VAUGHAN FLEMING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VAUGHAN FLEMING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
An octagonal cut diamond. Diamond is a naturally occurring form of carbon which has crystallised under great pressure. The crystals may be colourless and transparent or yellow, brown or black. Attractive varieties are highly prized as gemstones. Diamond is the hardest known mineral and the poorer quality specimens are used extensively in industry, mainly for cutting and grinding tools. Industrial-quality diamonds can be produced synthetically.
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