2 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm


© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


A diamond is a precious stone of pure carbon usually crystallised in octahedrons. It is the hardest naturally occurring substance, registering 10 on the Mohs' scale. Diamonds have many industrial applications such as the drilling and cutting of hard materials. Owing to their rarity and high rate of refraction and dispersal of light which makes them 'sparkle', diamonds are highly prized as gemstones.

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