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Carbon is Black but Diamond is Colorless, Why?

Not many people are aware of the fact that diamonds are made up from carbon. Yet to the surprise of many people, diamonds which are made up of black carbon are colorless. Not many of the people actually understand the reason behind this.

Though diamond is a very popular stone in the world and many people prefer the jewelry pieces of diamonds over other metals. The aspects of the popularity of the diamonds can be seen by the demand of various ornaments of the diamonds like diamond rings, necklaces or diamond studs in India. To make people aware about the reason behind the difference in the color of diamond and carbon, let us get into the main reason and the core of the question.

According to the researched done by the site boingboing, the answer to this question can be found after deeply analyzing some critical issues related to the diamonds and its making. The first question that should be covered is how the diamonds are made followed by the next series of concerning questions about carbon.


While the diamonds are made under the natural conditions of extreme pressure and temperature, the diamonds can also be made by making the use of carbon. The main reason behind the difference in the color is the fact that both the substances are formed by different bonds. Carbon forms a bond in a different way while diamonds form bond in a different way and this becomes the basic reason of the difference in the color of both the substance.


The diamonds are formed when each carbon atom is bonded with another 4 carbon atoms and forms a tetrahedral structure. The tetrahedral formation is usually of the same length and is therefore completely regular. Each bond is of the same length which makes the formation even. It is because of these evenly formed bonds of the carbon atoms that diamond possesses its hardness, non-violability, and attack resistant. And since the bonds are of the same length from all the sides and angles, therefore, the diamonds yields sufficient amount of sparkle when light enters in it. When light enters in from one of the sides of the diamond, it faces reflections because of the equal angles and sides of the diamond and then it bounces back from the other side of the diamond. Thus, diamond is nothing but a big giant carbon molecule.


On the other hand, if we look at the formation of carbon, it is a non-metallic element. It is formed by the combination of oxygen and hydrogen. The atomic number of carbon is 6 while its atomic weight is 12. It has been observed that substances get their color based on the form and nature they absorb. For the substances that absorb all colors are seen as black in color. There can be a possibility that carbon also has a tendency to absorb all the colors and therefore, appears black in color in nature.