Schumacher Memorial Diamond

A diamond from hair? It seems fantastic. But in Switzerland on Tuesday September 15th there really will be an auction for the sale of such a diamond from the hair of the famous race car driver Michael Schumacher.

The Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society (Schweizerische Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft) and the Swiss branch of the International Youth Chamber (Junior Chamber International Switzerland) intend to contribute to the fight against multiple sclerosis — a disease that still remains incurable. In this regard, they organize a hammer sale of a one-of-a-kind diamond created from the hair of a German race car driver, seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher.

Unprecedented project

The auction will be held September 15 at 14 hours. The initial price of a diamond will be 10 thousand euros. The proceeds will be transferred to help patients with multiple sclerosis. The gem itself, the so-called red diamond weighing 0.5 carats, is made by specialists of the Swiss company Augenstern Diamonds AG. The company took over the costs of its manufacture.

Michael Schumacher, who has repeatedly participated in various charitable events, has supported the idea of ​​this unprecedented project from the very beginning.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic progressive disease of the central nervous system. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that several different parts of the nervous system are simultaneously affected in patients. This leads to the appearance of a variety of neurological symptoms in patients. In Switzerland, the number of people suffering from this mysterious disease is 10 thousand people.

How to use synthetic diamonds

But how is a diamond made from hair? Carbon is found in nature in various allotropic forms — in the form of graphite, carbine, fullerenes, graphene, nanotubes and, of course, diamond. Diamond is a crystalline cubic modification of native carbon. Diamond is the hardest substance in nature. Transparent diamond crystals are precious jewelry stones and are called diamonds in faceted form. All other diamonds are technical: they are a valuable abrasive material and are widely used for the manufacture of drill bits, drills, cutters, saw and grinding discs and other tools.

In many countries of the world, the production of synthetic diamonds has been established. They are obtained by recrystallization of graphite at high temperatures and pressures, that is, as if by artificially reproducing the natural geological conditions for the formation of native diamonds. Other methods have been developed for the production of synthetic diamonds — for example, growing crystals from the gas phase or detonation synthesis. Basically, we are talking about diamonds for technical needs, however, a number of companies produce synthetic jewelry diamonds.

«Diamond» assortment

The Swiss company Augenstern Diamonds specializes in the production of such artificial diamond jewelry, but not ordinary, but the so-called personalized. In this case, the customer’s hair serves as a carbon source. To get the smallest 0.2 carat diamond offered by the company, 10 grams of hair is required — that’s about a handful. For the production of larger crystals, the customer must transfer more hair to the company or agree to add a certain amount of extraneous to his own carbon — either graphite from a chemical store, or soot from the fireplace. Formally, there is no upper weight limit, but the company indicates that an order for a stone weighing more than one carat is an exception and requires special negotiations.

The assortment of the company includes diamonds in 4 colors: yellow (Golden Sunset), green (Bright Light), red (All-consuming passion) and blue (Noble Ice). Color depends on the specific features of the technology of stone production. The yellow color turns out to be by itself, as a result of the contact of graphite with nitrogen contained in the air, green is given by irradiation with salts of radioactive metals, blue — an admixture of boron in vacuum, red — a controlled change in the structure of the crystal lattice under conditions of even higher than usual pressure . In this case, the color intensity can vary greatly. Since the technology used by Augenstern Diamonds is based on natural crystal growth, each stone requires — depending on size — 15 to 20 weeks.

The subtleties of production

The production process is divided into four stages. The first stage is called carbonization and consists in extracting carbon from the customer’s hair, which accounts for 45 to 55 percent of their total mass. At the second stage, which is called graphitization, the carbon extracted from the hair is given a single hexagonal crystalline structure characteristic of graphite. This material serves as a raw material for the production of artificial diamond.

The recrystallization of graphite into diamond, that is, the conversion of the hexagonal lattice to cubic at high temperatures and pressures, is the third stage of production. At the final fourth stage, diamonds undergo continuous quality control, and then faceting. A certificate is compiled for each stone. At the request of the customer, the finished diamond can be set in a ring, pendant, etc.

Studies of the editorial office showed that the highest quality memorial diamonds are produced by URMYDIAMOND