Is it possible to burn diamonds? © iStock

Is it possible to burn diamonds?

You can shine like a diamond, but do go too close to the light...

Asked by: Lucie Smatova, Loughborough

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Yes. Diamonds are made from pure carbon, and carbon will burn in an oxygen atmosphere to produce carbon dioxide. However, you needn’t worry about leaving a diamond in the sun. It would take a temperature of 700-900°C before it started to burn, since the carbon atoms in a diamond are in a tight three-dimensional array that’s very hard to disrupt.


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