By Anupum Pant
Diamonds are natural things…or are they?
All of those who have bought a wedding ring, have most probably been informed at the shop that diamonds can be made in the laboratory. And these diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from the real (mined) ones. Today they go by the name, laboratory-created, lab-grown, synthetic diamonds or man-made diamonds and are available at almost all jewelers. They have the same physical and chemical make up as that of the mined diamonds. The primary difference between the real deal and the lab diamond is their price. The lab-grown ones are usually easier on your wallet.
Normally, synthetic diamonds can be made using 2 different processes – high temperature and high pressure method and Vapor deposition method. The former is used to convert most mundane things into diamonds. But the later is used too…
Note: If this post reminds you of the classic track, Diamonds made from rain by Eric Clapton, then for a minute, you might want to stop playing it in the back of your head. And for the record, no, diamonds cannot be made from rain.
Fun fact: However, scientists say it does rain diamonds right here, in our own solar system, in the planets Jupiter and Saturn. But that is for some other day.
For now, I have collected a small and interesting list for you below. Four out of 5 are made using a similar process (number one from the two mentioned above). The list has been made to realize how there are diamonds hidden and lying around you. Let’s see what are those mundane things that can be turned into diamonds, right here on earth, in laboratories.
Yes, since major part of ash is carbon, all the other elements can theoretically be filtered out and by using high-pressure & high-temperature, it can be converted into diamonds. Leave aside the theory, now even practically this is possible. There are companies like LifeGem that specialize in this conversion process. They do it commercially. People usually get it done for the remains of their deceased relatives and pets – to convert them into literally sparkling ever lasting memories.
Now if it wasn’t obvious, almost anything can be burned down and carbon can be obtained from it. And then it is the same process all over. While some sections choose to burn the deceased, others bury them. For the sections that choose to bury, the locks of hair from the dead bodies are often cut by relatives and sent to these companies. Hair is then again, like ashes, converted into sparkling everlasting memories – Diamonds. One company that does it is Infinity diamonds.
If it helps, I’ve attached a video that I found on their website. It explains the process by which hair is converted into diamonds.
Yes! Peanut butter can be made into diamonds, by again using the same principle as described above. But since this process requires sophisticated scientific equipment, you can’t just go buy a jar of peanut butter and claim that you have augmented your net-worth by several million dollars.
This is interesting. To make tequila diamonds, it isn’t the same high-pressure high-temperature method that is used for other stuff.
While performing experiments in their laboratory (year 2008), Javier Morales, Luis Apátiga and Victor Castaño at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, discovered that, like acetone and ethanol, they could even use Tequila to make diamonds.
Specifically, they found that 80-proof tequila had the perfect amount of water and ethanol to make it into diamonds. They used a process where they evaporated the tequila vapor, heated it to 1400 degree F (760 degrees C) and deposited it on silicon trays. However, the resulting diamonds were very thin films of diamonds – thickness measuring only one thousandth of the thickness of human hair.
Even though pencil leads are called leads, they don’t contain lead (the metal). All you geniuses out there, please don’t chide me for writing this down. I know people who think it is real lead (Pb). No, it is not. Surprise, surprise! The pencil lead is mostly graphite (plus other things like clay and binders). And graphite is? Carbon again!
Yes, so even pencil leads can be crushed and be put into big equipment to obtain diamonds.
What are the other mundane things you know of, that can be made into diamonds? Tell me in the comments below!
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