The raw diamond is the ultimate symbol of purity. Remarkable for its exceptional constitution. And its physical and chemical properties, the gem wants to be extraordinary. To better understand it, discover the exact definition of a raw diamond.
What is the raw diamond made of?
Among the most precious stones that nature has worn, there is the diamond. Composed of pure carbon, this gem is a crystallizing mineral in a cubic crystal system. Considered the hardest natural stone despite its simple composition. It is rated 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. But, the diamond contains some foreign elements in small or large proportions. Which is worth its various colorings to him. The face-centered cubic structure of raw diamond occurs with carbon atoms at the vertices of the cube. Besides atoms at the center of each face and eight per cell. The short and covalent bonds of the diamond give it in part its great hardness.
Below, discover the most popular crystal forms of raw diamond. Within the order of the number of faces, edges, and vertices:
- Cube (6 – 12 – 8);
- Octahedron (8 – 12 – 6);
- Dodecahedron (12 – 30 – 20);
- Rhombododecahedron (12 – 24 – 14).
The properties and characteristics of a raw diamond
Known for their adamantine brilliance and beauty even in their raw state. Raw diamonds can be opaque, translucent, or transparent. Subjected to a temperature of 1,100°C, it becomes graphite (one of the natural allotropes of black or metallic gray to dark gray carbon). The gem also remains insoluble in basic and acidic media. It is also remarkable for its rare physical and chemical properties.
With a high dispersion index of around 0.044. Diamond is able to break down penetrating white light into the colors of the spectrum. On this depends the “rainbow” effect of the gem. Because of this dispersion, the diamond sparkles with a thousand lights. With a density evaluated between 3.51 to 3.53, the diamond is in the category of stones qualified as normal (unlike light and heavy).
With the highest refractive index of natural stones (2.407 – 2.451). The raw diamond once again displays it’s different depending on the wavelength of light. Due to the presence of inclusions (“toads”, formation defects, etc.). In the gem, the diamond can have different colors: colorless, yellow, gray, brown, blue, red, green, black, pink, orange, and purple. With a very strong reflective power, the raw diamond once again marks its remarkable optical properties. It also remains an excellent thermal conductor and electrical insulator. Hence its use both in jewelry and in industry.
To further magnify the properties of the raw diamond. Many cutting and polishing techniques were developed in the 15th century. And since then, the stages of raw diamond cutting have since been of five orders, under the direction of true professionals (diamond cutter, polisher, cutter, setter, etc.).
Diamond ore processing and diamond recovery
Some gem mining methods need techniques to process the ore, such as operating a diamond mine. Now let’s find out what are the techniques for processing diamondiferous ore and diamond recovery.
Several techniques are used to process diamondiferous ore. Depending on whether it is artisanal, semi-industrial, or industrial.
But, we can resume the different phases that are common to all, or almost:
- The crushing of the ore is not too fine so as not to crush the diamonds.
- The sieving has the effect of separating the sand and the elements that are too large.
- The washing has the effect of breaking up the sludge and the ore.
- The diamond concentration and enrichment operation. Rotary mixers, stirrers, jigs, cyclones, and dense liquor separators (industrial exploitation) can be used for this purpose. All these devices aim to drop waste. And various minerals from the diamond thanks to their difference in density.
- Diamond recovery is carried out by grease belts, grease tables, or X-ray separators.
- It will then be necessary to sort the diamond according to its crystalline form and its quality.