"Measurements have shown that graphene has a breaking strength 200 times greater than steel, making it the strongest material ever tested."
Are hardness and strength really the same thing? I'm not sure, but I don't think so.
No hardness and strength are different.
I LOVE diamonds. After reading the September/09 issue, I am adding one other legitimate little known claim to fame for diamonds: I am a spiritual healer with some unusual paranormal gifts, one of them being the ability to scan the energy pattern in any living being, plant, animal, organism, non-physical being, stones and crystals. Diamond has a special energy output, which opens human, animal and plant enrgy centres and contributes to healing, if it is held even briefly against the open palm or any main chakra, unless there are ghosts or dark beings attached to the person being touched this way, while cubics don't have this capacity. Some other crystals and stones have it also, but cutting, drilling or grouping them destroys this ability much of the time. I don't charge for the healing work I do, and I don't usually use crystals, because I have more direct tools to accomplish results, and I don't work in the diamond business. My background is human services in remote northern Canada. When I demonstrated this scanning on the beaches in Mexico and caught jewellry dealers lying about the stones in their rings, they left me alone and came to me for help clearing the souls of their loved ones into the light after their death, if they were still stuck as ghosts in the Earth plane. I am interested in any other practitioners, who have this gift in some form, especially if they are already doing healing work and KNOW what they are doing, or are in the medical field and want to learn more about energy channeling. I can usually also scan crystals at a distance, if I have a photo. I have done as much cross-checking as I can to verify the ongoing accuracy of my scanning. I do double blind work as often as possible in order to remain genuine. This is NOT a religious or business promotional!!! Popular Science staff may forward to me any requests in plain text only. Klaus, Manitoba Canada.
kolja...lol....what a loon.
CrazyEddie, After observing and following them for years on the northern lakes, That is not fair to the very intelligent wild 'Loons' :>)
Diamonds are still great for cutting tools. This article explains why they use the synthetic Diamonds for the cutters and grinders, never thought about that resistance to heat difference.
Today there are (artificial) materials harder than diamond.
Diamond is the hardest natural material.
I absolutely agree w/ the article.
Diamonds are overpriced.
I believe you can notice that yourself if you try to sell back an expensive diamond jewelery to a pawn shop or something. (Gold is not like that for example.)
Also methods for creating perfect jewelery quality diamonds artificially keep improving. I think someday it would be possible to reproduce any natural diamond in a really cheap way. (So do not hope keeping diamonds for years will increase their value either.)
I even read many diamonds sold expensively are actually produced from low quality diamonds by putting them into pressure machines to increase their value.
<em>Diamond has a special energy output, which opens human, animal and plant enrgy centres and contributes to healing, if it is held even briefly against the open palm or any main chakra, unless there are ghosts or dark beings attached to the person being touched this way</em>
I disagree. I think alot of ghosts get a bad rap from their association with body thetans. You get too many of those bad boys and you'll really need your aura readjusted.
We already see with saphires that a lab grown gem can be flawless and far more beutiful than the flawed gems of nature. If you go to a jewelry store, however, you will see the natural saphires cost more (because it costs more to find them) despite inferior quality.
The jewelry industry artifically undervalues lab grown saphs from natural to keep established value in the natural stones. This keeps the value of saphs high. In a true market, the artifical should completely replace the natural in the market (better quality at lower price).
So, like fine wine, caviar, and most things rich, you pay more for crap because it is supposedly better (when in fact they are terrible, as anyone's natural taste will tell).
I think what you said for sapphires is also true for diamonds. Natural ones are much more expensive just because they have imperfections!? That's stupid!
Diamonds are expensive because DeBeers says they are, and they control the supply, while creating the demand.