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Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Murder - By Mar­i­lyn vos Sa­vant —Lee Kan­tor, At­lanta, Ga.

As di­a­monds ac­tu­ally be­gan as coal eons ago, will they burn? Yes, di­a­monds can burn, but the cir­cum­stances have to be right. (And in­sur­ance com­pa­nies can eas­ily dis­tin­guish a false claim.) How­ever—con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief—though di­a­monds and coal are both forms of car­bon, di­a­monds do not come from coal. Di­a­monds are vir­tu­ally pure car­bon, but coal is full of sub­stances that pre­vent it from ever be­com­ing di­a­monds. Also, for di­a­monds to form, car­bon re­quires tremen­dous amounts of pres­sure and heat, found deep within the earth. Coal is formed from plant de­bris near the sur­face. Even the old­est plants are younger than al­most ev­ery di­a­mond that has been dated.

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