Thanks to the hard work of the Association of American State Geologists, the second week of October has been officially declared "Earth Science Week" every year since 1998. So we decided to have Jeopardy!'s rarest gem, Ken Jennings, school us on the hardest rock of them all: diamonds. Are they really forever? Are they a girl's best friend? Let's shed the cold, hard light of 10-carat truth onto some of these semiprecious superstitions.
The Debunker: Is It Really Hard to Crush a Diamond?
At some point in school, I had to learn the Mohs scale of hardness, which assigns numerical values to ten different minerals in order of hardness. I've forgotten most of the actual minerals, though. 1 is talc, I think, which is as soft as rock ever gets, unless you count 1970s AM radio. I don't remember any of the others. Except 10! Nobody ever forgets 10. 10 is diamond. 10 is as hard as rock can get. 10 is Black Sabbath or Cannibal Corpse.