For an extremely wide
variety of industries, diamonds are an extremely valuable resource, but not
because they are shiny and beautiful. In fact, many find diamonds valuable not
because they are attractive, but because they are the exact opposite opaque,
dull, unremarkable, but extremely hard.
Thats right, Its been mentioned before but it doesnt hurt to repeat it again
the global market for diamonds does not mine diamonds solely for use as jewelry. Only about 20% of the diamonds mined
actually land on someones finger or neck, with the remaining 80% finding
themselves crushed and bonded to the end of a drill bit, as polishing powder,
or as an abrasive.
When you think about it,
its perfectly logical. As the hardest naturally occurring mineral, diamond
powder is the perfect solution when you need to polish or grind with greater
power and efficiency. Every day, people around the world make use of diamond
For example, if you scratched the windshield
or mirror of your car you might be able to use diamond powder to remove the
scratch, as glass is one of the substrates that benefit from diamond powder the
most. Not only does this offer a simple solution, but it also helps you save
money by not having to completely replace your windshield.
Or for another example,
consider for a moment all of the antique programs you see on television. Every
one of them shows antique shop and pawn shop owners selling their priceless
finds for large amounts of money. Chances are that many of the pieces they sell
were once terribly tarnished and scratched, apart from specialty cloths and
chemicals diamond powders are one resource that they frequently take
advantage of to restore their antiques to a more flawless finish.
But how is diamond powder created?
To move from whole
diamond to diamond powder a lapidary uses the process called micronization.
Micronization takes place when a special fluid or gas is used to break down and
render solid diamonds into a powdered form. While the process involves a bit
more than simply crushing the diamonds into a fine dust, the results it
yields are pretty amazing.
The micronization process
as a whole produces a large number of tiny diamond grains of the same size
measured in microns. To add a little perspective to the tiny measurement, one
micron is equal to one millionth of a meter, a tiny speck barely visible to the
naked eye. Using this system, diamond powder is measured by how coarse or fine its
particles are, and how the different levels of coarseness produce wildly
Typically, abrasive diamond powder
can be as small as 1/10th micron to 250 microns, with extreme
attention paid to ensuring that the diamond dust particle are all the same
size. This is because diamond grains shaped differently than the majority of
the powder can scratch a material when the intent is to actually polish it.
So as you can see, diamonds
are actually much more than forever as the popular slogan says. Diamonds
turned to dust may not become a family heirloom, but they live on in the impact
they make on virtually everything