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Norcross, GA 30093-3059

"Diamonds are Forever"

Lowell Bailey


"Diamonds are forever ", that's the phrase the Debeers syndicate uses to promote diamonds. Diamond is considered the King of Gems; it is referred to by many as the April birthstone, (Some use the White Zircon). It is used in an engagement ring and for the 75th wedding anniversary. Diamond is formed in the earth's interior and shot to the surface by one of the most powerful forces on earth, the volcano. A diamond, should you have one, is the oldest thing you will ever own, 3 billion years old.

It is the element Carbon, the chemical element fundamental to all life on earth. The diamond is a native element, and it is extremely pure it may contain traces of Boron or nitrogen, which in combination give it different colors, yellow, blue, green and others. It is the hardest surface known, 10 on the Mohs' scale, 56-115 Knoop hardness number, 10,000 Brooks identer scale. Octahedral face is the hardest, the cube face, the softest. The Cleavage excellent, parallel to the octahedron face.

Crystallographic Cubic --hexoctahedral (the highest of the symmetries).

The common forms F Octahedron, the cube, the dodecahedron, rounded variations and the flat triangular called a "macle". The specific gravity is 3.51, the dispersion 0.44. The diamonds great capacity to refract light, to bend it and reduce the velocity of light passing through it gives diamonds its extreme brilliance and luster.

The refractive index compares the speed of light in a substance to that in a vacuum. Diamonds strongly bonded electrons and the compact arrangement of its atoms account for the remarkable reduction of the velocity of light through its mass. Light travels through space, a vacuum, at 186,282 miles per second, that is the base refractive index of 1.00, once it hits the atmosphere of earth it is slowed to 186,232 miles per second, that gives air, an index of 1.02 and in water it is slowed down to 140,061 miles per second, water has the refractive index of 1.33, if it goes through glass, such as a window pane it is slowed to 122.554 miles per second, glass has a refractive index of 1.52, when that light hits Diamond the speed is cut drastically to 77,056 miles per second, the diamond has a refractive index of 2.4175. The fire from a colorless diamond results from its great dispersion, the refraction and separation of white light into its component colors.

White light is made up of all the colors of the visible spectrum, as you see in a rainbow, red light to orange, yellow, green , blue and violet. Infra red and ultra violet lie at either end, just outside of the visible spectrum. The refractive index of a substance is not constant but variable, changing with the wavelength, or color of the visible light. The refractive index is greater for the short wave length of violet and smaller for the long wavelength of the red. The shorter wavelengths are bent more when entering a colorless substance at an angle. Thus the colors separate, or disperse, producing the visible spectrum in the diamond.

Most of us in our hobby will probably never cut a diamond. It takes slightly different types of equipment, but diamonds do hold part of our attention, we use them as side stones and most married people have a diamond engagement ring. Most of us use diamond laps and wheels and diamond powder to cut and polish colored stones. So you see diamond takes a major part in our lives and our hobby. The Diamond, the transparent form of the element Carbon, the fundamental element of all life, the fire the beauty, the symbol of purity and strength, it glitters and dazzles.It's the " King of Gems".

I think they're right, "Diamonds are forever"


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