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diamonds

How Do Diamonds Form?
Image: iStockphoto.com/AptTone

How Do Diamonds Form?

Diamond is the hardest mineral on Earth. Thanks to extreme temperatures and intense pressure, diamonds result from volcanoes and colliding tectonic plates on our planet, as well as from asteroid strikes and in meteorites.

You may be most familiar seeing them as gemstones in jewelry, but their characteristics make diamonds ideal for industrial uses, too.

Geology.com
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Following the International Diamond Trail

Following the International Diamond Trail

Diamond mining is usually backbreaking labor. Take a look at these photos to see related, less-strenuous sides of it in Sierra Leone. More...

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American RadioWorks
Diamond Mine Where You Can Be the Miner

Diamond Mine Where You Can Be the Miner

Commercial diamond mines no longer operate in the United States, but you can dig for your own in one location only. Where is this place? More...

Article
Geology.com
Diamonds in the Sky

Diamonds in the Sky

Science has turned up very tiny diamonds driven to Earth from deep space in meteorites. Neptune and Uranus may create diamond rainstorms. Get the details. More...

Article
NOVA/PBS
Diamonds Through the Ages

Diamonds Through the Ages

What's the story with diamonds anyway? Take a walk on this timeline and explore their history, from discovery in India to the state of the current diamond industry. More...

Article
American Public Media
How Diamonds Crystallize

How Diamonds Crystallize

In South Africa hundreds of thousands of diamonds have been mined for more than a century. Watch a scientist describe how carbon transforms deep in the Earth here to become diamonds. More...

Video
National Geographic
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Diamond Cutting

Diamond Cutting

A diamond is the only object hard enough to cut another. Watch a raw stone become a become a beautiful gem through basic techniques that haven’t changed much in 500 years. More...

Video
NATURE/PBS
How Can Graphite and Diamond Be So Different If They Are Both Composed of Pure Carbon?

How Can Graphite and Diamond Be So Different If They Are Both Composed of Pure Carbon?

One's the hardest known natural material on the Mohs scale, the other is soft enough to be used for pencil "lead." How does that happen? More...

Article
Scientific American
Performing Well Under Pressure

Performing Well Under Pressure

Among the oldest and rarest rocks on Earth, diamonds also hold great symbolic meaning in our society. Geologically they never decay, so truly, a diamond is forever. More...

Video
NATURE/PBS
Sierra Leone “Blood Diamonds” Not Forever

Sierra Leone “Blood Diamonds” Not Forever

So-called blood or conflict diamonds financed insurgent activities during a rebel war and created conditions that violated human rights. Mines have recently taken steps to change that. More...

Article
BBC
What Makes a Diamond Sparkle?

What Makes a Diamond Sparkle?

Learn the science behind the sparkle. Hint: A diamond’s density slows down the speed of light and refracts it to reveal the colors of the rainbow. More...

Article
NOVA/PBS

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