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Facts About Diamonds - Properties and Uses

Updated on May 29, 2017
Cullinan Diamond
Cullinan Diamond | Source

Diamonds are the hardest natural substances on earth. Diamonds are in high demand as gemstones all over the world. Diamonds are used to make jewelry worn and loved by people all over the world. Diamond studded necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings were in high demand. Diamonds are not only used in jewelry, but they are also used to make diamond tools.

The word “Diamond” is derived from a Greek word "adamas" meaning unbreakable. Diamond is an allotrope (a different form of carbon). They are found at depths of 75 miles to 150 miles deep below the surface of the earth. Naturally occurring diamonds were formed three billion years ago under intense heat and pressure.

Written records of diamonds were found as early as 500 BC. Until the 18th century, India was the only country that had diamond mines. Diamonds were discovered in Brazil in 1729. In 1840, diamonds were found in North America.

Properties of Diamonds

A diamond is a different form of carbon called an allotrope. It is the hardest naturally occurring substance on earth.

Diamonds can withstand very high temperatures; they burn only when the temperature reaches 1292 degree Fahrenheit.

In their pure state diamonds are colorless. Impurities in diamonds lend shades of red, orange, pink, purple, green or black hues to the color. Diamonds that are not suitable for jewelry are used for industrial purposes or for making less expensive rings.

Uses of Diamonds

Diamonds are used -

  • as gemstones to make a necklace, rings, earrings, nose rings and bracelets.
  • in the manufacturing industry to make tools for cutting and grinding hard materials
  • to make precision engraving tools
  • to cut and polish other gemstones
  • to make the window that covers lasers, X-rays and vacuum chambers
  • in the manufacture of electronics to transfer heat away from the sensitive electronic parts
  • for coating microchips and computer processors because they are semiconductors of electricity
  • in the manufacture of watches to make low friction micro-bearings
  • in the manufacture of diamond peeling and microdermabrasion beauty products

Diamond Crystal Structure

Diamond is a mineral. It is composed of pure carbon. It has a face-centered cubic lattice crystal structure. Each carbon atom joins four other carbon atoms in the shape of regular tetrahedrons (triangular prisms).

Based on the cubic form and the symmetrical arrangement of atoms, diamond crystals can develop into different shapes known as crystal habits. The most common crystal habit is the eight-sided octahedron or the diamond shape.

Diamond crystals can also be in the shape of cubes or dodecahedrons or a combination of both the structures.

Rough Uncut Diamond
Rough Uncut Diamond | Source

Diamond Facts - Did You Know

  • The Cullinan diamond discovered in 1905 in South Africa weighed 3106.75 carats in its rough form. The largest diamond cut from the Cullinan weighed 530.2 carats.
  • Carat is the term used to describe the weight of a diamond or any gemstone
  • Around 26,000 kilograms of diamonds are mined every year around the world
  • Diamond is the number one thermal conductor among naturally occurring substances found on earth
  • America buys more than 40% of the world’s diamonds that are used to make jewels
  • Metals can be sliced thinner than human hair by a diamond blade
  • Diamond cutting tools cut faster and more accurately than any other tool

Synthetic Diamonds

Diamonds that do not occur naturally are called synthetic diamonds. They are made from carbon in the laboratories under extreme heat and pressure.

Synthetic diamonds can be made in a range of colors -orange, yellow, pink, purple, black and blue. Jewelry made from synthetic diamonds are not very expensive.

Carat - The standard unit weight measurement for gemstones

Carat is the standard unit of weight measurement for gemstones. Carat is also abbreviated as ct.

Carat refers to the purity of gold. 24 karat gold is 99.9% pure gold.

  • One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams
  • One gram is equivalent to 5 carats
  • One pound is equivalent to 2268.2 carats

Synthetic Diamonds
Synthetic Diamonds | Source

How are diamonds priced?

Diamonds are priced on per carat basis. Large diamonds are rare when compared to small diamonds. The rarity of large diamonds makes them extremely expensive. A ring made of many small diamonds that is equal to 2 carats will be less expensive than a ring made with a two-carat solitaire diamond.

Top Ten Biggest Diamonds of the World



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    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      ChitrangadaSharan thank you and am glad you came to know more about diamonds. Thank you for the vote up too.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Diamonds are a woman' s weakness, no doubt about that.

      Thanks for sharing this well researched hub about Diamonds. I learnt so much about Diamonds from this hub.

      Very interesting and useful information! Voted up!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      teaches12345 I love diamonds too and am glad my hub was informative. Thank you for your visit.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love the way a true diamond shines in the light. I really found this interesting and learned much from your sharing of history, defintion, uses and pricing.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      JPSO138 thank you for reading.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Well researched hub and very informative. You certainly did your job...

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Elias Zanetti thank you for your visit.

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 4 years ago from Athens, Greece

      You did a great work with this hub Vellur. Informative and interesting!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Pamela99 thank you.

      Eiddwen thank you for reading and your vote up.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Your hard work has certainly paid off here Vellur.

      Voted up for sure.


    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      You really gave us a lot of good information about diamonds. I enjoyed your hub and learned a few things.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      always exploring thank you, oh yes I love it too!

      Faith Reaper thank you, I was amazed by the size of the diamonds! Thank you for the vote and share.

      DDE thank you for your visit. Yes there is so much more than what we know!!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Diamonds - Properties and Uses as they say a woman'a best friend but not much of a friend of mine though this hub said it all. Informative, useful, interesting, and so much more to learn about this precious jewel.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Comprehensive hub on the diamond. Wow, what big rocks!!! I have never seen or known of any that huge. Hmmm, I have been shortchanged LOL ...kidding

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great topic and a great presentation. I love diamonds set in gold. Thank you for the info.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      billybuc thank you for reading and for your appreciation.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thankfully Bev is not into jewelry. LOL Great research on this one, Vellur. Well done!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Jackie Lynnley thank you, I really hope you get many, many of them!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You really did some work on this. So now I have no hope of digging one up in the back yard, huh? j/k Very thorough and I enjoyed it, thank you. ^+