- What is the Mohs’ scale?
- How are diamonds created?
- What is the diamond’s crystal structure?
- How can a piece of diamond break off?
Buying diamond jewellery is opting for jewellery which has been made from the hardest raw material in the world. But that doesn’t mean this raw material is invincible and unbreakable. Diamonds are incredibly hard, but not strong. Can a diamond break? What should you pay attention to in order to prevent this?
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What is the Mohs’ scale?
The Mohs’ scale is a hardness scale, developed by Friedrich Mohs in 1812. The scale uses values of 1 to 10 to indicate the relative hardness of minerals. Diamonds have the highest value, which means any other material can be scratched by a diamond. When buying diamond jewellery, surely you don’t expect it to be possible for something to be able to scratch this, right?
Let’s take a look at the diamond’s origin. After all, it’s the special chemical composition and formation process which have made diamonds what they are.
How are diamonds created?
Do you know the route these beautiful gemstones need to complete before they can be bought as diamond jewellery? Diamonds are made entirely from one element, namely carbon. The carbon is transformed into diamond under extreme heat and pressure, at around 140 to 190 km below the earth’s crust. And believe it or not, this growth takes up an impressive 1 to 3.3 billion years!
A different process subsequently results in the diamond being pushed up to the surface, where it can be found by man.
What is the diamond’s crystal structure?
Now you know how diamonds are formed, we can take a more detailed look at these precious stones’ crystal structure. A diamond’s crystal structure is cubic and isometric, which means the carbon atoms are bound in the exact same way in all directions. It’s a repeating pattern of 8 atoms, which explains the extreme resistance and constant of the stone.
Graphite, another type of carbon we use for, for example, pencils, has a flat crystal structure. This means the graphite is much softer and also forms flaking layers.
How can a piece of diamond break off?
Now the diamond’s hardness has been explained, you will also know that a diamond can generally only be scratched by another diamond. Nevertheless, if you catch a diamond at a certain angle with a steel hammer, it can most definitely shatter into a thousand pieces. Of course we know you are not about to buy diamond jewellery in order to subject it to this type of testing.
But your diamond jewellery can also become damaged as a result of other influences. This includes toxins, chlorine or other aggressive chemicals we often find in our homes.
Would you like to buy diamond jewellery and enjoy it for the rest of your life? Then make sure you don’t wear the jewellery when doing heavy manual work or domestic chores. Any other questions? Don’t hesitate to contact BAUNAT’s experts for extra advice.