DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Microdiamond. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the surface of a microdiamond crystal from Siberia, Russia. Chemical erosion has caused the surface to become etched. Microdiamonds are diamonds (pure crystals of carbon) which measure less than a millimetre in any dimension. They are being studied as an alternative to the more expensive larger diamonds used in industry. Microdiamonds are thought to form either with larger diamonds in the Earth's mantle (the layer beneath the crust), or in the ascending magma (molten rock) that can bring the larger stones to the surface. Magnification: x370 at 6x7cm size.
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