Diamonds

Gush, E. P.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
Diamonds, an enigma in a mineral resource sense. Chemically, diamonds are no more than carbon crystals in a cubic system-formed one might add under conditions of great pressure and temperature. They have certain physical properties which are fairly unique. They are very hard, they have a high refractive index, they luminesce, some of them fluoresce, they have a high specific gravity, they don't wet and they are a good conductor of heat. In a way, a rather clinical set of qualities. Of course, these qualities are what give diamonds their use and their beauty. It is on the emotional side that they get complex and stir memories of legends, of beauty, of wealth and romance, of war, happiness, bad luck and curses. It is on the emotional side that the value of a diamond is established, if such a thing is possible. Diamonds are extremely varied, there are more than 5000 categories into which they are sorted, so there is room at each point across the spectrum for their individualities to emerge, and accordingly their attractiveness to each buyer is unique.
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