Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/83

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75
EMIGRANT DIAMONDS IN AMERICA.

common enough accompaniment to volcanic action—and have been profoundly altered by the high temperature and the extreme hydrostatic pressure under which the mass must have been held. The most important feature of this alteration has been the recrystallization of the carbon of the shale into diamond.

This apparent explanation of the genesis of the diamond finds strong support in the experiments of Moissan, who obtained artificial diamond by dissolving carbon in molten iron and immersing the mass in cold water until a firm surface crust had formed. The

PSM V56 D0083 Five views of the eagle diamond.png
Copyright, 1899, by George F. Kunz.
Five Views of the Eagle Diamond (sixteen carats); enlarged about three diameters. (Owned by Tiffany and Company.
We are indebted to the courtesy of Mr. G. F. Kunz, of Tiffany and Company, for the illustrations of the Oregon and Eagle diamonds.

"chilled" mass was then removed, to allow its still molten core to solidify slowly. This it does with the development of enormous pressures, because the natural expansion of the iron on passing into the solid condition is resisted by the strong shell of "chilled" metal. The isolation of the diamond was then accomplished by dissolving the iron in acid.

The prevailing form of the South African diamonds is that of a rounded crystal, with eight large and a number of minute faces—a form called by crystallographers a modified octahedron. Their