FourFourSeconds ago, the world’s most valuable diamond was discovered, but the world is still struggling to figure out where it’s located.
With the world desperately in need of diamonds, a team of researchers led by Dr. Michael Schumacher of the University of Bristol has recently published a new article in the prestigious scientific journal Nature that looks at the properties of the world, the mineral world, and the diamonds themselves.
The team studied the minerals known as petals in the crystals known as chrysotile, a common mineral found in almost every rock on Earth.
The researchers looked at the mineralogy of petals and compared it to that of the diamonds that have been found, as well as the chemistry of the material itself.
They found that, at a microscopic level, the petals of the chrysopelans can be manipulated to create diamonds that are as soft and pliable as those found in the real thing.
“For many years, we’ve known that petals can be used as a way to control the properties, but until now, how they are created and manipulated has been poorly understood,” said Schumachers co-author Dr. Mark Bensinger.
“Our study shows that the minerals themselves are also the key to controlling the shape of the diamond, making it even harder to spot.”
“We believe that these properties are a consequence of the fact that petal minerals are extremely water-soluble, which makes them ideal for manipulating diamond properties,” said Bensingers co-investigator Dr. Christian König.
The results also found that the petal-controlled diamond properties of chrysopsilane could be modified in a way that would make them even more pliable and water-resistant than diamonds found in nature.
“When we started out, it was clear that this type of mineralisation would require a lot of time and effort to produce a pure, hard diamond,” said Dr. Königs co-lead author Dr. Eric Gebhard.
“But with the results of our study, we now have a better understanding of how the diamond is shaped and manipulated and how these properties can be controlled.”
“The petal properties of these chrysopesilane crystals are extremely difficult to control,” said Könieg.
“We need to know how these diamond properties are made in the first place.”
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Materials Science and Engineering (NIMSE) through the European Organization for Nuclear Research (EONR).