Monday, 17 February 2014

Diamond Dreams

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I often wake up with a remnant from the last dream I had that night. It could be an image, or the lyrics of a song, or a last thought. Sometimes this fragment from my dreamworld is so strong that it keeps with me the whole day. If it is a song that I know then it is easy to quickly go on YouTube, listen to it, and find a sense of closure. At times it is not a previously recorded song, and it may cause me to quickly record the melody. I have a handful such melodies saved various places, on my computer or my mobile phone. Sometimes I remember snippets of lyrics or a single poetic line, which, when I think it is good, I compose into a poem. Some of these lines do not always work as poems immediately, so many of them are just lines on document files on my computer where I have many draft poems.

This morning I woke up with a song, but I couldn't remember the melody, only a phrase from the song "hardness of diamonds". My search for a song about the hardness of diamonds came up empty-handed. Only Rihanna's "Diamonds" popped up.

This was definitely not the song I had in my subconscious this morning.

A much more appropriate song that does have links with both the subconscious and diamonds is The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

So here are some random facts about diamonds:

Diamonds are made of carbon -- yes that black stuff when you burn stuff. It becomes all pretty when the carbon has been under intense heat (between 900 and 1300 °C) and extreme pressure (between 45 and 60 kilobars) for a very long time, which results in the formation of these beautiful carbon crystals.

When I was a kid my grandfather showed me and my brother how to do diamond panning, i.e. how to search for diamonds in a brook using a deep tin plate. One scoops up the sand and pebbles in the plate and then use a special circular motion to wash away the sand and spread open the small pebbles and rocks. There are many false alarms, as there are many quarts crystals that look like diamonds. Granddad also showed us how to determine if the crystals we found were diamonds. There is a way you put it on the palm of your hand then look at the refraction of the light through the crystal on your skin. We found some tiny ones, that are not worth anything, mostly because of their lack of clarity. Many diamonds are not fully clear -- they have some dirt in them that looks like smokey smudges. Such diamonds are usually discarded as they cannot be made into the beautiful clear jewels that we usually associate with brilliant diamonds.

Apart from clarity, diamonds are also valued according to its size (carat), colour, and finally the cut.

Why I dreamed about the "hardness" of diamonds, I don't know. The hardness of things are measured in Mohs. The softest minerals are 1 Moh, and diamonds, being the hardest natural substance is measured at 10 Mohs. The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word "adámas", that means unbreakable. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond.

The video below has some more interesting facts about diamonds:

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