web counter History of Diamonds - 2/2 - Diamonds at Heart

Industrial DiamondsStarting in the late 19th century, diamonds became indispensable to industry. Henry Ford, famous as an American automobile magnate was the first to reveal the contemporary industrial uses of the stone. He was known to provide grants for research into the stone’s applications for the manufacturing sector, and especially as a low-cost abrasive. Known as the automobile production center of the United States of America, the Detroit area actually became a hub for dealers of diamond manufacturing and mining tools.

Following the lead provided by the automotive sector, the aircraft industry became an avid user of diamond-based products. Diamonds used for industrial applications are almost always a lower grade than those found in the gemstone market, say; however they still retain the same properties of durability and hardness. Diamond tools last for a whole lot longer than those made from other sources and offer a pretty-much unbeatable precision for the act of cutting other substances. Tools made from industrial diamonds are used in the optical and mirror manufacturing fields as well as in oil and gas drilling endeavors.

In the textile industry, though, devices made from diamonds are used for cutting patterns. In medicine, cutting instruments made from diamonds are used to slice bone and tissue precisely and cleanly. The construction industry uses diamond tools in the grinding and cutting of concrete and pavement.

What are diamonds? Diamonds are actually chains of carbon. Carbon is one of the most common substances found on the planet. In one form it is simple graphite, like what is used in pencils, however, in its crystallized form, it takes has a different appearance than diamond. On the scale that mineralogists use to measure the hardness of diamonds, they rate ten on a scale of one to ten. Diamonds are also measured in carats, this is the standard unit of measurement for gemstones. One carat is equal to one-fifth of a gram. The carat can further be divided into points based on a scale of 100. One of the reasons diamonds are so prized is because the light they absorb is reflected directly back outward, if the stone has been properly cut. The unusual crystal structure of the particular gem allows the high degree of refractability.

Diamonds, it might be added, are also excellent conductors of electrical current, due to their structure, which can be described as octahedron. That is to say, there are two four-sided pyramids of carbon chains inside, which meet one another at the bases. Cubes or dodacahedrons (a twelve-sided shape) are also found within the stone; and some of the time, small triangular pockets called trigons can be observed.

The hardest natural substance known is the diamond. Found in a type of igneous rock called kimberlite, diamonds are a chain of carbon atoms which have become crystallized. It is formed over the course of thousands of years by volcanic action which occurred during the formation of the earth’s crust.

History of diamonds

One school of thought holds that diamonds were discovered originally about 6,000 years ago in India. Then, down the time line, traders were responsible for bringing the gem around the world. They brought it as far east as China and as far west as Italy, during the classical and even early medieval civilizations. The famous and still-widely read Roman scholar, Pliny the Elder, wrote about diamond in the first century C.E.. The word diamond actually comes from the Greek, “adamas” which means “invincible” or “unconquerable” – and could allude to both the roughness of the stone and the colorless nature sometimes seen in the gem.

The industry of diamond mining is be traced back to ancient India – around the years 800 to 600 B.C.. For over a thousand years, India was the only known source of the rocks, until around 600 C.E. they were unearthed in Borneo. During the Middle Ages, the diamond was not as common as more colorful gems such as the ruby and emerald.

These other stones found their way into the jewelry of the power and wealth of Europe more easily than the diamond, say. Back in these days, gem-cutting was not yet a commonly used practice. Usually, diamonds were left in their natural state or shaped by a rudimentary cut. Then, in the 17th century a Venetian lapidary named Vincenzo Peruzzi developed the so-called brilliant cut. It was this cut which revealed the intricacies and the natural perfection of the stone.

Diamond deposits were discovered in Brazil, Australia, Russia, and the United States in the 18th century – changing forever the face of the industry. Then, in the 20th century, an American mine near Murfreesboro, Arkansas, was open for novelty public mining for only a small fee. High-quality diamonds have since been found in Siberia too, but the extremely cold temperature has made large-scale mining unfeasible. This means that there are still a plethora of untouched mining sources in that part of the world.

The largest cache of diamonds in the world was discovered in 1866, in South Africa. During this era, South Africa experienced a diamond rush; shanty towns sprang up along with the influx of prospectors.

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