Diamonds slowly turn into graphite (the stuff you find in pencils) over time. Thus, diamonds are not really forever.

Why do diamonds last forever?

Diamonds do not last forever. Diamonds degrade to graphite, because graphite is a lower-energy configuration under typical conditions. Diamond (the stuff in wedding rings) and graphite (the stuff in pencils) are both crystalline forms of pure carbon. The only difference is the way the carbon atoms are arranged and bonded in the crystalline lattice. In diamond, each carbon atom is bonded to four neighboring carbon atoms in a closely-packed three-dimensional grid. In graphite, each carbon atom is strongly bonded to three neighboring carbon atoms in a plane and the planes of atoms are loosely bonded to each other. The degradation of diamond to graphite is a simple case of the atoms internally rearranging and relaxing to a lower energy state. T… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

10 thoughts on “Diamonds slowly turn into graphite (the stuff you find in pencils) over time. Thus, diamonds are not really forever.”

  1. ledfrisby

    “Baby, this diamond represents my love for you: although it does gradually degrade over time, we will both be dead long before it has completely turned into a lump of graphite.”

  2. marasydnyjade

    It would take billions of years for a diamond to become graphite in normal conditions.

  3. vosper

    “In all the universe, wood is more certainly rare than diamonds.”

  4. Bananalando

    Diamonds are also flammable, though at a pretty high temperature. Ironically, cubic zirconia, often used as a cheaper alternative, will not burn.

  5. DeathByBattleship

    Do you know what lasts forever? Honey. Get your loved one a pot of honey today.

  6. kroniknastrb8r

    Don’t tell this to Wallstreetbets.

  7. An8thOfFeanor

    Diamonds were incredibly rare and valuable two or three centuries ago, until someone in South Africa found a vein filled with enough diamonds to make them nearly worthless. To make sure their profits didn’t suffer, they only sold enough into the markets to just barely meet annual demands.

  8. Rombartalini

    Eventually everything will decay. It’s just a function of time.

  9. lackaboughs

    What is graphite if not diamonds persevering

  10. pringibellenigo

    Buy her a pencil then

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