Diamonds and pearls are highly valuable gemstones. Both of them are very expensive and are used in different types of jewelry. Diamonds are found in rocks. They usually form after volcanic eruptions. Structurally, diamond is the hardest naturally occurring substance. Diamond usually symbolizes strength, love, and health. Pearl is the only gemstone found inside a living creature. It is naturally formed within living mollusks in either freshwater or saltwater. The pearl usually symbolizes purity, integrity, and wisdom.
What is a Diamond?
Diamond is a solid form of pure carbon atoms arranged in a crystal structure. Diamond is the hardest chemical substance when compared to any other natural material. The arrangement of carbon atoms in a diamond gives extreme rigidity. However, impurities and defects contaminate diamonds, resulting in different colors. Contamination with boron gives blue, nitrogen gives yellow, exposure to radiation gives green, and defects result in brown as well as pink, orange, red, and purple.
Diamond has a high refractive index, an adamantine luster, and a high optical dispersion. Such properties make diamonds the most popular gemstones in the world, with high durability and value. They usually form under high pressure and temperature. Diamonds are also chemically resistant and have a high thermal conductivity. Most diamonds are delivered to the surface of the Earth by a deep source of volcanic eruptions. Such eruptions start in the mantle and continue to tear up pieces of mantle rock and deliver rocks to the surface without melting. These are known as xenoliths. People usually find diamonds through mining rocks that contain xenoliths.
What is a Pearl?
Pearl is a hard and shiny object that is produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk. A pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in a crystalline form in concentric layers. Most pearls are usually round and smooth; however, oval and other shaped pearls also exist. The finest quality pearls are considered to be gemstones of high value. Pearls are either freshwater or saltwater.
Freshwater pearls come from various species of freshwater mussels of the family Unionidae and are found in ponds, lakes, rivers, and other freshwater bodies. Saltwater pearls grow inside pearl oysters of the family Pteriidae, and they live in the ocean. The mantle of the mollusk is in the form of the mineral aragonite or a mixture of aragonite and calcite held together by a compound called conchiolin. The product that is created by the combination of aragonite and conchiolin is called nacre and gives rise to the mother of pearl.
Pearl has a unique luster upon reflection, refraction, and diffraction of light from translucent layers. Pearls of higher quality have a metallic mirror-like luster. Since pearls are made up of calcium carbonate, it dissolves in vinegar. It is susceptible to weak acid solutions; therefore, acetic acid in vinegar reacts with the crystals, forming calcium acetate and carbon dioxide.
What are the Similarities Between Diamond and Pearl?
- Diamonds and pearls are gemstones.
- Both are of high value and cost.
- Moreover, they are widely used in jewelry making.
What is the Difference Between Diamond and Pearl?
Diamond is a pure element made of carbon, while pearl is a compound made of calcium carbonate or a mixture of aragonite and calcite. This is the key difference between diamond and pearl. People sometimes artificially produce pearls. However, diamonds cannot be artificially cultivated or produced. Moreover, a diamond is cut into different shapes, but a pearl cannot be cut or altered.
The following table summarizes the difference between diamond and pearl.
Summary – Diamond vs Pearl
Diamonds are mined from the Earth and cut from the rocks that naturally contain them, while pearls naturally exist within living mollusks. Diamond is a pure element made of carbon. In contrast, a pearl is a compound made of calcium carbonate or a mixture of aragonite and calcite. Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring chemical substance on Earth. The value of diamonds is measured through cut, clarity, and color. A pearl, on the other hand, is a hard and shiny compound object. The value of a pearl depends on rarity and luster. This summarizes the difference between diamond and pearl.
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2. “Photo of shell, oyster, clam, pearl, cockle, bivalve, baltic clam, natural material, molluscs, conch, shellfish, scallop, sand, invertebrate, animal product, seafood, mussel, fashion accessory, still life photography” (CC0) via Pxhere