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Word Count: 426
Diamond Properties Diamond is the hardest substance known and is given a value of 10 in the Mohs hardness scale devised by the German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs to indicate relative hardness of substances on a rating scale from 1 to 10 Its hardness exhibited in its resistance to scratching is not a constant quantity but varies in every diamond with the crystallographic direction being greater on surfaces parallel to the octahedron than on those parallel to the dodecahedron planes Moreover hardness on the same face or surface varies with the direction of the cut Diamond crystalizes in the isometric system Octahedra and rhombic dodecahedra are the crystal forms most commonly found but cubes and other forms also occur Rounded distorted and twinned crystals are also common Crystalline diamonds always cleave cleanly along planes parallel to the faces of an octahedron The specific gravity of diamonds ranges between 315 and 353 but the value for pure crystals is almost always 352 Diamonds exhibit a wide range of transparency and color Good quality diamonds of clear strong and unusual color are highly prized Colorless stones known as white diamonds are extremely valuable while yellow or brown tinged stones are regarded as imperfect Green and blue diamonds are rarities and red diamonds are the rarest of all Color in diamonds is caused by the presence of minor elements Two important characteristics of the diamond when used as a gem are its brilliancy and fire Both the index of refraction and the dispersion the physical properties that determine luster and fire are higher for diamond than for any other natural transparent colorless stone Uncut diamonds have a greasy luster and are not brilliant but when cut the same stones exhibit a high luster characterized technically as adamantine The effect of the high dispersion is to separate the colored components of white light so that the stone sparkles when properly cut Some diamonds exhibit fluorescence when exposed to sunlight
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