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What are diamonds made of?
Unlike every other precious stone, a diamond is the only mineral made of a single element. Diamonds are composed 99.95% of carbon. The other 0.05% includes traces of other elements that are not the part of the primary chemical composition. These traces can affect both the color and shape of a diamond.
How are diamonds made?
Natural diamonds are formed under high temperature and pressure conditions approximately 90 miles beneath the earth's surface. Without these conditions, the carbon will not pressurize. The structure of a diamond's atoms contribute to its hardness. While graphite and diamonds are both composed of carbon, the pattern in which the atoms are arranged give a diamond its level of hardness. On the Mohs Scale of hardness, a diamond is given the highest rating at a 10. To view the Mohs scale of hardness, visit http://www.allaboutgemstones.com/mohs_hardness_scale.html.
Where do diamonds come from?
While diamonds come from all over the world, the most common sources are from Central and South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Australia, and India. Each year, approximately 130 million carats of diamonds are mined throughout the world. Because diamonds are formed in such deep surfaces below the earth, they have to be brought to shallower surfaces in order to be mined. Naturally, this process is accomplished by deep volcanic eruptions that force magma through volcanic pipes. To learn more about this process visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamonds.
Why are diamonds so expensive?
As a general answer, diamonds are expensive because of supply and demand. However, it is much more complicated than that. Throughout the years, diamonds have been found in large quantities. Unfortunately, many of these diamonds are not high in quality; therefore, the ones that do possess valued characteristics, based on the 4 C's, are much more rare. This rarity is what gives diamonds their hefty price. This same concept applies with the price of larger diamonds. Many people think that a 2.0 carat diamond will be twice as expensive as a 1.0 carat diamonds; however, if they are of the same quality, the price exponentially increases. Another reason diamonds are expensive is because they are extremely difficult to cut. This is caused not only by the nature of the stones but because cut grading has evolved to such high standards.
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