On the Beauty of Defects.

In: Diamond - The Ultimate Gemstone

Eloïse Gaillou1, George R. Rossman2

1. Musée de Minéralogie, MINES Paris Tech, 75006 Paris, France
2. Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA


In its pure an perfect form, diamond is colorless. However, in nature or even when made in a laboratory, diamond are never composed just of perfectly arranged carbon atoms. At the atomic level even colorless and semingly flawless diamonds contain trace amounts of other elements sucn as nitrogen or hydrogen, or they may contain structural defects sucn as missing carbon atoms. When present in specific atomic arrangements and concentratinos, most minor components of defects can cause absorption of specific wavelengths that give rise to color.

last revised: 1-Mar-2017