A diamond is a rare, naturally occurring carbon mineral. In a diamond, each carbon atom is surrounded by four other carbon atoms and is linked to them by strong covalent bonds, the strongest form of chemical connection. A diamond is the hardest natural material known to man. The molecular weight of diamond is about 130-140 kg/cm3.
Diamond contains no significant amount of any other element other than carbon. It is the only gemstone composed exclusively of carbon. Diamond's properties are due to its high density (3156 kg/m3) and its hardness (10 on the Mohs scale).
Carbon is a very stable element, which means that it does not react with other elements to form new compounds. That is why diamonds are found almost exclusively in the Earth's crust. However, carbon exists as graphite (a soft material) under great pressure, indicating that it may be possible to find diamonds in deep mines or on other planets where there is no surface exposure to air and water. This has led some scientists to speculate that perhaps diamond may be the dominant mineral in the universe.
The average density of diamond is 3156 kg/m3, which is much higher than that of most other minerals (sand is 2200 kg/m3). This means that a diamond would weigh more than one million pounds (4200 g) if it were formed into a ball.
While diamonds are often thought to be the hardest substance on Earth, they are neither the strongest material overall, nor are they the strongest naturally occurring material. Carbon atoms may form a solid, ultra-hard structure known as a diamond if the conditions are just perfect. But the average density of carbon is only 1.5 times that of gold, so any object made entirely out of diamond would be very fragile.
The strongest material on Earth by far is pure iron, which can be hard enough for useful applications. However, iron is a metal, not a rock. It can't be found in its natural state; it must be extracted from iron ore using chemical processes. Diamonds, on the other hand, are the hardest natural substance known to man. They can only be formed in the presence of oxygen and heat, both of which are rare properties in the universe. The next-hardest materials known to man are corundum, which includes sapphire and ruby, and these too are rarely found in their natural state.
However, there are other substances that are harder than diamond. Calcite, which is what rocks such as limestone are composed of, can be hard enough for practical purposes. And some meteorites contain objects called black widows that are even harder than calcite.
But none of these substances are found in nature anywhere on Earth, or even outside our planet.
Diamond is the most stable form of carbon. Because of the extremely strong covalent connection between the carbon atoms, it has outstanding physical characteristics. Diamond has the highest hardness and heat conductivity of any natural or synthetic substance known to man. Its resistance to corrosion makes it useful for many applications including cutting tools, wear-resistant coatings, and medical devices.
Diamond was first discovered in the year 1847 by Charles Thomas Caratini while searching for gold in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near the town now called De Beers. He returned home with a diamond that he had found on one of his claims. This diamond turned out to be very rare because only iron ore along with quartz sand contains significant amounts of diamond. Only under special conditions can carbon become bonded into a crystal structure without any other elements being involved. Over time this bond becomes stronger due to high pressure and temperature resulting in a diamond.
On the surface of a diamond molecule are three carbon atoms connected together with four other electrons in what is called an sp3 hybrid orbital. These six electrons are distributed over the entire diamond molecule. The next layer out is the outermost shell of an atom which consists of two electrons in an s orbital. There are eight electrons in all in the 2s orbital which means that it is completely filled.
A diamond is a precious mineral composed of carbon atoms in a repeating pattern. Diamonds are hard because of their repeating pattern. One feature that all minerals possess is an ordered crystal structure. This means that they can be shaped and used as tools before being transformed into jewelry or other products.
Diamonds are unique in that they are always transparent to light. Other common gemstones such as rubies and sapphires are also transparent to light but can contain inclusions which scatter the light and give them a colored appearance.
Diamonds are also unique in that they are non-reactive with most substances. Other common gemstones such as emeralds are reactive with oxygen and water molecules so will change color if exposed to air or be destroyed by heat from welding or cutting gems.
Finally, diamonds are unique in that they are the only gemstone that can be polished to a mirror-like finish. No other gemstone can match the beauty and perfection of a diamond!
All gemstones are minerals. The term "mineral" is used to describe any solid state material that is derived from natural sources such as rocks or soil. Minerals can be made up of ions (charged particles) such as salt or calcium carbonate.