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Earth and Ocean Sciences
EOSC 118
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Module ALesson 9 Study Notes What Is a Diamond and what are its Basic QualitiesDescribe the properties of a diamond3A diamond is pure carbon that is packed in a dense crystalline structure 351 gcm Has a cubic symmetry and perfect octahedral cleavage Top rank in moh hardness scale with a rank of 10 High durability High refractive index of 242Great dispersion the splitting of light into the spectral colour of a rainbowWhat colour is pure diamondColourless How can diamonds show a full range of colours found in the rainbowStructural defects elemental substitutions and lab procedures can allow diamonds to display a full range of colours found in the rainbow Name the four Cs of stonegems Colour cut clarity and carat Many people are familiar with the 4Cs of diamonds colour cut clarity and carat These four variables are important for describing specific stones but the qualities described by the 4Cs vary from stone to stone and well cover their importance later The physical properties mentioned in this section and lesson apply mostly to all diamondsUncut rough diamond octahedron left and cut polished diamond in a round brilliant shape sitting on kimberlite rock Photo courtesy of the Gemological Institute of AmericaAside from physical properties what other properties allow for the confirmation or rejection of a material as diamondThermal conductivity Electrical conductivity Refractive index Dispersion Why does diamond have such high thermal conductivity The high thermal conductivity of diamond is due to the covalent bonds of CarbonThe very high thermal conductivity of diamond is due to the covalent bonding that holds its carbon atoms together and is three times higher than that of gold and silver two metals known for their own high thermal conductivity Compared to its simulants such as cubic zirconia or quartz diamonds thermal conduction is leaps and bounds higher However there are some simulants such as moissanite which have similar thermal conductivities and so additional properties are required to be testedThermal conductivities of some materials commonly encountered in the gem and jewellery industries
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