#6 - Gem Quality

Posted on Thursday, January 4th, 2018 at 8:24 pm by LaLonde Jewelers

Out of the 133 million carats of diamonds mined each year in the world only 20% are gem quality.  I believe the majority of people in the world think that diamonds that are mined are mostly used for jewelry and adornment and it happens to be quite the opposite.

Only about 20% of the gems mined in the world are used for jewelry purposes. The other 80% are for industrial uses. You would be surprised at their usage.  Some industrial quality diamonds are used in various types of drill bits, to mine for oil and minerals deep into the earth. Others are used on the drills that dentists use, as well as tool and die equipment for grinding. If you have ever driven down the road and felt the grooves in the middle of the road, those are made using diamond tipped drills to help water dissipate. Diamonds are also used to coat various glasses such as those in microscopes and sunglasses to prevent scratching.

The first NASA Gemini missions used a diamond to make a window because it was the only clear material known to withstand the heat of re-entry. The first was a circular 118ct diamond with no flaws and of yellowish color. Cameras were hooked up to the window, so they could take photos outside of the spacecraft.

Isn’t it amazing that today we have space shuttles that can re-enter the Earth and the windows on those are not made of diamond. NASA with all its engineering capabilities produced man-made cubic zirconia windows that can withstand the heat. This is the original reason cubic zirconia was created. To this day we can thank NASA for numerous innovations that we use daily in this world.

Written by Daniel J. LaLonde

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