Hard as a Rock

Diamond in the Rough

Have you ever collected stones? There are many different kinds. They can be rough or smooth. They can have many colors. Did you know the strongest stone in the world can have no color at all? It is a diamond.

Diamonds get their name from the Greek word adamas which means unbreakable. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance known to man. They are used in many industries.

It takes a diamond 1 – 3 billion years to form. That’s a long time! Diamonds are made of carbon. Carbon atoms are deep in the earth where they get very hot and get squeezed together very hard. The diamonds formed in volcanic tunnels underground. Some erupted and moved the diamonds up to the Earth’s mantle. Mining for them is done in holes that can be 100 miles deep.

A diamond mine in South Africa

Diamonds are valuable stones. They vary in size and shape. The largest diamond ever found is called the Cullinan Diamond. It was found in South Africa in 1905. The over 3,100 carat diamond was cut into smaller stones worth millions of dollars. Mining companies search for these rare stones because the hardest substance on Earth is used by for many things.

What Do You Think? What are some ways diamonds can be used? Dig into some research!

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And Then What Happened? 

Photo Credit: (t)RobertKacpura/iStock/Getty Images, (b)Angela N Perryman/Shutterstock