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Chemistry science fair project:
Explore diamonds: where are they found, how they are formed, and what they are used for.




Science Fair Project Information
Title: Explore diamonds: where are they found, how they are formed, and what they are used for.
Subject: Chemistry
Grade level: Primary School - Grades K-3
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Descriptive
Cost: Low
Awards: First place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (2006)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (VSF)
Year: 2006
Description: Main topics: How diamonds are formed, diamonds in Saskatchewan, Canada, production, uses, how is the value of diamonds evaluated, crimes, wars, legends.
Link: http://www.virtualsciencefair.org/2006/malh6d2/
Short Background

Diamonds are very rare gemstones. They are referred to as womens' best friends. Many of them are clear, but some of them have colors, like yellow, red, blue, green and pink. Big diamonds are very rare, and are worth a lot of money. This is because a diamond is very useful - it is very hard and it spreads light very well. There are natural and synthetic diamonds. The earth makes natural diamonds. People make synthetic diamonds.

Diamonds are actually made of carbon, the same chemical element as graphite, fullerene, and coal. But diamonds are very hard and in crystalline form. Diamonds are the hardest of all materials found normally on earth.

Because many diamonds are beautiful, people make jewelry using them. They are the rarest of stones and some people will do anything to get their hands on them. Because diamonds are very hard, they are sometimes used to cut hard things, or to grind things so they are very smooth. In fact, the only thing hard enough to cut a diamond is another diamond.

Diamonds are very effective electrical insulators, but also very good conductors of heat.

Diamonds are made deep in the earth, where there is an intense amount of pressure and heat that makes the diamond form. (This makes the diamond a metamorphic rock.) Sometimes magma (very hot, liquid rock deep in the earth) having diamonds will come near the top of a volcano. People find diamonds where volcanoes were a long time ago. Sometimes people find diamonds on the top of the ground. But in places like South Africa, they must dig deep down into a diamond mine to get diamonds. Diamonds were first found in India.

De Beers is the leader of the diamond industry. As well as Pangea Diamond Fields of South Africa.

Synthetic diamond (also known variously as lab-created, manufactured, lab-grown or cultured diamond) is a term used to describe diamond crystals produced by a technological process, as opposed to natural diamond, which is produced by geological processes.

Synthetic diamond is not the same as diamond-like carbon, DLC, which is amorphous hard carbon, or diamond simulants, which are made of other materials such as cubic zirconia or silicon carbide. The properties of synthetic diamond depend on the manufacturing process used to produce it, and can be inferior, similar or superior to those of natural diamond.

Because it can be made for less than it costs to mine and process natural diamond, synthetic diamond is used in many industrial applications. Reduced costs and the ability to engineer its physical and electrical properties give synthetic diamond the potential to become a disruptive technology in many areas, such as electronics and medicine.

Diamond Drilling is a highly specialized drilling technique used for mineral exploration where the mineral resource outcrops below deep soil overburden, lakes and those that do not outcrop at all, this can take place on surface or if facilities exist, underground. The drill uses a diamond encrusted drill bit (pictured on the right) to drill through the rock.

A number of large or extraordinarily coloured diamonds have gained fame, both as exquisite examples of the beautiful nature of diamonds, and because of the famous people who wore, bought, and sold them. These diamonds are often depicted in marketing materials aimed at the retail diamond customer. A partial list of famous diamonds in history follows.

In relation to diamond trading, blood diamond (also called a converted diamond, conflict diamond, hot diamond or a war diamond) refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army's war efforts, or a warlord's activity, usually in Africa.

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)

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