“The models you can see in this room,” said the guide, “represent some of the first models of carbon organizer. Carbon organizers were the earliest and simplest form of dry nanotechnology, capable of building simple molecular structures from carbon and hydrogen atoms only. While this may seem trivial, they formed the basis of the synthetic oil manufacturing industry that we’ll talk about later in our tour, and, of course, were responsible for the Diamond Crash.”
“Here, for scale,” he continued, crossing to one particular stand, “you can see the largest gem-quality diamond ever found in nature; the Heart of the Moon, which in its rough state weighed in at just under nineteen ounces. In its cut state, as you see here, it still weighs twelve ounces, and in the pre-Crash days, was valued at over 124 million esteyn. After the Diamond Crash, House Selequelios donated it to one of the Museum’s predecessors.”
“And now, gentlesophs, if you’d care to turn around…”
The curtain slid back. Light blazed from the sixty-foot obelisk, and the tour group gasped as one.
“This is our very own Monument to the Crash, or looked at another way, to the start of the Prosperity. What you are looking at is a single internally perfect diamond crystal, weighing a little over 5,800,000 pounds. It is, a few cases of diamond plating on structures aside, the single largest pure diamond crystal ever grown, a record that is unlikely to be broken, since few of its industrial and commercial – mostly low-end ornamentation – applications call for crystals quite this large, and since pure diamond is both brittle and quite flammable, its potential structural niches are for the most part filled by various adamant-type diamondoids, sapphireglass, and more advanced nanocomposites.”
“Of course, it’s rather less valuable than the Heart of the Moon was pre-crash; the value of raw diamond on today’s market is a little under one taltis per pound, which makes the whole Monument worth approximately 45,000 esteyn in total.”
“If you’ll follow me into the next room, you can see a carbon organizer in action, a simple model that extrudes bar diamond from ambient atmospheric gases. This particular model is still on the market, because while there’s little demand for the product per se, many worlds find it useful on a larger scale for pulling excess carbon out of their atmospheres in an easy-to-store and readily releasable – by simple incineration – form.”
“We slice up the bars into half-foot sections for souvenirs, which you’ll see on the table to your left. Please, help yourself to one, or two, or as many as you like to take home. No charge.” He coughed. “Although I should perhaps mention that most jewelers, even the ones who don’t insist on an authenticated provenance, will check to ensure that there are at least some natural-looking flaws in the stones they buy, these days.”