Nature

Season 22 Episode 7

Diamonds

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Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 08, 2004 on PBS
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Diamonds
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To paraphrase physicist Michio Kaku, diamonds are nature’s mistakes. They shouldn’t happen: the very heat and pressure that creates the precious gems would destroy most other materials. Yet these mysterious nuggets of compressed carbon are among the most valuable items in the world. People have been fascinated by diamonds since time out of mind. The stones are made into stunning jewelry pieces for the wealthy. They are symbols of meaning and sentiment, the standard centers of engagement rings. Mining and selling them comprise industries that span the world and generate countless billions per year. This episode of Nature, narrated by Stockard Channing, provides us with a fascinating look into the many steps of evaluating a diamond and preparing it for public sale. Miners dredge the earth, dealers fret over valuation exams to probe the minutest details of the stones, and finally the would-be owners gasp in awe. Diamonds are their own glorious world. Get a look at how they go from mining to necklace--with plenty of human drama along the way. You may never look at jewelry the same way again.moreless
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