Fancy treating yourself? The world’s largest ever blue diamond is going up for auction on May 18th at Christie’s in Geneva. But you better have a healthy bank balance: It’s expected to sell for somewhere in the region of $45 million.
Geoengineering — hacking Earth’s climate system to reverse global warming — often sounds a bit preposterous, whether we’re talking about deploying giant space mirrors or dumping a bunch of iron filings into the ocean. The latest proposal? Dusting the stratosphere with billions of dollars worth of powdered diamond.
It takes a lot to make a diamond burn — but it can be done. Watch these people prank a Nobel Prize winner, while demonstrating that diamonds are made of carbon and can burn like carbon.
Diamonds you’re familiar with. Pandanus candelabrum, not so much. And until recently, botanists didn’t pay much attention to this rare, palm-like plant from West Africa either. But the discovery that P. candelabrum grows only over rock that may harbor diamonds has vaulted the plant out of obscurity.
If you ever wondered how much land mass had to be moved to produce that diamond engagement ring, this series of photos should help put things in perspective.
A team of scientists just strung a tone of the world's smallest diamonds into superstrong nanothreads. That makes for one impressive (and basically invisible) necklace, but the applications of these nanothreads don't end there. They could someday help string up an elevator to space—just like in science fiction.
It is not pleasant inside the core of Jupiter—or any other planet for that matter. However, gaining a better understanding of what's going on in there is key for understanding how these planets form. That's why a team of scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently used diamonds and lasers to recreate…
Building empires takes money. And building industrial empires takes diamonds, not just for cash, but for the machines and tools that need them to operate. In a remote corner of Siberia, the Mir diamond mine was responsible for funneling diamonds into building the USSR—and it left behind a pit that stretches almost a…
You are looking at the city of Mirny, located right in the heart of Asia, in the Republic of Yakutia, an estate associated to the Russian Federation. That terrifying hole is an open quarry 525 meters deep and 1.2 kilometers in diameter right next to the city itself. It looks like the gates of hell to me.
It's no surprise that the diamond industry is willing to spend whatever it takes to make the process of mining precious gems even more profitable. And while it already relies on X-ray technology for spotting diamonds on the surface of mined ore, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute's Development Center for X-ray…
Since graphite—the dark material used in regular old pencils—and diamonds are both made from carbon, it's technically feasible to turn the former into the latter. You just need to apply a little pressure—about 150,000 times what the atmosphere on Earth's surface is like. But researchers at Stanford University claim to…
This battered diamond has survived a "journey to hell and back," and it has a pretty specular story to tell. Spat out from deep inside the earth, it is our first direct evidence for a scientific theory that says that vast amounts of water are trapped deep inside Earth's mantle.
The jewelry market has been flooded with synthetic stones over the last several years; not just lab-grown gems but flat-out fakes. Here's how to tell if your rock is the real McCoy and not just a shiny bauble.
You're looking at the oldest fragment of Earth ever found: a zircon 4.375 billion years old, something that has deep implications in our understanding of the planet's formation. While some scientists said other samples weren't genuine, new research just published in the journal Nature Geoscience proves that this is…
We're a little late to the party on this one, but it's just too fascinating to pass up. A team of planetary scientists recently claimed that the mix of methane, carbon and lightning in Saturn's atmosphere is causing diamonds to be forged in the planet's atmosphere. Like, a lot of diamonds.
Turns out diamonds have powers beyond bringing bling-happy jewelry enthusiasts and hopeful lovers to their knees. Harvard researchers have figured out how to make the shiny little pebbles into the world's tiniest thermometers. How tiny? Small enough to take the temperature of an individual cell.
As electronic devices get increasingly tiny, heat management becomes a bigger and bigger problem. In gadgets that can't practically house a fan, heat sinks do the job of keeping sensitive electronics cool. So far, the best-performing heat transfer material has been diamond, which any rap video will remind you is…
If you had more diamonds than the rest of the world combined hiding under an asteroid crater, would you tell anyone? Russia was happy to keep that knowledge a secret until now, finally revealing plans to begin tapping into a reserve containing trillions of carats worth of diamonds.