It is said that diamonds are formed at the beginning of the solar system. Diamonds in space have formed with different molecules.
Once India was the only producer and exporter of diamonds in the world. Now, India is known to the world for its world famous diamond ‘Kohinoor’, also spelled as ‘Koh-i-Noor’. But, now it belongs to the queen of England. The name ‘Koh-i-Noor’ means the ‘mountain of light’. The originally weighing 186-carat diamond was cut and reshaped into ~108 carats (1 carat = 200 milligrams). But, in general, what is a diamond? And why it shines and attracts so many people worldwide?
Diamond means ‘unbreakable’ in Greek. The finest diamond is the hardest. It is highly thermally conductive natural dense material. It is colourless when chemically pure and structurally perfect. A chemically stable, solid form of carbon, whose atoms are arranged in the crystal form, is known as diamond. An impurity of one millionth can also bring colour to the diamond; such as blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red, etc.
Diamond’s unit cells are stacked together and are of different crystal structures like cube, octahedron, rhombicosidodecahedron, tetrakis hexahedron or disdyakis dodecahedron. A cubic crystal is one of the common forms of diamond available. A face-centred cubic lattice has eight unit cells one at each corner atom and one atom in the centre of each face which is shared by two. So, there are a total of eight atoms per unit cell.
Diamond is rare on earth as compared to its existence in space. This very common substance to the space is also referred to as extraterrestrial diamonds. Meteorites contain diamonds in nanometers, known as Nanodiamonds. They might be in pure or impure form. It is said that diamonds are formed at the beginning of the solar system. Diamonds in space have formed with different molecules. It is believed that supernovae and white dwarfs can form such diamonds. Uranus and Neptune have a huge amount of diamonds made from methane.