There’s so much to love about the Great Blue North, but perhaps the most famous — and challenging — a piece of trivia about Canada involves smashing a diamond with a hammer. Great Canadian Questions is an initiative by Historica Canada that invites Canadians to test their knowledge of the country and its history. Ask anyone about how many provinces there are in Canada, or where the city of Montreal is located, and you’re likely to get answers that range from correct up to somewhere south of crazy town. Let’s see if you can smash a diamond with a hammer
Can You Smash a Diamond With a Hammer?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on the type of hammer and the type of diamond. If you are using a standard hammer, it is unlikely that you will be able to smash the diamond. However, if you are using a sledgehammer or another type of heavy-duty hammer, you may be able to break the diamond.
Why Is It So Hard To Smash A Diamond With A Hammer?
- Diamonds are made from carbon atoms. Carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe and can be found in many other minerals, including charcoal, graphite, and coal.
- Diamonds are made up of a lattice of carbon atoms that are bound together by strong covalent bonds. These bonds form between each carbon atom’s four valence electrons, which makes diamonds incredibly stable under normal conditions.
- Despite their hardness, diamonds can be scratched by harder materials such as corundum (the mineral that forms rubies and sapphires).
- It takes a lot of force to break those bonds between the carbon atoms in a diamond — so much force that it would take more energy than you could get out of breaking it to actually do it!
- The last time anybody tried to smash a diamond with a hammer was in 1962 at the General Electric Company Research Laboratories, when Thomas Watson Jr., then chairman of IBM, challenged GE scientists to try and break a diamond. They failed.
- The only way to break a diamond is to use a laser, which can focus light into an intense beam that has enough energy to break the strong bonds between carbon atoms in the lattice of a diamond.
- So, next time you’re looking for something hard enough to smash your diamond with, you may want to look for something made of carbon!
How Do You Smash A Diamond With A Hammer?
- To begin the experiment, you’ll need a hammer and a diamond. If you have an old, dull-looking diamond, then that’s ideal. Otherwise, use your judgment to select a diamond that will be easily shattered.
- Place the diamond in front of the hammer and strike it with the hammer so as to shatter it into several pieces. Use both hands as you strike the diamond with your hammer in order to get all of it shattered at once.
- Catch each piece of broken diamond in a bowl or container so that you don’t lose any of it while removing them from the rest of the pieces of stone.
- Look at each piece of broken stone and find out whether or not you can see any sparkles inside its interior — this is what happens when diamonds are broken using hammers!
- If there are sparkles inside each piece of broken stone, then your experiment has worked! Put on your goggles and gloves, as you’re ready to smash another diamond with your hammer.
- Repeat step 5 until you have broken a total of four pieces of diamond with your hammer, or until you are no longer able to see sparkles inside each piece of stone.
Can You Really Smash A Diamond With A Hammer?
- The story goes that a diamond merchant of the early 1800s was transporting a large diamond to England. He had it in a wooden box, and one night he heard strange sounds coming from the box. He opened it up, and out fell a hammer, which smashed the diamond into fragments.
- The tale of how diamonds were first found in Canada is even more interesting. In 1858, Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine came to Canada with his family and settled near Ottawa. His daughter, Marie-Louise, married the son of another settler named Charles Larmontier in 1862; they farmed near Ottawa before moving to Manitoba in 1871. While there, they discovered diamonds — this time not in a wooden box but by accident while digging for potatoes! The following year Larmontier’s daughter married James Hargrave Jr., whose father was also named James Hargrave (the same James Hargrave who discovered gold on Red River in 1858). The Hargrave family moved to the newly created province of Saskatchewan in 1905 and established the town of Lintlaw.
- In 1897, a diamond was found near Lintlaw and given to another settler, William Hall. Since he was also a farmer, he got permission from the government to have it tested by an expert from England. That expert determined that it was a genuine diamond!
- The first diamond mine in Canada was located near Lintlaw and opened in 1903 with the help of some investors from Winnipeg. Diamonds were found nearby at Moose Hill (now Moose Mountain) for many years before production ceased in 1969. It wasn’t until 1975 that diamonds were found again; this time at the site of what is now known as the Dominion Diamond Mine in White River, Saskatchewan. This mine is currently operated by De Beers Canada Ltd., which is owned by Anglo-American Corporation PLC (formerly De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd.).
- Diamonds are believed to have been discovered in South Africa around 1770 by a Dutchman named Pieter Wessels. He was sent by the Dutch East India Company to explore the area that is now known as South Africa. He found diamonds in the ground and had them tested by experts in Amsterdam, who determined that they were real diamonds! The first diamond mine was opened at Kimberley in 1886, although it wasn’t until 1887 that it became profitable.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about smashing diamonds with hammers. It is possible, but it is also very dangerous and would likely result in the smashing of your diamond and a very frustrated person. There is a better way to test this, but it is expensive and requires access to a specialized lab. You’d need to have the diamond cut into very thin slices, then place them on a microscope slide and press down with a needle. If it can be broken with a small needle, it will break under the pressure of a hammer. Next time you get challenged with this question, you’ll know the best way to answer it.
What is the most valuable diamond?
The most valuable diamonds are the ones that are cut into very thin slices. This is because the value of a diamond depends on how big it is and how much light it reflects. A larger diamond will reflect more light and therefore have a higher value. Diamonds that have been cut into thin slices can be polished and sold as a gemstone, as opposed to rough diamonds which can’t be polished and are only found in the ground.
What is the second most valuable gemstone?
The second most valuable gemstone is sapphire. It has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, which makes it twice as hard as a diamond! Sapphire has an intense blue color that makes it highly valued by jewelers for its ability to produce vivid colors in other gems like rubies and emeralds. It’s also used as an opal substitute in jewelry because of its similar properties to opals.
Where is the most valuable diamond in the world?
The most valuable diamond in the world is the Hope Diamond. It was discovered in South Africa in 1812 and it’s worth over $71 million! It’s been cut into many different sizes and shapes, but it still has a special place in history as one of the first diamonds to be found. The Hope Diamond was stolen from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. on December 24, 1947, but it was eventually recovered and returned to its owner!
What is a cut diamond?
Cut diamonds are diamonds that have been cut with a diamond saw, leaving the diamond-shaped. It is very common for people to get confused between this and a rough diamond. A cut diamond is really just a piece of a rough diamond that has been polished until it is completely smooth. The difference between them is like the difference between a ruby and an emerald; they both look exactly the same on the outside, but they are completely different on the inside. A rough diamond is just what it sounds like; it’s not polished at all
What is a lab-grown diamond?
Lab-grown diamonds are made by very precise methods in laboratories, rather than being found in nature as natural diamonds are. They are created by using lasers to heat crystals of carbon that build up into diamonds in a very controlled environment, so there’s no chance of contamination. This process uses more energy than traditional mining does, which means that they also have higher carbon emissions.