Wurtzite Boron Nitride - Heart In Diamond

If the title of this article sounds like greek to you, (in both the literal and figurative sense), you aren't alone. Not only is this elemental name derived from ancient Greek -- the mineral itself is so rare that many scientists know little about it. This obscurity might not last long, however!

What makes this mineral interesting is that scientists recently discovered that wurtzite is harder than diamonds! This gives wurtzite boron nitride the title as the world's hardest naturally occurring substance.

The good news for diamond owners, however, is that this material is quite ugly! Though wurtzite may share a couple of important physical properties with the world's most famous gemstone, it can't compete with diamonds in terms of natural beauty and cultural significance.