Fabulous Jewellery For The Festive Season

There is no better time of the year to sparkle than now, and these exceptional jewellery pieces from among the most creative Houses in the world will enhance any girl’s shine.

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Golden thread means many things. In the case of Boucheron, it literally means threads made of gold, as seen with this “Cape de Lumière” or Mantle of Light. Entirely created on a dressmaker’s mannequin to ensure perfect fit, drape and suppleness, its elements are interconnected by a woven mesh of yellow gold thread. The pattern is a modern, stylised version of one of the House’s favourite inspirations – the peacock feather, «hand-sewn» by the Maison’s artisan-jewellers.

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From the chiselled cut of the overall piece to the delicacy of its twisted chains paved with 850 round diamonds, this Mantle of Light stretches the limits of jewellery-making. A tempting 81.61 carat citrine dangles from the front attachment.

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With the bold Cactus de Cartier collection, Cartier creates powerful, sculptural pieces that are young and alive. Uncompromising and original, adding a twist to a traditional inspirational source – that of nature – Cartier reveals the beauty of fascinating plants that, often unapproachable, suddenly beg to be caressed.
Sun-drenched and radiant, this cactus family is seductive and playful. From the line called “A Flower without Spikes” the irresistible 18K yellow gold bracelet shown here is dotted with zesty, succulent gemstone flowers composed of chrysoprases, emeralds, and carnelians, set with 8 brilliant-cut diamonds. While some cacti flower only at night, these specimens bloom 24 hours a day.

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CHANEL Fine Jewelry brings us “Les Blés de CHANEL” inspired by wheat, a symbol of fertility and one of Mademoiselle’s recurring elements. The show-stopper seen here is the “pièce maîtresse” or masterpiece of the collection – the “Fête des Moissons” (Harvest Celebration) necklace in 18K white and yellow gold. Adorned and set with a 25-carat cut-cornered rectangular-modified brilliant-cut fancy intense yellow diamond, 121 fancy-cut multi-coloured diamonds for a total weight of 46.7 carats, 932 brilliant-cut yellow diamonds for a total weight of 40.4 carats, 10 marquise-cut diamonds for a total weight of 3.1 carats, fancy-cut brilliant-cut diamonds for a total weight of 1.4 carat, and 151 brilliant-cut diamonds for a total weight of 3.3 carats, it will transform any girl into a goddess of harvest.

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Maker of among “the most fabulous jewels in the world”, Graff Diamonds recently unveiled the Graff Venus, the largest D Flawless heart shaped diamond in the world, weighing an astounding 118.78 carats. The exceptional stone took 18 months to analyse, cut and polish, with special tools developed by the House’s most skilled and experienced diamond craftsmen.

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The company cuts and polishes thousands of rough diamonds every month, bringing them to life with sparkle and brilliance, before transforming them into stunning pieces of jewellery, as demonstrated here with these fabulous creations in white gold, including earrings set with 24.78 carats of diamonds, a necklace set with 66.35 carats of diamonds, and a 14.17 carat oval diamond ring with a total of 15.37 carats of diamonds.
The privileged wrist attaching the clasp is wearing a MasterGraff Dual Time Tourbillon 43mm in rose gold, with diamond cufflinks in rose gold to match.

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“Talk to me Harry Winston!” sang Marilyn Monroe, and this Winston Cluster Diamond Bracelet from The Incredibles collection by Harry Winston is definitely a talking piece. The Incredibles collection represents the pinnacle of the House’s craftsmanship and design, and if diamonds really are a girl’s best friend, the lucky lady who will wear this gorgeous bracelet in platinum will have 142 friends on her wrist – 142 marquise and pear shaped diamonds to be precise, for a total weight of 79.08 cts. And that cluster setting? Incredible!

Photos courtesy of Boucheron, Cartier, Chanel, Graff and Harry Winston.

Diamonds, Not Marriage, Are Forever for China’s Millennials

Jily Ji was 24 when she got her first diamond ring, a 2.5-carat solitaire given to her by her parents. In the three years since, the executive assistant from Shanghai has amassed a 15-piece diamond collection, including a ring, pendant earrings and necklaces that she bought for herself.

“We don’t have to passively wait to be gifted a diamond by a man,” the unmarried college graduate said. “Diamond jewelry is a natural way to express ourselves. It’s a far better investment than most fashion items as it won’t only gain value, but can also be passed down through the generations.”

Financially independent, college-educated and born in China after 1980, Ji personifies a key consumer group the world’s diamond industry is counting on for growth. So-called millennials now account for 68 percent of diamond jewelry sales by value in the world’s most-populous country — worth $6.76 billion last year, according to research by De Beers SA, the world’s biggest diamond producer.

Millennial women — defined by De Beers as those aged from 18 to 34 — spent about $26 billion on diamond jewelry in 2015 in the world’s four main markets, acquiring more than any other generation, Chief Executive Officer Bruce Cleaver said in a report in September. These 220 million potential diamond consumers are still a decade away from their most affluent life stage, representing a “significant opportunity” for the industry, Cleaver said.

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Tapping them could buoy prices from the gems, which dropped 18 percent last year, the most since 2008.

No Jade

Diamonds have caught the eye of Chinese consumers only recently because of their exposure to western lifestyles and marketing, said Ji, a business-English graduate, who counts Harry Winston Inc. and Tiffany & Co. among her favorite diamond jewelers. Her mother, for example, is more likely to purchase jade or gold jewelry, she said.

For Chinese millennials, diamonds are more of a fashionable mark of achievement instead of a symbol of everlasting love, said Joan Xu, Shanghai-based associate planning director at J. Walter Thompson, an advertising agency. The trend is changing how companies such as Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. and Shanghai-traded Lao Feng Xiang Co. are designing and marketing jewelry in China.

Chow Tai Fook, the market leader in Chinese jewelry with a 5.7 percent share, bought Boston-based Hearts on Fire Co. for $150 million in 2014, giving it a greater selection of unique, millennial-preferred pieces, including earrings and pendants with multiple small diamonds embedded in precious metals.

‘Practical and Fashionable’

“We need to tap into this audience very quickly with designs for millennials that are more practical and fashionable, such as mixing gold with diamond,” Chow Tai Fook Executive Director Adrian Cheng said in an interview in Hong Kong.

Chow Tai Fook, for whom millennials make up half its clientele, will introduce new lines and products by the end of 2017 and has signed spokespersons including 29-year-old South Korean actor-singer Li Min-ho and rapper G-Dragon, 28, to reach millennial buyers, Cheng said.

That may help the Hong Kong-based retailer, which operates more than 2,000 jewelry and luxury watch outlets, boost sales and profit, which have slumped since mid-2014 as an economic slowdown and crackdown on graft dampened Chinese demand for luxury goods.

Shanghai-based Lao Feng Xiang, which is majority-owned by the Shanghai government with 3,000 stores throughout China and 5.4 percent of the market, is also working to offer more choice for millennial women, said Marketing Manager Wang Ensheng.

Fashion Chaser

“This consumer isn’t looking for super expensive jewelry,” Wang said in a telephone interview. “She’s chasing fashion, she changes outfits every day, and wants jewelry to match. What we need to provide for her are pieces that are personalized, unique — but not too expensive, as she’ll possess many, not just one diamond piece.”

The young middle-class are the target for Luk Fook Holdings International Ltd., said its executive director Nancy Wong. Hong-Kong based Luk Fook, which has 1,400 stores in mainland China and a 0.7 percent market share, will provide manicurists in some of its stores and “handsome” chauffeurs to win over females customers, she said.

Independence is the top trait Chinese millennial women identify with, according to a Female Tribes survey conducted by J. Walter Thompson that interviewed 4,300 women across nine countries about a year ago. More than two in five Chinese respondents said financial independence was more important than marriage, and 32 percent identified success as financial independence.

Pandora A/S, the Denmark-based maker of silver charm bracelets, said it’s intentionally staying away from love-centric marketing. This year, Pandora doubled its number of stores throughout China from 43 to 81.

No Lovey-Dovey

“You won’t see a couple in our images,” said Isabella Mann, Pandora’s Hong Kong-based vice president of marketing for Asia on the phone. “That has been a premeditated decision. We want our brands to appeal to as many people as possible, and we think it’s dated to show a lovey-dovey couple in a jewelry ad.”

That may be wise. An unfavorable demographic shift leading to fewer weddings has resulted in a “tepid” outlook for Hong Kong-listed jewelry companies, HSBC Global Research analysts Lina Yan, Karen Choi, Erwan Rambourg and Vishal Goel said in an October report. They forecast that wedding rates would fall 1 percent in each of the next two years because of a decline in the population of millennial women.

Divorce in China has also risen, with more than 3.84 million couples splitting up in 2015, a 5.6 percent increase from the year before, said China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs in July.
The national divorce rate is now 2.8 per 1,000 individuals, up from 0.9 in 2002.

Marriage Not Forever

“Companies that are built on the institution of marriage, like diamond companies, will struggle a little bit unless they evolve,” said J. Walter Thompson’s Xu. “The idea was that marriage is eternal — like diamonds — but what happens when marriage is not seen as eternal anymore?”

Millennials getting divorced could ultimately be positive for the diamond industry. De Beers’ research from the U.S. found that Americans spend 20 percent more on the diamond ring bought for their second marriage than their first, said Stephen Lussier, De Beers’ executive vice president for marketing on the phone.

“There’s no reason why second marriages in China should not take the same trend as in the U.S.,” he said. “This gives us an opportunity at a larger market.”

Miners found a huge 3,100-carat diamond roughly a century ago. A new study reveals how it formed.

Diamond offcuts. (Courtesy of Evan Smith/Carnegie Institution for Science)
Diamond offcuts. (Courtesy of Evan Smith/Carnegie Institution for Science)

In January 1905, at the Premier Mine in northeastern South Africa, a mine superintendent named Frederick Wells discovered a diamond. It was not unusual to discover diamonds in the mine. But this particular gem was huge: Uncut at 3,106 carats, or 1.3 pounds, the crystal was so large, the story goes, that Wells at first believed other miners had buried a hunk of glass in the mine as a prank.

The gemstone was genuine. It would come to bear the name of the mine’s owner, Sir Thomas Cullinan, who mailed it to London (costing, Century Magazine noted in 1909, $1 in postage while insured at a value of $1.25 million). There, the government of the South African colony Transvaal presented it to British monarch King Edward VII for his birthday. Jewelers carved the Cullinan diamond into nine principal stones — the largest two remain among the Crown Jewels — and dozens of smaller gems.

Most diamonds, of course, do not weigh almost as much as a regulation NBA basketball. But a very few of the carbon crystals, which have earned names such as the Cullinan, the Constellation diamond and the Koh-i-Noor, are far larger than the average engagement gem.

To geochemists like Evan M. Smith, at the Gemological Institute of America in New York, the stones have more than monetary worth or pretty sparkles. The material, and its imperfections, are valuable. Diamonds are hardened capsules of chemical information, containing insights into forces hundreds of miles below the earth. As Smith told NPR, “Diamond is the ultimate Tupperware.”

Smith and his colleagues at American, Italian and South African research institutions recently published an examination of these stones in the journal Science. The typical diamond formed about 100 miles beneath the surface, where pressure squeezed pockets of carbon atoms into precious crystals. The giant diamonds, the new research suggests, were birthed in liquid metal pools even deeper below.

For chemical analysis, the scientists collected a handful of offcuts — the scraps and shavings that result from crafting jewels — from some of the largest diamonds. Such diamonds, like the Cullinan, have little nitrogen content. They tend to be lumpy or irregular in shape and have very few of the flaws called inclusions.

A diamond with inclusions. (Courtesy of Jae Liao/Carnegie Institution for Science)
A diamond with inclusions. (Courtesy of Jae Liao/Carnegie Institution for Science)

But these diamonds are not completely perfect. Thanks to an analysis of the inclusions within the offcuts, as well as an inspection of 53 Type II diamonds, which are free of nitrogen, the researchers discovered globs of trapped metal. Three in four diamonds contained iron and nickel alloys in their imperfections, plus sulfur, carbon and hydrogen compounds.

The scientists also detected “a thin fluid jacket” of methane, the authors wrote in the study, that surrounded the inclusions like a film. Fifteen of the diamonds, too, had traces of the mineral garnet.

Taking all of the chemical clues together, the inclusions suggested the existence of liquid metal pockets in Earth’s rocky mantle between 240 and 460 miles below the surface. (Garnet is unstable beyond 466 miles beneath the surface, the scientists noted.) That is as far below our feet as satellites in low Earth orbit, NPR noted, are above our heads; the Kola Superdeep Borehole, the world’s deepest human-made hole, goes down7.5 miles beneath Russian soil.

After the diamonds crystallized out of the liquid metal, shafts of erupting rock called kimberlite propelled the gems to the surface. The kimberlite pipes may have traveled violently, thrust upward at speeds of 30 miles an hour, National Museum of Natural History geologist Jeffrey E. Posttold Smithsonian Magazine in 2006. “Once the diamonds are brought to the surface and cooled relatively quickly, those carbon atoms are locked into place,” he said, preventing the atoms from forming graphite, another all-carbon structure.

Earlier experiments hinted at metallic iron in the deep mantle. Smith, in anews release, called the Type II diamond inclusions “consistent, systematic physical evidence to support this prediction.”

Researchers are examining inclusions in billions-year-old diamonds to learn not just about the deep Earth but also the planet’s ancient history. Steven Shirey, a co-author of the recent study and a geochemist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, said in a 2011 study release that diamond imperfections can “provide age and chemical information for a span of more than 3.5 billion years that includes the evolution of the atmosphere, the growth of the continental crust, and the beginning of plate tectonics.”

Diamond Healing Therapies – Overview

Diamond
Diamond

Diamond Physical Healing Energy

Diamond is considered a master healer for its ability to unify the mind and body. It is best used as a support stone, amplifying the powers of other minerals when working on specific issues, especially where congestion of energy has caused a physical imbalance.

The Diamond is beneficial in purifying and strengthening brain function, nerves and sensory organs. It is thought to aid in balancing the brain hemispheres, and to be good for strokes, epilepsy, and to combat aging of the cells and restoring energy levels. It should be avoided in cases of paranoid psychosis, depressive manias, and obsessive jealousy.

Diamonds have been used to cure constipation, urine retention, and in general, all organs concerned with removing waste from the body. Applying a Diamond at the kidneys is reputed to accelerate the evacuation of stones. As the effect will persist after it has been removed, it is recommended to proceed in short sessions of five minutes.

physical healing crystal uses

Diamond Emotional Healing Energy

While Diamonds do not work directly on the emotional body, their intense energy can amplify the power of any emotional state, from bliss to despair, and should be worn with vigilance. It may even be necessary to remove them if one is in a particularly bad frame of mind. However, Diamonds infuse all levels of the energetic self with Light and may be used therapeutically to intensify and “burn through” underlying emotional issues, allowing one to feel lighter, more joyful, and more aligned with Spirit.

chakra balancing with crystals

 

Diamond Chakra Healing and Balancing Energy

Diamond carries a high-frequency energy that stimulates and opens all of the chakras, especially the Crowns and Etheric Chakras.

The Crown Chakra is located at the top of the head, and is our gateway to the expanded universe beyond our bodies. It controls how we think, and how we respond to the world around us. It is the fountainhead of our beliefs and the source of our spirituality. It connects us to the higher planes of existence and is the source of universal energy and truth. When the Crown is in balance, our energies are in balance. We know our place in the universe and see things as they are. We are unruffled by setbacks, knowing they are an essential part of life.

Etheric Chakras are considered to be above the head and are attuned to higher, more spiritually enlightened things. They embody true humility and provide a soul connection, the highest self-illumination, and a cosmic doorway to other worlds. Diamonds in particular identify with the immortal part of the self – personal identification with the Infinite, and oneness with God, peace and wisdom.

spiritual crystals

 

Diamond Spiritual Energy

For anyone who has lost their identity or self-worth, is confused, reluctant or unable to step into their spiritual destiny in this life, the Diamond brings a sense of radiance, a loving energy that clears the aura and fills the emptiness with purity and Light. It links with the Divine, and as the evolution and required growth manifests within the heart, it allows the soul’s light to shine out and be shared with others.

Diamond also encourages one to look at the struggles and hardships of life and see if the lessons and growth they’ve provided can be used in a positive way. The Diamond lends strength in dealing with high-pressure situations and assists in responding with grace. It asks us to be a model of fortitude in times of adversity, and helps one understand it is in these difficult times our behavior reveals our true inner beauty and our soul’s knowledge.

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crystal color power

Diamond Color Energy

The clear, colorless Diamond is not influenced by color energy; rather it is a stone of light, an ideal prism, diffusing all the colors of the spectrum.

Diamonds also form in many colors, adding their own unique properties to the energy of the stone.

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Meditation Crystals

Meditation with Diamond

Diamond crystals are perfect transducers, allowing the high-frequency vibrational energies of the spirit realms to be more available to the conscious self. Used in meditation, especially when placed on the Third Eye, these crystals facilitate the entry into meaningful visionary states and may heighten one’s psychic powers. Placing a second Diamond over the heart activates the energetic circuit between the two vital centers and influences them to act in synergistic union as Nature intended.

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divination uses of crystalsDiamond Divination

The Divinatory meaning of Diamond: Proof of your abilities will come from an unexpected source. Dreaming of Diamonds signifies victory over enemies.

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angel crystalsDiamond and the Angelic Realm

Diamonds often carry the energies of angelic beings that are aligned with courage and Light, and inspire us to bravely express our most sacred self. [Ahsian, 136]If your birthday falls in any of the following periods, a colorless Diamond can be a valuable conduit to your Guardian Angel. The table also provides the name of the Guardian Angel of those born in the time period.

CENTURY DIAMONDS   

1.73 Carat Diamond Found at Arkansas State Park

MURFREESBORO, Ark. – After nearly a year of searching Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park as a team, two regular visitors discovered the third largest diamond found at the park in 2016.
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Jack Pearadin, of Murfreesboro, Arkansas and Doug Nelsen, of Winneconne, Wisconsin, found a 1.73 ct. diamond Sunday, Dec. 11.
According to Park Interpreter Betty Coors, Pearadin first saw the diamond while in the mining process of washing gravel: “He says he poked Nelson and told him simply that he needed to look at this.”
They placed the diamond in a water bottle and carried it to the Diamond Discovery Center to have their find verified by park staff. Because it was so late in the day, they returned to the park on Monday morning to register their diamond and to have photos taken.
The pea-sized white gemstone, which has a brownish tint, is Pearadin’s 36th diamond and the largest of his finds at the park since he began his quest for diamonds over three years ago. His previous record was an 87 pt. yellow diamond. Nelsen had previously found four other diamonds, his largest a 29 pt. white. He also found a 22 pt. white on the same day as the 1.73 ct. diamond.
Many visitors choose to name the diamonds they find at the park. Pearadin and Nelsen agreed that if their diamond was a little larger they would call it the Kaleidoscope Diamond, because of the various colors seen in the stone.
This is the 484th diamond registered at the park this year, surpassing last year’s total of 467 diamonds. This year, 16 diamonds certified by park staff have weighed over one carat each.
The largest diamond ever found at Crater of Diamonds was a 16.37 ct. stone discovered in 1975. Visitors have registered more than 32,000 diamonds since the Crater of Diamonds became an Arkansas State Park in 1972.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Finding Diamonds in the Rough

During the kraft process used to convert wood into wood pulp, the structural material lignin is partially converted into molecules like stilbene. Stilbenes are also naturally occurring in plants and some bacteria, and may play a role in plant pathogen resistance.

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The crystal structure of NOV1, a stilbene cleaving oxygenase, shows the features of this enzyme at atomic resolution. (A) This protein fold view highlights the placement of an iron (orange), dioxygen (red), and resveratrol, a representative substrate (blue) in the active site of the enzyme. (B) This surface slice representation shows the shape of the active site cavity and the arrangement of iron, dioxygen, and resveratrol. (Credit: Ryan McAndrew/JBEI and Berkeley Lab)

Currently, the deconstruction of plant biomass into cellulose and lignin is an expensive process. Lignin accounts for about 30 percent of plant cell wall carbon, and increasing the efficiency of its conversion into chemicals or fuels could have a significant positive impact on the economics of processing lignocellulosic biomass. Enzymes capable of producing useful compounds from the breakdown of stilbenes and similar molecules could be employed for this. Collaborators from two of the Department of Energy Bioenergy Research Centers now have gained first-hand insight into how a stilbene cleaving oxygenase (SCO) carries out this unusual chemical reaction.

Researchers from the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) report the atomic-level structure of NOV1, an SCO that breaks down a stilbene substrate into two smaller compounds. Paul Adams, vice president for technology at JBEI and the senior author of the study, explained, “In order to get a complete picture of how this enzyme works, we solved the structure of NOV1 in complex with a representative stilbene substrate (resveratrol), a representative product (vanillin), as well as in its unbound form.”

“When we studied the structures of NOV1, we saw a ternary complex of protein, oxygen, and either the substrate or product in the active site. This has not been seen previously in any crystal structures of related carotenoid cleavage oxygenases (CCO),” said co-first author Ryan McAndrew, project scientist at JBEI. “Despite the fact that it is similar to CCOs, this NOV1 structure shows several key differences indicative of their substrate preferences and how the enzyme carries out its reaction.”

This enzyme’s active site contains a coordinated iron atom that forms a stable complex when exposed to nitric oxide. This allowed for study by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, which confirmed the configuration of the atoms in the crystal structure active site and provided information useful for elucidating the enzyme mechanism. GLBRC Deconstruction lead Brian Fox said, “Through our work, we were able to propose a mechanism for the reaction that requires dioxygen and the unique arrangement shown in the active site by the crystal structure. This gives new insight into how an SCO might be used to generate desirable bioproducts. As an added benefit, this work helps us understand related enzymes like carotenoid cleavage oxygenases, which produce vitamin A and retinal found in the eye.”

Cost reduction of the plant biomass breakdown and conversion of deconstruction byproducts such as lignin into chemicals are core missions of the bioenergy research centers. The result of this interdisciplinary collaborative study is another step toward finding ways to change a very abundant material like lignin into beneficial valuable bioproducts. “Ultimately, enzymes like NOV1 could produce value in the biological production of molecular fragments derived from lignin,” said Adams. “This would contribute to the sustainable operation of a biorefinery for the production of biofuels and other bioproducts.”

Lonsdaleite breakthrough: Researchers create ultra-hard hexagonal diamond in lab environment

Australian researchers have discovered how to make a special kind of diamond that is harder than the regular variety — and otherwise only found where meteorites have hit the Earth.

The experiment, which was run by scientists from the Australian National University, compressed a special kind of amorphous carbon, which does not already have a structure.

The result was a breakthrough in creating hexagonal diamonds in a controlled setting, as opposed to the traditional cubic structure.

“There is a natural way to create [this kind of] diamond, which is harder than diamond diamond, and that is through meteorite impact,” Associate Professor Jodie Bradby said.

“We found a way to make it synthetically in the lab at half the temperature that’s been done before.”

Dubbed ‘Lonsdaleite’, the unique diamond is named after pioneering British crystallographer Dame Kathleen Lonsdale.

Associate Professor Bradby’s team went to the United States to use a giant x-ray machine, to see what was happening to the carbon during the compression.

“[The machine is] a big ring of x-rays going around and around, close to the speed of light,” Associate Professor Bradby said.

“We fired a very intense beam of this x-ray light source through a small amount of the material that is under pressures by two other normal diamonds.

“And that can tell us what’s happening to that material that’s being squashed under these immense pressures.”

The discovery was made by a team lead by Associate Professor Bradby, including colleagues from ANU, RMIT, the University of Sydney and the United States.

For mining sites, not engagement rings

Associate Professor Bradby said they found the carbon material took on not a cubic structure like most diamonds, but a hexagonal one.

“We almost missed it actually — when we first unloaded it and looked at what happened we thought, ‘oh that doesn’t look very interesting’,” she said.

“There was a little bump on one side of our data and we started to get very interested in this little deviation.

“We found the deviation related to a different structure of the material.”

But Associate Professor Bradby said she did not expect to see hexagonal diamonds on engagement rings any time soon.

“You’ll more likely find it on a mining site — but I still think that diamonds are a scientist’s best friend,” she said.