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Diamond is a rare, naturally-occurring mineral composed of carbon. Each carbon atom in a diamond is surrounded by four other carbon atoms and connected to them by strong covalent bonds - the strongest type of chemical bond. This simple, uniform, tightly-bonded arrangement yields one of the most durable and versatile substances known. Diamond is the hardest known natural substance. It is also chemically resistant and has the highest thermal conductivity of any natural material. These properties make it suitable for use as a cutting tool and for other uses where durability is required. Diamond also has special optical properties such as a high index of refraction, high dispersion, and high luster. These properties help make diamond the world's most popular gemstone. Because diamond is composed of the element carbon, many people believe that it must have formed from coal. This is still taught in many classrooms - but it is not true! - ""

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