Other Than in Jewelry, What Are Diamonds Used For?

other-jewelry-diamonds-used Credit: tom_bullock/CC-BY 2.0

Diamonds have many uses which include being used to shape and polish other gemstones, and man-made diamonds are used in drill bits and other tools. Diamonds are also used in the windows that cover X-rays and vacuum chambers.

Diamonds have a variety of different uses because they are 58 times harder than corundum, the next hardest mineral on Earth. Due to their toughness, diamonds can be used to cut through rock and do not splinter or create friction when used at high temperatures. Today, only 20 percent of the world's diamonds are used in jewelry. The other 80 percent are used in a number of different ways.

Diamonds are made from carbon. They develop when the carbon is heated and pressurized, and the heat and pressure cause the carbon to form an unbreakable bond. The longer the diamond sits, the harder it becomes. Most diamonds are formed at depths of between 87 to 118 miles in the Earth's mantle. When diamonds are harvested, they range in color from yellow or gray to colorless. Occasionally, a diamond may emerge that is blue, brown, orange, purple or red.

Diamonds are used to conduct heat and to coat microchips to conduct electricity. They are often used in laboratory laser equipment and for cutting and drilling tools.