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January-February 2014

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Coming to Terms with Diamonds: A Matter of Facts

All fields develop specialized vocabularies in order to communicate effectively. Mineralogy and the diamond industry use the following terms, some of which may be unfamiliar to Rocks & Minerals readers.

Adamantine: diamondlike, used to describe the luster of the brightest of transparent substances.

Alluvial: mineral deposits found in stream environments. Alluvial diamonds may present features such as edge and surface abrasion, scratches, percussion marks, and cleavage surfaces. They are found in present or former streambeds, or even in the ocean.

Ballas: a spherical fibrous diamond with radiating internal structure found in Brazil and Russia.

Blood diamond: see conflict diamond.

Dr. Carl A. Francis, an executive editor of Rocks & Minerals, is curator of the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum, a new museum in western Maine expected to open in the fall of 2014.

John H. Betts is a mineral dealer and collector in New York City and runs where part of his business is selling uncut diamond crystals.

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