Author Archives: admin

Given that diamonds can easily catch oils and become dirty if we coat the surface with fluorine atoms can we make diamonds oil resistant and no longer require cleaning like Teflon coated pans?

This question was asked on the question and answer website Quora. It was the first question that I attempted to answer on that site. This is what I wrote: While I think it might be technically possible to coat a … Continue reading

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Three Historians Talk about Pearl History

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3csyp4p A recent BBC radio discussion about the history of pearls, featuring Victoria Finlay, Beatriz Chadour-Sampson and professor Molly Warsh. It’s a wide-ranging discussion, touching on pearls from a range of times and places. All in 44 minutes, but it’s … Continue reading

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Attempt to Revive Pearl Cultivation in Hong Kong

A video from South China Morning Post shows an effort to revive the pearl fisheries around Hong Kong. The clip shows a seed being planted in the oyster, not a microchip. Perhaps that is inserted after the seed? In this … Continue reading

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The Professor Views some Huge Diamonds

The Professor from Periodic Videos is at it again. Alrosa let him handle some huge diamonds, including a few lovely coloured ones and he explores fluorescence again. He discusses types of cut briefly. We also get to see the cutting … Continue reading

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Answering Questions on Quora

Just before last Christmas, I started using the social website, quora.com. It’s a ‘question and answer’ site where anyone can post a question and anyone can take a shot at answering. It’s a bit of fun, but sometimes you come … Continue reading

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The Professor Washes his Hands in Diamonds

Periodic Videos featured The Professor on a visit to an Alrosa diamond sorting facility. He shows us some amazing diamonds, including some coloured ones. Purple, pink, yellow, octahedrons, cubes, twins. Fluorescent colours. ¬†We also see a few unique shapes such … Continue reading

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Endpapers for a Soft Cover Book

The Guardian recently acknowledged the obsession of some readers for endpapers. These are the colourful patterned pages between the cover and the rest of the book, usually on hardbacks. Although there will not be a hardcover edition of Known Only … Continue reading

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How Diamonds are Formed

In Known Only to Kings, I give a brief description of what we currently believe about how diamonds form. As I said, there is a lot we still don’t know about it, and if we did know more, it would … Continue reading

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The Jewelled Gun of Sultan Mahmud I

Ottoman Sultan Mahmud I came to power mostly by good luck. His predecessor was deposed in a Janissary revolt and Mahmud became a figurehead until the leaders of the revolt became unpopular and a year later they, and 7,000 of … Continue reading

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An Idea to Coat Diamonds with Teflon

I attempted to answer a Quora question about the possibility of coating diamonds with teflon so they would not need to be cleaned so often. I pointed out some possible problems with the idea. But it was certainly creative. It … Continue reading

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