Ever look at a diamond on a ring and think “Man, they can’t all turn out that nice!” Well, as it happens, not all diamonds make the cut to jewelry-grade stones. In fact, only about 20% of diamonds mined are usable for jewelry. Even less of those are high enough quality to look good on a ring or necklace! That leaves a whopping 80% of all mined diamonds to be used for… something else. Diamonds have plenty of other properties that make them really useful, like refracting light and being the hardest known substance on Earth. Over the years, we’ve come up with plenty of ways to use them! Here are a few of the most interesting ways to use diamond.
Diamonds that don’t make to jewelry standard are often called “industrial diamonds”, and with good reason. Industry is the most common use of diamonds. Diamonds are great for things like polishing and drilling because of their unique hardness. They can scratch or cut any surface (including other diamonds!), and tiny diamonds are added to things like drill bits to make them much more effective. Diamond drills are so hard that using them on things like softer metals and wood damages the drill from clogging! These kinds of tools are fantastic for cutting things like glass, harder metals, and gemstones. They’re especially useful for jewelers – the only thing that can cut a diamond is another diamond, so you’re sure to find a diamond-studded sawblade anywhere that cuts rough diamonds into jewels.
I didn’t believe it when I saw it, either – I never expected this as one of the ways to use diamond! Putting diamonds into beauty products has become more and more popular in recent years. Forever Flawless, for example, carries diamond-dusted collections like the “diamond beauty set” with uses ranging from facial cleansing to anti-aging skin care. The price tag is substantial, though, so make sure to look into it before you try it out yourself!
If you’re looking for crystal-clear sound, you might want to invest in a diamond speaker. Diamonds are incredibly hard and incredibly stiff, so they can handle very strong vibrations. This makes them perfect for speaker domes! Not only will they last longer, but the quality of the sound will benefit from the integrity of the diamonds, too. A worthy investment for any music lovers out there!
If have no idea what a “bur” is, that’s okay, because I hadn’t either until I started writing this. A dental bur is a tool dentists use for cutting through teeth and bone. While there are many different kinds of burs like steel and ceramic ones, diamond burs are especially useful. That’s because they last longer, cut smoother, are more precise, and leave behind better polish. If you’ve had dental surgery, chances are, the dentist used a diamond bur for the finishing touches!
Electronics can get hot with all the electric currents running through them. Like, really hot. Cooling is a constant problem with electronic systems, and while a fan is a good option, heat sinks are another popular way to go. A heat sink is something that conducts heat very well, pulling heat out of the system and into the air. Since diamonds are great at conducting heat, heat sinks are another great way to use diamond. They’re not made of just diamond, though – the diamond are added to the usual components of aluminum and copper.
I’ll be honest with you on this one. Diamonds aren’t used much for computing… yet. If you don’t know what a quantum computer is, I’ll try to keep my explanation simple. Basically, a normal computer stores information in 1s and 0s. Any specific bit is either “true” or “false”. A quantum computer, on the other hand, stores bits as probabilities – there might be, say, a 75% chance that the bit is 1 or 0, and the computer runs based on these probabilities, meaning a quantum computer can do things that would be impossible with a regular computer. The only problem is, it’s very hard to actually pull this sort of thing off. You have to be very, very precise to store and retrieve data in this way. One idea for making it work is to use a combination of diamond and silicon to hold the data. This used to be impossible, but with synthetic diamond technology, it might be done! The results right now look promising, and time will tell if they can pull it off in the end.
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