Diamond vs Crystal: Difference and Comparison

Some things around the world look almost exactly the same but are very different.

A very common and basic example is sugar and salt.

Look the same, but we know one tastes salty and the other tastes sweet.

Similarly, other things around us have similar appearances but different features and properties, like diamonds and crystals.

Key Takeaways

  1. Diamond is a crystal made of carbon atoms, while crystals can be made of various materials.
  2. Diamond is much harder than most crystals.
  3. Diamond has a higher refractive index and a greater dispersion of light than most crystals.

Diamond vs Crystal

The difference between diamonds and Crystal is that diamonds are made up of carbon atoms and are harshly made in nature under very critical conditions.

In contrast, crystals can be made up of anything, such as crystallization made up of sugar syrup or even salt crystals extracted by depositing ocean water.

Diamond vs Crystal
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Diamonds are a beautiful creation of nature and are very complex in themselves.

Diamonds show a brilliant property of reflection of light shining and beautiful.

They are also the hardest material mountain nature.

Diamonds are so hard they are even used for cutting glass.

At the same time, they are really expensive too.

On the other hand, Crystals are solid materials having a very well-organized molecular structure.

Molecules fit together in a repeating pattern, giving them unique shapes.

They are formed when a liquid cools down and starts hardening, and this whole process of cooling down a liquid and then hardening to become a crystal is known as crystallization.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDiamondCrystal
HardnessDiamonds are the hardest thing found in nature.Crystals are not that hard and could be easily broken
ReflectionDiamonds have the best light reflection property.Crystals do not reflect very nicely.
ConductivityDiamonds have very high conductivity.Crystals have low conductivity.
CostDiamonds are very costly.Crystals are not very expensive.
ConstituentDiamonds are made up of carbon atoms.Crystals are a solidified form of a liquid or a mixture.

What are Diamonds?

Diamond is a rare natural mineral that constitutes carbon atoms.

The covalent bonds are formed by carbon atoms in a beautiful arrangement where one carbon atom is surrounded by four other carbon atoms, making a diamond a simple yet strong bonded material. 

It has many unique properties that make it a versatile substance.

Diamond is known to be the hardest substance that occurs in nature.

It has high chemical resistance, excellent electric conductivity, and high thermal conductivity.

But the best property for which diamonds are so well known is their lustre.

The optical properties of diamond, like high dispersion and high refraction index, make it appear so lustrous that it is very pleasing to the eye. 

Diamond being an all-rounder is used in several fields, from making speciality lenses for works that require high performance and long durability to making the most magnificent jewellery famous worldwide.

Diamonds are so hard that they are even used for cutting glass and other such materials.

Although they are very costly since there is a green substance and diamond cutting and polishing are very skilled jobs that require a highly trained person who can enhance the reflecting properties of a diamond and cut them so that they become even more beautiful.

diamond

What is Crystal?

Crystals look very similar to diamonds and therefore are mistaken.

But a crystal is very different from diamonds in many ways.

Crystals are seen as a special kind of material where the molecules fit together in a repetitive pattern.

These are the patterns that result in giving the crystals different unique types of shapes.

They can lose their lustre if left unattended for a long time.

Unlike diamonds, they are not a very good conductor of heat and electricity and, therefore, could not be used in any other work apart from making jewellery and other attractive structures.

Crystals are also found in nature, but the process of making them is not very complex.

They are made when a liquid cools down and then starts to harden.

When they are completely hard, they become a crystal.

The liquid molecules joining together in a uniform and repetitive pattern ultimately give crystals their beautiful appearance.

This complete process of cooling down liquid molecules and then hardening them to become a crystal is finally known as crystallization. 

They are not very expensive when compared to diamonds.

Crystals are seen as the most beautiful, naturally occurring substance and have a great variety.

They can be made when water freezes into ice in clouds and comes down in the form of snowflakes.

Or in industries, sugar syrup and salt water is cooled down to form sugar crystals and salt crystals, respectively, that we use at home in daily life.

crystal

Main Differences Between Diamond and Crystal

  1. Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substances, while Crystals are brittle.
  2. Diamonds consist of carbon atoms covalently bonded together, whereas crystals are made when a liquid cools down and hardens.
  3. Diamonds are excellent conductors of heat as well as electricity. Crystals are not good at conducting heat or electricity.
  4. Being a rare element and having many valuable properties, a diamond is costly. Crystals are not so expensive when compared to Diamonds.
  5. Diamonds have the best reflective index, and crystals do not. This property can be used to distinguish between the two very easily.
Difference Between Diamond and Crystal
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0375674294000165
  2. https://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.321373

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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