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Adamantine describes a type of luster exhibited by certain minerals. Minerals with an adamantine luster are known for their ability to reflect light with high intensity, creating a sparkling or glittering effect. This luster is often associated with transparent or translucent minerals that have a high refractive index, allowing light to be refracted and reflected in a dazzling manner.

The term is derived from the Greek word “adamastos,” which means “untameable” or “unbreakable,” emphasizing the extraordinary brilliance of such minerals.

Some minerals that commonly exhibit an adamantine luster include:

  1. Diamond: Perhaps the most well-known example of an adamantine mineral, diamonds are prized for their brilliance and hardness.
  2. Cubanite: This copper-iron sulfide mineral can display an adamantine luster in certain crystal faces.
  3. Spinel: Certain varieties of spinel, such as ruby spinel, can exhibit an adamantine luster.
  4. Sphalerite: This zinc sulfide mineral can sometimes display an adamantine luster when well-formed crystals are present.
  5. Zircon: Zircon is known for its high refractive index and ability to exhibit an adamantine luster when well-cut and polished.

The adamantine luster is one of the many ways minerals can interact with light and contribute to their visual appeal and identification. It is an important characteristic used by mineralogists to identify and describe minerals in their studies.