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PIE # 37 - Diamonds: beauty, science, and technology

(22.11.2008) Larissa Dobrzhinetskaya


Diamond is a subject of admiration; it has been prized for centuries as a gemstone of outstanding brilliance and luster, and has held a unique place in the human imagination since antiquity. Though “Diamonds are a girl's best friend”, but to a scientist diamonds are interesting for their geological occurrences, and range of exceptional and extreme properties.

When compared to any other laboratory-made materials, diamond almost always comes out on top. Besides numerous technological applications diamond nanoparticles are recently found to be new treatment for cancer. Diamond deposits are known on every major landmass except Europe and Antarctica, but with nearly 65 percent of the global supply coming from Africa. We all know the successful commercial slogan, "A diamond is forever." But do we really think about what that means? Diamonds are symbols of love, but in today's world, they've also become symbols of war. During the last decade, diamond production in African countries has been associated with rebel and terrorist funding, illegal smuggling and atrocious civil wars. You will learn about the origin of diamonds, their occurrences in the Earth, the history of their exploration and mining, their outstanding roles as gemstones and as a scientific and technological resource, an

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