Unusual Diamond Uses


Diamonds have it pretty hard.

Well, as the most dense substance on the planet, how could they not?  Having originally been deemed “adámas” by the ancient Greeks (their word for ‘unbreakable’), diamonds know a thing or two about having their mettle tested.  Aside from the engagement and wedding ring obligations they commonly pull, diamonds have tons of other work to do.  Utilized in industries that range from ultra grade electronics to highly advanced medicine, diamond duties are definitely as diverse as they are demanding.  Read on for a conclusive list of diamond jobs, old and new.

The Fairly Obvious:

Since diamonds are so dang hard, they can be very useful as an abrasive agent.  Tiny fragments of diamonds are sprinkled in when drill bits, blades and grinding wheels are manufactured.  This gives these machines added grinding and slicing power (this also answers the question “What happens to the micro fragments filed off of diamonds when they are cut and polished for jewelry?” – they are sold for these exact uses, along with synthetic diamonds).

The second closest material (corundum – which rubies and sapphires are made of) on the Mohs scale of hardness to diamond is still four times less strong than diamond.  Thus, diamonds make the ideal substance for engraving other gemstones.  No other stone can even scratch diamond; only diamond can scratch itself (*do not attempt this to see if it’s true – you will be sad – just trust that it is).  Ergo, diamonds can be used to write inscriptions in granite, quartz, and even the super dense, diamond mimicking moissanite.

The Eyebrow Raising: 

You may be looking through a diamond and not even know it.  Super thin diamond membranes are used in the construction of the world’s sturdiest windows.  Such diamond engrained panes of glass are extremely resilient, able to withstand great heat and force.

For those that value crisp sound above all else when purchasing home entertainment electronics, no system is complete without diamond domed speakers.  The staunch quality of a diamond encased speaker ensures that the device will not warp, the primary cause in sound degradation.

Diamonds have long been thought to be helpful for medicinal reasons (we’ll get to some of the more antiquated ones later down on the list), with a very practical use having surfaced fairly recently.  Possibly because it is naturally such a conductive material, when diamond dust is applied to areas of skin that will be treated with chemotherapy, the cancer treatment drugs are more readily absorbed into the patient’s system.  The main benefit of this: many of the physically taxing and horribly unpleasant side effects are greatly reduced.

Slowly overtaking silicon as the perfect substance for transistors in computer microchips, is, you guessed it, our old, hard working friend diamond.  In the micro mode of “nanodiamonds,” these super stones are used here as they allow heat to pass through at accelerated rates (which lets the chips cool faster), maximizing functionality and reducing energy consumption.

The Downright Weird:  

Most people have heard of the term “microdermabrasion,” but not everyone is familiar with the fact that this classification of beauty treatment only receives this moniker when actual diamonds are used.  The diamonds in question are in tiny particle form, and are embedded in the facial wands that are employed when exfoliating the faces of the lavishly pampered.  Gives skin a luminous quality, just like a polished diamond.

Taking a page out of the history of violence, in ancient China (2,500 B.C.-ish), it is believed that rough diamond stones were used primarily to polish burial axes.  The punishing weapons were made of corundum, and were often discovered with diamonds next to them – as these would be the only things capable of honing and sharpening the intimidating battle utensils.

Last, we have the numerous accounts of diamonds used in medicine throughout the ages.  Specifically the Middle Ages, where people somehow got it in their delirious heads that swallowing diamonds would cure them of the Plague (you know, the Black Death).  In other epochs and areas of the world, diamonds were thought to act as an antidote for poison, pestilence and curses.  Fortunately, we have stopped literally consuming diamonds, for the most part.

With all these jobs and responsibilities, it’s easy to see how a diamond can get worn out.  Just like hard working people, they eventually deserve a retirement too.  Show some compassion and give your old diamonds a break: send them in to Diamond Lighthouse, and let us help you sell them with ease.  You’ll get the most money that you could find anywhere in the tangible world, or even the world wide web, and they will get some much needed respite.  Now that sounds like the perfect use for a diamond.  Find out more.


-Joe Leone


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