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They're going to let me touch it with my hands, watch carefully only time in my life, I'm going to wash my hands in
We're now in the chief experts department and they have brought out some really special diamonds for us.
Brought them out from a vault somewhere and I'm amazed by them. This one here is the...
...biggest diamond that is here.
It is 240 carats, but it's rather a shapeless lump.
But down here
there are some really amazing shapes. I never realized that a diamond
when it's not even cut is a
almost perfect octahedron. It looks like out of the textbooks.
I just can't believe that nature can make anything quite so beautiful.
If you look down here you can see this one here is a big yellow. I think
because of an impurity and then you can get some quite strong colors.
This one here is purple and this one is pink.
These ones here have grown into an almost perfect cube.
This little one is really as far as I can see a perfect cube.
And then there's one that looks like a football.
Very important World Cup was here in Russia last year; though I don't play football myself
then there is another one that looks like a skull and if you turn it over its hollow.
I think because it dissolved during the
geological deposition, maybe in very high temperature high pressure water that it dissolved.
But it's got a rather strange bowl shape with eyes.
Might be a bit grim having a diamond shaped like a skull on your ring.
[subtle creepy laughing sound in background]
These ones here. I think perhaps are the chemically the most interesting. They're black
because they're a combination of diamonds and also graphite. We have a box with
1490 crystals of diamond.
It's very interesting to me that they'd actually count them
so carefully. You can see
even these tiny crystals are all octahedral
and if you look under the microscope, you can see these little
I looked in the microscope not very good in microscopes with my glasses.
But even I could see that they were really nice and crystalline.
This one here is a so-called twin
where two
octahedra have grown
simultaneously in different
directions so you get a less interesting shape and at the same time I was fascinated that in this one
there's a crack down on such a strong material
but even so sometimes it can crack and then down here is a
an interesting crystal tiny
But it has three twins that have grown
simultaneously so you have six
octahedra all close together. These are the different qualities of the diamonds.
Some diamonds are clearer nicer shaped crystals than others.
And again, they have standards to make sure that they classify all of them correctly.
Because once you've got a big box of them if you've made a mistake, you have to sort them all over again.
These diamonds are not
completely pure carbon they contain traces of
nitrogen you can't see this with the eye,
but you can see it by using a UV light
Natalia will just put the biggest diamonds onto a UV lamp and
You can see suddenly it gives out blue light.
And you can tell that different diamonds
fluoresce different amounts and
occasionally you can get a different type of nitrogen center which instead of being blue,
is yellow, so Natalia will show you one now one of the cubic ones.
And you can see it's a greenish yellow color
again, this is a really nice demonstration of spectroscopy and you could analyze it even better looking through a
spectrometer to get the precise
wavelengths of the emissions.
So here you can see there's a nice blue glowing octahedron. Can we try the pink diamond?
You can see that one doesn't fluoresce at all. So it probably doesn't have any nitrogen
centers in it or at least none that will absorb.
But again,
this is a nice way of categorizing the different diamonds
so that you learn more about their structure,
learn more about their chemistry. Let's try the pink diamond as well. I
I think that's really interesting the pink diamond fluoresce is blue, but you wouldn't have guessed that.
I'm in the sorting department where the raw diamonds are graded. It's really amazing.
The diamonds that come here look rather like sand if you look here in this bowl
I can just pour some out, but what's amazing is
that people go through this
literally grain by grain.
They have about
8,000 different grades.
Which they know. They remember and they classify each of the grains
according to the grade and here we have about
26 or 27 thousand karats in
weight of diamonds the total value of this doesn't look very much is more than a million dollars.
That's why people are watching me carefully
I'm wearing a special coat. No pockets!
And even these tiny grains look like little octahedra, tiny crystals.
And you've got to remember that these grains have been obtained from a solid mass of rock
Which has been ground up and out of the rock. They filter off these special diamonds. And what's interesting here
is that you can see different colors some of the grains look a bit yellow some look really clear one or two are grey so
It's like my hair but my hair should be graded in color.
Particularly interesting for me is that all of this is sorted by hand.
Because they are so valuable that it's worth people looking at each one individually.
That's why every diamonds should be to you really special.
It's amazing, I've never seen anything like this it's (it's) unbelievable.
They're going to let me touch it with my hands watch carefully only time in my life
I'm going to wash my hands in diamonds.
Feels just like sand it's quite strange it feels a bit like metal.
Because diamonds conducts heat very well. So it feels as if I'm holding metal.
I think I could do this for quite a long time if they let me.
But still
Here you've got a million dollars worth of diamonds.
Literally running through my fingers. Some of them are sticking to my hand.
Prof: [Speaks russian to the woman behind] Brady: Got anything on there? Prof: They are clean
I think this is the most extraordinary thing I've ever done on Periodic Videos and certainly the most fun.
The gold is an exciting element
It has interesting chemistry and it's just sitting here doing nothing. Its enormously impressive.
But it's a bit sad rather like a mausoleum.