The Mineral

The hardest natural material on earth

Diamonds are a special crystallisation form of carbon atoms. Carbon is nature’s principal building block: plants, animals and mankind too consist of carbon compounds. Diamond crystals came into existence about 3 billion years ago, at a depth of 140 to 200 kilometers inside the earth; they originated from carbon which was exposed to a very high pressure (up to 70,000 kg per cm2) at a very high temperature (up to 2,000 degrees Celcius). 

About 5% of the total world production of diamonds is processed into jewelry diamonds: the rest is used for industrial purposes. Since the industrial revolution in the 19th century, diamonds, on account of their hardness, have had many applications: polishing discs, drills, chisels, but also in electronic appliances for drawing extremely thin and precise conducting wire, or in very precise medical instruments.

In some industrial applications for diamonds, they are used up and have to be replaced with new ones regularly. So there is an ongoing demand. Since the fifties of last century, it is possible to produce artificial diamonds. Nowadays, 95 – 99% of diamonds used in industry are synthetic.

rough diamonds
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