You may think that diamonds have nothing to do with technology and that they are only used for platinum engagement rings and the like. This is not true though and diamonds have a very significant role in the most current technologies. It has gotten to the point where we can actually make our own synthetic diamonds which saves have to go to the expense of mining them. These are mainly used in technology rather than a diamond engagement ring though, as they do have similar but different qualities.
The difference between natural and synthetic
The one main difference between these two types of diamonds is that one forms naturally within the earth and has to be mined, whilst the other is man made in factories or laboratories. Manufacturers of synthetic diamonds have advanced so much that it can be extremely hard for all but the well trained eye to tell the difference between these and naturally formed stones. This is indeed a huge selling point by some of the best manufacturers. For a well trained gemologist though, they can usually tell the difference between these two types of stone, although it may take some time. Perfect diamonds are very rare and most of them all have flaws, which is something that is sometimes missing in the manufactured stones. To the average person though, we would not be able to tell the difference unless we look at the price. Synthetic stones can be as much as 30% cheaper than the naturally formed varieties, although the look and effect is almost exactly the same.
Using diamonds in industry
You may not be aware of it but the use of diamonds is very popular within industry. Diamonds are one of the hardest known substances so it does come in handy for certain production methods.
- Used for cutting
- Used as an abrasive
- Used to grind or polish
With diamonds being so hard and abrasive, they are the perfect tool to cut things like glass. You can quite easily score a line on a piece of glass a couple of times with a diamond tipped glass cutter, and remove the piece of glass with not much effort at all. You can also use diamonds as an abrasive to cut and shape other hard objects like other stones. If you turn the diamonds into a powder, then you have a perfect material to grind and polish. Again this can be used to other stones, glass and also mirrors. Diamonds are also having a hand in increasing the computing power in your laptop or PC. They are currently using diamond tipped tools to be able to change the way they build memory, increasing efficiency, reliability and also overall performance.
Diamonds and Lasers
Diamonds are also starting to be used in the production of lasers. Only flawless diamonds can be used for this purpose, so generally it is only synthetic diamonds which are used as these are easier to find and cost less than a flawless natural diamond. When you think of a laser it should not just be of a ray gun that you see in Star Wars. There is a wide range of applications that lasers can be used for.
- Defensive Weapons
- Trace Gas Detectors
- Satellite Mapping of Gasses
- Medical Devices
If you require corrective surgery on your eyes then there is a good chance that your doctor may use a laser on your eye. This can only be used to correct certain problems though such as Myopia or Hypermetropia to name a few. There are also plans for other medical devices and treatments as well which will incorporate a laser such as using them in sensing, imaging and also prosthetics. You only have to go back to the 1980’s and the USA had its famous Star Wars defense program, which later got scrapped. This was satellites in space that could utilize a laser and fire down any incoming missiles. However, using different types of lasers mounted to satellites, we can get accurate temperature readings of the planet and also measure gasses as well, giving us an accurate picture of the state of the earth at present. Also enabling us to keep an eye on global warming more accurately and see the affects it has throughout the world. So all in all, Diamonds are not just the kings of the gem stones as they are also very useful as well as look good.