A diamond is made entirely from carbon, the same element that makes up the graphite used in pencil leads. What gives a diamond the unique properties that differentiate it from common graphite is its physical structure.Continue Reading
A diamond consists of carbon atoms in a face-centered cubic structure. A diagram of this structure looks like a cube with a single dot on each face, Each corner of the cube and each dot represents a single atom. This symmetrical, three-dimensional structure gives a diamond its exceptional hardness. By comparison, graphite has a layered, sheet-like structure, which explains why it can easily be chipped away.
A diamond degrades into graphite under standard conditions because it becomes less stable under normal temperatures and pressures, but the conversion rate is so slow that it can be considered negligible.Learn more about Geology