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Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Bit of Sciences

People have spent many years and huge amount of funds in order to create such a precious gem as diamond. The first discovery that was made concerning this gem is that a real diamond consists of pure carbon. This discovery dated 1797. Though it sounded rather simply, but to make such a valuable thing out of something else appeared to be not an easy task.

First more or less successful attempts to produce a stone were made in 1879 and 1893, when a Noble-prized chemist Henri Moissan used high temperature (up to 3500 °C) and high pressure to create a diamond stone out of graphite. Through the years this manufacturing technology has been changing and currently you will find several methods of diamond synthesis. One of them is high-pressure high-temperature method, which is used by Gemesis company situated in Sarasot, Florida, United States. As you can judge from the name of the method, scientists grow synthetic diamond with the help of press, which creates high-pressure high-temperature environment. The most difficult thing was to invent such a high-pressure apparatus. The first to succeed was Tracy Hall, who derived first synthetic diamond stones out of graphite on December 16, 1954. His device is presently called "a belt press", named after the form of construction: the central cell, where the main process of synthesis of diamond crystals takes place, was supported by a tungsten-carbide belt with a beltline made of high-resistant steel. Since that time this construction underwent some changes but the general principal of device design founded by Hall remained.

There is an interesting fact concerning source material. Some say that diamond can be produced from any carbon-saturated material including human remains (ew, what a disgust), but usually manufacturers use graphite and a range of catalysts for this purpose. Due to the fact that the process of producing synthetic diamonds is rather complicated and still takes much funds and efforts to grow diamonds, these sparkling little gems are so rare, unique and always adorable (My preeecioooouuuuusss!).

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