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What is Diamond?

Diamond is solid in its form and its atoms are present in a crystal structure known as diamond cubic. At normal pressure and room temperature, graphite, another strong solid with a particle of carbon in it is formed. Diamond is known to be the hardest metal. It has 99.95% of carbon in it. The rest 0.05% includes traces of few atoms that are not a part of chemistry. This influences the crystal shape and colour of the element. The uses of diamond are not confined to jewellery only but are myriad.

Diamond and Its Properties

The physical and chemical properties of diamond are tabulated below: 

Chemical Classification

Carbon Compound

Colour 

Diamonds are generally yellow or brown. Although the jewellery industries use colourless diamonds to make a more subtle look, diamonds in vivid hues of yellow, violet, purple, pink, blue, green, orange and red are also available in the market at a high price. White, black and grey diamonds are used in the form of gemstones. Most of the diamonds used in various industries are yellow, brown, green, or grey crystals which lack the clarity and the brilliance of a gem. 

Lustre

Adamantine is the highest type of lustre that is needed for a non-metallic mineral.

Diaphaneity

Translucent, transparent and opaque.

Physical structure

It has a perfect octahedral cleavage with four directions

Hardness (in Mohs hardness scale)

10 - Diamond is regarded as the hardest mineral in the world.

Specific Gravity

3.4 to 3.6

Diagnostic properties

Dispersion, specific gravity, index refraction in crystal form and hard.

Chemical composition

C (element carbon)

Crystal System

Isometric


What are Diamonds Used for? 

Diamond application is widely recognized across industries. Diamonds are not only famous for their beauty but also for their uses. From being used in a gas station and mines to being considered as a precious gem that we wear on ourselves, it is used everywhere.

1. Diamonds in Jewellery

Most people are familiar with the fact that diamonds serve as jewellery. These gems have a spectacular spark in them that serves as a popular centrepiece in many jewellery designs and they serve as an important source of income for the economy. Diamond is often the first choice as a jewellery gift item when it comes to engagements or weddings. 

The crystalline, sparkling structure of the diamond allows its cutting into various smaller structures and then applying a design on it. It has a high level of optical dispersion that makes it beautiful as well as unique when placed with other metals such as platinum, silver, gold, titanium, tungsten, and more. According to reports, almost 30% of the diamonds mined from the earth’s interiors are used in the pure gem trade, and the rest 70% are used in other fields. 

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2. Diamonds in Industry

Other than applying in jewellery, diamonds are also a majorly used metal in industries. According to reports, it is the hardest metal found on earth and so it conducts heat very well. Both the synthetic parts and the diamonds themselves are used widely in industries. The lab-created ones have similar properties as the real gems but the possibility of obtaining them is quite less. Also, the natural gems do not appear similar to the real ones and only a few percentages of them can be used by the industries. Some are present in the form of “bort” and small pieces of diamonds and their dust.

3. Automotive Industry

Diamonds are used in making vehicles as well. Every high-tech car has 1.5 carats of diamonds present in them. The drill bits and various other components are used in the production of car and it serves as an integral part in the automotive industry. 

4. Stone Polishing and Cutting

Since it is the hardest metal available, hence it can be used to cut the hard tress and also help polish them. It also serves as an important component in the making of rubies and sapphires.

5. Highway Construction and Repair

Highway construction companies consume large amounts of diamonds as their workers use equipment that is diamond coated to groove and cut the lanes and pavements.

Did You Know?

  • Diamonds are millions of years old and in some instances, their formation can even date back to more than four billion years! It is said that the older a piece of diamond is, the more expensive it is. 

  • The word diamond has been derived from the Greek word “Adamas” which means indestructible and invincible. 

  • The diamond scientific name is ‘Carbon’.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Give the uses of Diamond and Graphite.

Ans: Both diamonds and graphite are very beneficial forms of carbon and their uses are as follows: 

Uses of a Diamond: 

  • Diamonds are famous for their use in jewellery. The sharp features give them a unique look and make them different from all other gems.

  • Diamond is considered to be the hardest non-metal present on earth and is used to cut metals and glass. Diamond-tipped tools are used to cut or drill various objects. 

  • Diamonds are also used to heat the sinks that are used to conduct the heat apart from the sensitive parts of the microelectronics.

Uses of Graphite:

  • Graphite is present in a powder form and is used in heavy machines

  • Graphite is considered to be a good conductor of electricity and is used to manufacture electrodes that are used in electric furnaces and dry cells.

2. State the Characteristics of Diamond.

Ans: The four most important characteristics of the diamond are lustre, transparency, dispersion of colour, and light. In the carbon form, the diamond is fully transparent and clear. Diamonds are also known to be the hardest substance present on Earth. The only difference between coal and diamond is the heat and pressure under which they are formed. Diamonds are said to be having the lowest element that is stable and highly symmetric. Each carbon atom in a diamond is connected by covalent bonds. Thus, properties make it stronger and thus it has a high boiling and melting point. 

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