In popular culture, you hear diamonds referred to as “rocks,” but is this a scientifically sound description? Gemstones like diamond by definition (excluding organics like amber and pearl) are minerals, meaning they are naturally forming, inorganic substances with a regular crystalline structure. Rocks on the other hand, are aggregates of minerals, they are composed of tiny, unordered bits of component minerals, and they do not have a regular structure or morphology. So in reality, “rock” is more of an apples to oranges kind of comparison to diamond. Interestingly enough, another slang term for diamond “ice” turns out to be a better metaphor. Ice is an inorganic substance made of a single molecule (water) arranged in a regular crystalline structure. Ice is, by definition, a mineral just like diamond! So next time you hear someone refer to their diamonds as ice, be sure to complement them on their sound scientific reasoning as well their jewelry.
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