Science: Diamond Rival

In some respects, the new "diamonds" made of titania (titanium dioxide) are better than the real thing.† Last week three advertisements in the New York Times Magazine offered cut stones "more brilliant than diamonds" at prices ranging from $10 to $16 a carat (price of first-grade white diamonds: about $1,100 for a one-carat stone). One ad suggested: "A handsome engagement ring made of our remarkable gem presented to any girl will win her devotion. The hundreds of dollars saved will go far toward building a permanent home."

Titanium dioxide is found in nature in black...

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