Being the hardest natural element known on Earth, diamonds are good for a wide variety of uses. However, although they can be used to conduct heat, they are not very good as a conductor of electricity. There are some rare forms though, known as type IIB that can be used as semiconductors.
Diamonds are made up of carbon that was buried deep within the Earth under intense pressure and heat and are brought to the surface from the mantle in a rare type of magma called kimberlite and erupted at a rare type of volcanic vent called a diatreme or pipe.
The strongly bonded electrons and the compact atoms cause the amazing reduction of the velocity of light through a diamonds mass which is what gives it the lustre which is what most people find appealing about a diamond.
It was not until almost 300 years ago that it was discovered that diamonds are a form of carbon. Over 150 years later, a method of being able to produce a synthetic diamond was finally discovered.
As there is nothing tougher than a diamond, it is the only thing that can be used to cut another diamond. Because of this, it is used heavily in the industrial sector for cutting, polishing, grinding and drilling. The majority of industrial rock drills have diamond tips. Diamonds are no longer just used in the industrial sector since they are now becoming a more popular material used in home electronics, appliances, and automobiles.
Diamonds are also one of the most popular stones used in jewellery. Jewellery made from diamond is deemed to be classic jewellery and is used from weddings, engagements, anniversaries, right down to celebrity award ceremonies.
Diamond jewellery is made using 18KT of gold because gold must have certain hardness for setting diamonds.
The romantic tradition of giving diamond rings as tokens of love and commitment began in the 15th century when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring on their engagement. Since then diamonds are always projected as symbols of love, joy and romance. In fact all diamond jewelry is generally treasured as a symbol of Everlasting Love and Perfection. Diamonds are also a traditional and conspicuous signal of achievement, status and success.
Although diamonds are measured by carat, unlike gold, this is not the main factor in deciding the cost of the diamond. Diamond prices can differ quite a lot based on color, clarity and cut.
Diamonds often contain other elements that can affect the color and those that are colorless are more valued than those that have color. Although how a diamond is cut is the only human contribution to a diamond’s beauty it is one of the most important as it is responsible for its brilliance. Cutting colored diamonds is different from clear ones, because the ultimate goal is maximizing the color. Cutting can be performed with deep, shallow or with perfect length.
Since a diamond displays what is called an ‘adamantine’ lustre it cannot be continually polished as it will cause it to lose its properties.