In the jewelry industry, we think of diamonds as gem-quality diamonds — but most mined diamonds (about 70%) lack the color, size, and clarity required for the jewelry industry. If you define “gem quality” as diamonds found in jewelry stores as opposed to big box stores, only 10% are gem quality.
So, what happens to the unused diamonds?
They lead productive lives in a range of industrial applications that ultimately impact our everyday lives. These industrial applications include millions of lab-grown diamonds, many developed to target specific needs. In fact, diamond’s industrial potential provided the impetus to create lab-grown diamonds back in the mid-1950s. (More on that later.)
First, let’s examine just why diamonds are so valuable to industry.
THE SECRET INGREDIENTS
Diamond’s strengths include unsurpassed thermal conductivity, exceptional transparency, and extreme hardness — 10 on the Mohs Scale.
To understand diamond’s hardness, compare it to corundum, also known as ruby and sapphire. Corundum is a 9 on the Mohs Scale, so surely diamond — a 10 — is twice as hard? Not at all.
The Mohs Scale is purely ordinal, meaning there is no proportional decrease or increase among minerals of different hardness. In this case, although corundum is twice as hard as topaz (an 8), diamond is four times harder than corundum. This exceptional hardness gives diamonds a wealth of uses.
DIAMONDS HARD AT WORK
Close to 95% of industrial diamonds get used for drilling, cutting, sanding, and polishing. This impacts many industries: oil and gas, mining and construction, and the jewelry industry (because only diamond is hard enough to cut and polish diamond).
Diamond’s hardness also improves the performance, longevity, and quality of wearable parts for farming equipment, cars and vehicles, advanced home and consumer electronics — the list goes on. This is where the importance of lab-grown diamonds comes into full focus.
NEW DIAMOND ADVANCEMENTS
Enter Element Six, a division of De Beers (yes, the De Beers Group) that designs, develops, and produces diamond “super materials” and custom diamond products.
THESE DESIGNER DIAMOND PRODUCTS PLAY AN ESSENTIAL ROLE IN:
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