Diamonds have been in the news quite a lot this week, and not because of any celebrity engagement news. Instead, it’s what’s inside that counts. Continue reading Why so many diamonds are making science headlines this week
Workers at Lesotho’s Letšeng mine have discovered an absolute whopper of a diamond, rated at 910-carats. Roughly the size of two golf balls, the precious gem has an estimated value of $40 million.
A 709-carat diamond from Sierra Leone has been sold for more than $6.5 million. That’s like two month’s rent in Manhattan!
The history of civilization is really a tale of data storage. We’ve come up with an endless list of solutions for passing along culture and knowledge—from cave paintings to hard drives. But each solution is imperfect: books can burn (though we have learned how to decode some charred scrolls), monuments weather away and even magnetic tape or discs will eventually fail. While DVDs seem like a long-lasting solution, they’re not. And they can only hold a few terabytes of information, but the world’s technology produces exabytes and zettabytes of data every year.
Diamonds might be forever, but they’re no longer the hardest form of carbon on the planet. Sorry, diamonds.
Diamonds can form with the help of ancient saltwater, say researchers who have identified the gems that crystallized with the help of oceanic crust dating back as far as 200 million years ago.
There she grows!
A picky plant found in West Africa may grow only on top of mineral deposits often loaded with diamonds, according to research soon to be published in the journalEconomic Geology. Stephen Haggerty, a professor at Florida International University in Miami and the chief exploration officer of Youssef Diamond Mining Company, said the discovery could be a game changer for the region.