A diamond is the hardest substance known to man. And diamonds were formed by being “squeezed together”. This happened. according to scientists, about 100,000,000 years ago. At that time there existed beneath the ground a mass of hot liquid rock. The earth was in its early cooling stage, and in the process, the mass of liquid rock was subjected to extreme heat and pressure. One of the results was that certain chemical combinations formed. And one of these was highly crystallized carbon—what we call a “diamond”.
Two of the most interesting things about diamonds are their hard- ness and their brilliance. A diamond is actually about five times as hard as corundum, the next hardest substance on earth.
And because a diamond is so hard, getting it ready for use in jewelry is quite a complicated and skillful process. First, a diamond is cleaved or divided. This requires a great deal of study to make sure it will split along certain natural lines. A narrow notch is then cut with another diamond having a sharp point; an iron or steel edge is laid on this line, and a sharp blow is struck. If all has been done correctly, the diamond, the hardest substance in the world, splits instantly in two in exactly the direction desired!
Diamonds also have “facets”. or little faces, cut into them. This is done on a high-speed iron wheel on the edge of which is diamond dust mixed in oil. The average brilliant diamond is cut with 58 facets! All this is done to make the diamond have the right shape and brilliance.
What Are Diamonds Made Of?
Diamonds are made of carbon so they form as carbon atoms under a high temperature and pressure; they bond together to start growing crystals.