* Living diamonds blaze. 1. 228. Sir Isaac Newton having observed the great power of refracting light, which the diamond possesses above all other crystallized or vitreous matter, conjectured that it was an inflammable body in some manner congealed. Insomuch that all the light is reflected which falls on any of its interior surfaces at a greater angle of incidence than 24 ½ degrees; whereas an artificial gem of glass does not reflect any light from its hinder surface, unless that surface is inclined in an angle of 41 degrees. Hence the diamond reflects half as much more light as a factitious gem in similar circum∣stances; to which must be added its great transparency, and the excellent polish it is capable of. The diamond had nevertheless been placed at the head of crystals or precious stones by the mineralogists, till Bergman ranged it of late in the combustible class of bodies, because by the focus of Villette's burning mirror it was evaporated by a heat not much greater than will melt silver, and gave out light. Mr. Hoepfner however thinks the dispersion of the diamond by this great heat should be called a phosphorescent eva∣poration of it, rather than a combustion; and from its other analogies of crystallization, hardness, transparency, and place of its nativity, wishes again to replace it amongst the precious stones. Observ. sur la Physique, par Rozier, Tom. XXXV. p. 448. See new edition of the Translation of Cronsted, by De Costa.
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