An exhibition of work by Rhonda Fenwick, Gina Martin, Lynda Cornwell, Claire Rollinson & Andy Holt as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations
June 2, 2012 - July 7, 2012
Facts About Diamonds
All natural diamonds are made of the same material as the charcoal you burn on the grill or the graphite in the pencil you sketch with. Carbon atoms are bonded together in groups of four in a pyramid shape called a tetrahedron. Each link is equal to every other link in size. This formation of the atoms gives the diamond its hard structure. Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance known to man.
Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth: between 100 km and 200 km below the earth's surface. Diamonds form under remarkable conditions.
The temperatures they are formed at are about 900 - 1300 C in this part of the Earth's mantle where diamonds form. The pressure is between 45 - 60 kilo bars. (kB) 50 kB = 150 km or 90 miles below the surface 60 kB = 200 km or 120 miles below the surface. Diamonds are carried to the surface by volcanic eruptions. The volcanic magma conduit is known as a kimberlite pipe or diamond pipe. We find diamonds as inclusions in the (rather ordinary looking) volcanic rock known as kimberlite. The kimberlite magmas that carry diamonds to the surface are often much younger than the diamonds they transport (the kimberlite magma simply acts as a conveyer belt). To ensure they are not converted to graphite, diamonds must be transported extremely rapidly to the Earth's surface. It is probable that kimberlite lavas carrying diamonds erupt at between 10 and 30 km/hour (Eggler, 1989). Within the last few kilometers, the eruption velocity probably increases to several hundred km/hr.
All natural diamonds are at least 990,000,000 years old. Many are 3,200,000,000 years old (3.2 billion years) how do we know this? Age: from Carbon dating? No! C-dating only works for very young carbon. You need to use other radioactive decay schemes (e.g., uranium-lead) to date inclusions in diamonds. Inclusions used for dating are around 100 microns in diameter (0.1 mm).
The word "Diamond" comes from the Greek word "Adamas" and this means "unconquerable and indestructible".
Diamonds worn in ancient times were believed to promote strength, invincibility and courage.
There are white dwarf stars in space that have a diamond core. The biggest diamond known in the universe weights 2.27 thousand trillion trillion tons, which is 10 billion trillion trillion carats, or a 1 followed by 34 zeros.
The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were splinters of stars fallen on the earth.
Diamonds - Words of Inspiration
A diamond is a chunk of coal that never gave up its work. Henry Kissinger
As the earth dies your spirit will bloom; as the world fades your soul will rise and glisten. Amongst the dehydrated crevices of a desert earth you will stumble upon your diamonds; in between the dry skulls and cracked bones you will find your sapphires. C. JoyBell
Angels are like diamonds. They can't be made, you have to find them. Each one is unique. Jaclyn Smith
Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough. Mary McLeod Bethune
Diamonds were nothing more than carbon, but carbon in a crystal lattice that made it the hardest known mineral in nature. That was the way we all were headed. I was sure of it. We were destined to be diamonds! Alan Bradley, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag