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Diamond History1

Diamond History

Electrical/ Thermal Conductivity

In physics, electrical/thermal conductivity, k, is the intensive property of a material that indicates its ability to conduct heat.

It is defined as the quantity of heat, Q, transmitted in time t through a thickness L, in a direction normal to a surface of area A, due to a temperature difference ?T, under steady state conditions and when the heat transfer is dependent only on the temperature gradient.

thermal conductivity = heat flow rate × distance / (area × temperature difference)

Alternately, it can be thought of as a flux of heat (energy per unit area per unit time) divided by a temperature gradient (temperature difference per unit length)

Durability

Hardness is not the only measure of a minerals durability--the relative resistance to fracture is another. Although diamond is not delicate or prostate to breaking apart, all substances including diamond can fracture or shatter.

Due to its particular crystal structure, diamond has certain planes of weakness along which it can be split. Diamond is said to have perfect cleavage in four different directions, meaning it will separate neatly along these lines rather than in a jagged or irregular fashion.

Diamond cutters take advantage of cleavage to fashion diamonds efficiently.

The cleavage direction represents a layering in the structure of diamond--there are fewer bonds over a given distance across the layers than within them. This drawing shows the cleavage direction with a dash red line.

Color

Diamonds can occur in nearly any color, though yellow and brown are by far the most common. "Black" diamonds are not truly black, but rather contain numerous dark inclusions that give the gems their dark appearance.

When the color is saturated enough in yellow or brown diamonds, a stone may be referred to as a fancy colored diamond by the gem trade, otherwise they are graded for color in the normal color range of white diamonds. Colored diamonds contain impurities or structural defects that cause the coloration, while pure or nearly pure diamonds are transparent and colorless.

Natural History

Formation of Diamond

The formation of diamonds began many millions of years ago in the depths of the earth when carbon was crystallized by tremendous heat and pressure. The diamond-bearing ore rose to the surface through volcanic eruptions.

Later, when the volcanic activity subsided and cooling took place, the diamonds remained encased in a solidified magma known as "blue ground" or "kimberlite". There are different types of mines - including kimberlite pipes and alluvial deposits.

Diamonds found in alluvial deposits were sometimes formed a long way away from their final resting place. Over the centuries they have been eroded from the kimberlite pipes and then carried, first by rain water and then in the alluvium of rivers, down into the diamond bearing regions.

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