What to know about diamonds, Emeralds and a wedding ring
Rose gold engagement rings are a nearly universal emblem of love, togetherness, and longevity. They are the symbol of marriage and the go-to gift for those most important to us. Why do humans find these rocks so attractive? Is it because of the long-lasting association with admirable goals such as marriage? Or is it because of its unique look that is unlike any other mineral on Earth? Many of us have adored the look of a diamond from a young age before we truly understood the cultural context associated with them. Click here to find out more about it. This is largely due to its clear and shiny nature. The atomic structure, relationship with light, and hardiness of diamonds contribute to the resulting characteristics that give them such a bright, beautiful shine.
Diamonds are created from a specific allotrope of the Carbon Element. Allotropes occur when an atom can organize itself in various fashions. Graphite, charcoal, and diamonds are all the result of Carbon atoms arranging themselves in different ways. The Carbon atoms in diamonds are arranged much differently than any other allotropes. In diamonds, Carbon atoms are together in a three-dimensional, lattice structure. This structure occurs rarely in nature and contributes to a diamond's shiny, reflective character. Pure diamonds are made only of Carbon atoms, and impure diamonds have other elements introduced into the structure. For example, yellow diamonds have Nitrogen incorporated in their structure; instead of a Carbon atom stuck together to others, it is bonded to one or more Nitrogen atoms. Purple, green, and black diamonds result from the introduction of other elements in the lattice structure.
The shiny appearance of pure diamonds is due to how light interacts with the lattice structure. Instead of the rock absorbing certain wavelengths of light and transmitting others which is how we see color-pure diamonds transmit the light itself. This is interpreted as a clear, colorless, and shiny appearance. A shiny presentation is still exhibited in impure or colored diamonds, however, the addition of these other elements in the molecular structure results in absorption and reflection of specific light wavelengths. This allows impure diamonds to demonstrate different colors but still shine.
In addition to exhibiting a beautiful appearance, diamonds are also extremely resistant to scratching and are therefore described as the hardest material on Earth. This characteristic allows diamonds to maintain a "new" appearance throughout their lifetime. Diamonds are hydrophobic, meaning that they do not interact with water. Daily exposure to water will not alter the look of the diamond because water molecules slide right off the surface of the mineral and are unable to affect its structure. They will never rust or degrade due to continuous exposure to water. In addition, no material besides other diamond engagement rings can scratch these elegant rocks.
The structure, interaction with light, and hardiness of diamonds all contribute to why they exhibit such an appealing appearance. As with all living and nonliving forms on Earth, a diamond's characteristics can be traced back to its structure and corresponding functions. The unique allotrope of Carbon that makes up a diamonds three-dimensional, the lattice structure is the reason diamonds reflect visible light, exhibit hardiness, and are hydrophobic. These functions then contribute to the shine and longevity that humans have come to value. Whether we are declaring our everlasting love to the most important person in our lives, or continuing to demonstrate our appreciation for them in the coming years, diamonds are the superior symbol to do so.