British artist Damien Hirst fully coated a human skull with diamonds. The skull is a platinum cast of a 35 year old male from the 18th century, and features several large pink diamonds on its forehead, and smaller diamonds covering the rest. This proves once again, that diamonds are a skull's best friend.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: The diamond is a mineral, one of the allotropes of carbon.
The physical and mechanical properties of diamonds:
The main distinctive features of a diamond — the hardest amongst the minerals, it possesses a high thermal conductivity among all other solid bodies and a high refractive index and dispersion index. The diamond is also dielectric. The diamond possesses a very low index of friction on metal in air - only 0.1, which is related to the formation of thin adsorbed gas films, playing the role of a unique lubrication on the surface of the crystal.
The capability of crystals to decompose the white color into separate components is called “Dispersion”. For the diamond, the dispersion value is 0.063. One of the important properties of diamonds is the luminescence. Under the influence of sunlight and especially cathodic, ultraviolet and X-rays, diamonds start to luminescent shine in various colors. All varieties of diamonds shine under the influence of cathodic and X-ray radiation and only some shine under the influence of ultraviolet. X-ray luminescence is widely used in the practice for the extraction of diamonds from rocks.
The high refractive index along with high transparency and sufficient dispersion of the refractive index (color game) makes diamond one of the most expensive precious stones (along with the emerald and ruby, which compete with the diamond with respect to price). The In natural form the diamond is not considered beautiful. Beauty is lent to the diamond by faceting, creating conditions for multiple internal reflections. The faceted diamond is called a cut diamond.
The location of diamonds in nature:
Diamonds are rare but at the same time, it is a widely found mineral. Commercial deposits of diamonds are known on all continents, except Antarctica. Some kinds of diamond deposits are known. Already several thousands of years ago, diamonds were extracted from gravel deposits in industrial scales. Only by the end of the 19th century, when diamond kimberlite pipes were opened for the first time, it became clear that the diamonds are not formed in alluviums.
Meteoric diamonds, extraterrestrial are popular, possibly - pre solar occurrences. Diamonds are also formed during reciprocating metamorphism during the fall of large meteorites, for example, in the Popigajsky crypto explosion structure in Northern Siberia.
Also, diamonds were found in roofing rocks in associations of ultrahigh pressure metamorphism, for example, in Kumdykulsky diamond deposits on Kokchetav Mountains in Kazakhstan.
Damien Hirst from England is known for creating controversial and expensive art. This time he displayed a creation which may be the most expensive one he's ever done - it involves almost nine thousand small to middle sized diamonds, eight large pink diamonds and has a price tag of 98 million dollars. But the price is not the most shocking element of this art piece. The diamonds fully cover the platinum skull cast of 35 year old real teeth, except for the one tooth that is missing. Originally Hirst replaced it with a gold tooth, but then he decided to take it away.
This gives the skull a more human and natural look, he said. Damien also added in an interview that the diamond coated skull cost him over 40 million just to make and took several jewelry specialists to assist him in polishing and attaching the diamonds to the platinum surface. "This was such a delicate project, and I am proud of what we could accomplish. We hope to sell it to a private buyer that will keep it in a public display, like London's White Cube gallery, where it is on exhibit at the moment. We'll make it part of the sale contract that the buyer cannot hide it from the general public, because then the art piece will be nothing but a private jewelry piece, like some Fabergé egg which ended in a private collections. After all, diamonds and art are forever and they go together perfectly."