Diamond, A Mineral Essay

1408 words - 6 pages

Minerals are an immense part of our lives everyday, there are over 2200 different kinds of minerals, and 3,000 minerals are in the earth's crust. Anything to be classified as a mineral they must be natural, have inorganic elements or compound, a definite chemical composition, a definite internal crystalline structure and last but not least, solid. Of the nearly 2,000 minerals that have been named only 11 are among the more important rock-forming minerals. Quartz, feldspar, mica, ferromagnesian minerals, calcite, gypsum, halite, igneous rocks (fire formed rocks), extrusive or volcanic rocks, sedimentary rocks, and metamorphic rocks are the 11 among the important rock-forming minerals. They are the building blocks of rock, most of the rock-forming minerals are compounds of silicon and oxygen. Minerals can form under a variety of conditions, such as: A) during the cooling of molten materials (steel, from lavas, igneous rocks).B) during the evaporation of liquids (salt, sugar, reference to evaporates) C) the cooling of liquids (saturated solution) D) at high temperatures and pressures new crystals may grow in solid materials (diamonds from coal, metamorphism) To identify minerals by physical characteristics you could observe or look at the crystal system, color(surface of mineral), luster(how light reflects off it), hardness(scale form 1-10, 10 being the hardest), streak(color of powder left by mineral when scratched by porcelain plate), magnetism(gives off field which can affect compass), and perform an acid test by releasing gas when the mineral is mixed with HCI.A diamond, having a composition of carbon and chemical formula "c", is the hardest (10) known substance. It is forty times harder than Corundum, which is number 9 on the hardness scale. The color is colorless and white, usually lightly tinged with yellow, orange, or brown. Less commonly blue, green, or red, rarely deep red, blue, green, or purple, also occurs dark gray to black. A diamond's streak is white and does not give off a magnetic field, which can affect a compass. The luster of diamond is incomparable. They exhibit great "fire", or brilliance, which gives them a shiny, freshly polished look. Rough diamonds exhibit a greasy luster, but proper cutting give them a powerful adamantine luster. The crystal system is isometric, it is usually octahedral, with many crystal faces. It is commonly fluorescent in short wave ultraviolet light; usually light blue, sometimes white, yellow, orange, and red. diamond is the most inert and durable material, and is not affected by any substance. The only mineral that can possibly be confused with diamond is water worn Quartz pebbles, which resemble water worn diamonds, but the hardness and luster of diamond will differentiate the two. The word diamond comes from the Greek word "adamas", meaning unconquerable. It's special characteristic of extreme hardness and brilliant luster began the tradition of...

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