April and diamonds

       I have now reached May 11, 2012 and not had a chance to post-April became a very crazy month for me and I apologize for the lateness of this  blog posting.  I will do another blog on Diamonds in the near future.

 

April is upon us and the trees are starting to bud here in Ontario. The tulips are starting to show their blooms, as are some of the other flowers. Just when we think it is warming up, with all this spring like activities, Mother Nature shows how complicated and changing she can be by giving us cold weather and some more snow.

     Another area where Mother Nature can be complicated is in the formation of gems. Diamond-April’s birthstone is one of these. Although diamond’s chemical formula is simple with carbon being the only element, when we think of what else Carbon is-graphite otherwise known as a lead pencil-we see the complication.  What creates the difference between the hardest gem known as compared to graphite is the arrangement of the atoms and molecular bonding of the atoms.

      Don’t be fooled by the fact that diamond is extremely hard   It  is a myth that it cannot be damaged.  The arrangement of the elements within, allows for perfect cleavage and the directional hardness, when used perpendicular to the octahedral or cubic faces allow for it to be sawed. Any material that has a hardness of 10 or over on Moh’s scale will scratch or damage a diamond. This also contributes to the chipping of the girdle.

            There are many styles of cuts for diamonds besides the traditional round brilliant. We now see princess cut,  Asher cut, heart, marquis, pear etc. Also, found are a multitude of both natural and treated stones to produce colour. Red, blue, pink yellow are now seen with more regularity than previously. 

            Some of the diamonds that are famous are the Cullinan diamond (actually there are a series of Cullinan diamonds) part of the Crown Jewels of Britain, the Blue Hope Diamond which is found in the Smithsonian in the USA.

Hopefully by now most people know that Canada is the third largest producer of diamonds in the world with some of the cleanest stones available. In fact the Victor mine of Ontario is rated number 1 worldwide for clarity.  

 An Ontario diamond crystal showing the growth marks on the outside but very clear on the inside.

 

Look for more information in a new blog soon.

Regards

Karen

 

 

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