Diamonds and Gold

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Hello Blogging Hawks,

Did you find the title interesting? In a comment, I mentioned I would be buying a diamond for my collection of rocks and minerals. That sounds exciting but I have to say I could only afford and industrial quality diamond as I don't have a huge budget. Well, I bought one.

What is an industrial quality diamond?

You might know diamonds are very hard. They can be completely clear or have different colours depending on impurities. As well as white (or clear), I have seen pink, champagne (yellow) and blue diamonds. Good quality diamonds can be cut to make jewels but most diamonds found are not suitable for cutting because they can be flawed and have too many impurities. Industrial quality diamonds can be used to make strong cutting tools such as diamond drills and saws or even diamond cutters for cutting glass. My diamond is definitely in the industrial quality group.

Can you pick the diamond in my collection?

Look at the picture below. It shows photos of 9 stones in my collection. Can you pick the diamond? Once you have decided, click the link below the picture to see if you chose correctly. You can also learn what all are and a little about each.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Click here when you have chosen.

Gold.

We all know gold is valuable. Here are some gold photos from my collection.

Gold in quartz found in a mine at Hill End, Australia

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 Gold Nugget (0.127oz) New Zealand

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Panned Gold "Dust", Australia and New Zealand

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Gold coin (0.1oz)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

How is gold made?

In this section, when I type an element I will add its Table of Elements code in brackets... Hydrogen (H) A short way of writing hydrogen in H. You will find some elements don't seem to use letters from their names. Their codes come from their Latin names... Copper (Cu) Latin: cuprum, Silver (Ag) Latin: argentum, Tin (Sn) Latin: sternum, Antimony (Sb) Latin: stibium, Gold (Au) Latin: aurum, Lead (Pb) Latin: plumbum

We all know gold is rare and valuable on Earth but do you know how gold came to be? It's a hot subject, a very hot subject. Did you know new elements (the things that make up us and the whole planet), are made in suns? It's happening right now in our sun.

Hydrogen (H) is being fused (joined) with hydrogen under high temperature and pressure in the core (centre) of suns (nuclear fusion). They fuse to become helium (He). Once the hydrogen runs out, the stars stop fusion (joining) hydrogen. For small stars, they can start to cool and shrink. Larger stars might start fusing helium and even larger elements.

Hydrogen (H) - Helium (He) - Carbon (C) - Oxygen (O) - Neon (Ne) - Silicon (Si) - Iron (Fe)

It's thought that much heavier elements might have been made in supernova reactions in stars (supernova nucleosynthesis). A star that goes supernova becomes very bright. It can be from a very big star collapsing (falling in on itself) and releasing a huge amount of energy or it can be from a smaller, cooler star suddenly exploding back into life (fusion). It's in these supernovae it's thought elements such as gold come into existence and can be thrown out into space.

Isn't our universe amazing? What makes us up, the chemicals in our body, started out in stars.

I can remember seeing one supernova appearing 1987 (SN 1987A). It was about around 168,000 light years away. That means while I saw it in the skies in 1987, it had really gone supernova about 168,000 years ago but the light in our night sky only appeared in 1987.

 

Is All Gold Really Gold?

In the pictures below, you can see samples of iron pyrite crystals in my collection. Pyrite looks like gold but isn't. It isn't worth much but I like the samples more than real gold because I like crystals. What do you think?

How can you tell the difference? Pyrite is much lighter than gold and, being a crystal, can be shattered if hit by a hammer. Gold is the most malleable element. This means it can easily be hammered and shaped without cracking. Gold can be flattened into very thin sheets but I think I will keep my small pieces as they were found.

Iron Pyrites (Fool's Gold) on Calcite

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Iron Pyrite Crystal

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

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