Diamonds are widely popular gemstones, which makes them perfect for these kinds of discussions. Regardless of many people knowing what diamonds are, there are some key traits of this mineral that make it the beloved precious rock we all know.
So, we have singled out some of the best and most unique traits of diamonds that make up the answer to what makes a diamond special. Generally speaking, some of these facts are more widely known, while some others might surprise you, so keep your eyes peeled!
Anyways, let’s take a look at the key reasons why diamonds are special.
Diamonds Are The Hardest Minerals On Earth
People know that diamonds are hard, but how hard are they really? Well, diamonds scale the highest on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness which makes them the hardest mineral on earth. Being made from pure carbon under extreme circumstances of high levels of heat and pressure, diamonds end up being quite unscratchable.
The scale that we’ve mentioned above is a simple scale that is used to help identify minerals. A mineral’s hardness is a measure of its relative resistance to scratching. It’s measured by scratching the mineral against another substance of known hardness on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Diamonds are quite scratch-resistant which makes them safe for everyday wearing on jewelry. Anything you do won’t scratch a diamond that you’re wearing on your finger, wrist, neck, or any other part of your body.
Regardless of diamonds being the hardest mineral on earth, diamond is quite fragile and easy to shatter. If you were to drop a diamond from a relatively low height, it would most likely shatter into a million pieces.
So, don’t mistake softness with brittleness and hardness with toughness. But, as far as hardness and levels of scratch resistance go, these minerals are practically invulnerable. Some of you might be asking yourselves, can diamonds be scratched by anything on this planet?
Well, yes and no. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. So anything except a diamond can’t scratch a diamond.
This level of hardness is extremely important in some industries. Some heavy-duty industrial machinery is made out of diamonds such as diamond drills and diamond saws. These pieces of machinery are used to cut through some of the world’s strongest and hardest materials.
Concrete, asphalt, and bricks are also cut with diamond saws since these saws don’t crumble the object that they’re sawing through since they’re extremely sharp.
You can probably comprehend the level of hardness that diamonds possess when you realize that people are using diamonds for precision cutting. Of course, these industrial machines are made out of lab-grown diamonds for the most part, but that doesn’t influence their hardness.
Diamonds Have Unrivaled Temperature & Electricity Conductivity
Diamond is an amazing electrical insulator, having a resistivity of 100 GΩ⋅m to 1 EΩ⋅m (10×1011 – 10×1018 Ω⋅m). In addition to that, they’re even better heat conductors thanks to their strong covalent bonds between carbon atoms in a diamond crystal.
Diamonds withstand high levels of heat and pressure which makes their covalent bonds stronger and allows them to conduct heat even better than electricity. It’s actually how the majority of diamond testers work. Diamond testers test for heat or electricity conduction levels that indicate whether the rock is a real diamond or a ripoff.
Suppose the rock conducts heat or electricity with a certain resistivity. In that case, it means that the diamond is genuine, but if the conductivity levels are unusually low or high for a diamond. That means that the diamond is not natural but is instead made of worse or better conductor material.
Although diamonds aren’t often used in heat-related or electricity-related industries, this trait allows for a way to verify diamonds easily and without a mistake. There is some use for diamonds in the manufacturing process of satellite communication and broadcasting stations because it “amplifies” the signals since it’s a good electricity conductor.
In addition to that, and contrary to popular belief, diamonds are highly tolerant when it comes to high heat and high voltages. Diamonds can hardly burn and can’t be “exploded” with high voltage.
Diamonds Look Amazing In Jewelry
We all know well that most diamonds in the world go into jewelry. Diamond rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, tiaras, and crowns. Some of the most famous jewelry contains diamonds, making them an unskippable part of the jewelry industry.
Engagement rings, mothership rings, and rings closely related to special occasions in one’s life almost always have diamonds. This only shows you how monumental diamonds are and that they should be saved for special occasions.
Other than that, diamonds in casual jewelry worn every day are also quite popular. Diamond earrings or bracelets are often worn as a part of an everyday outfit, making them versatile.
Diamonds are loved by everybody that has a love for jewelry. Some of the pieces of jewelry that are considered the rarest and prettiest pieces of jewelry contain diamonds, and that’s not a coincidence!
So, a big part of why we love diamonds as much as we do is that we find them in some of our most beloved pieces of jewelry.
Also, diamond jewelry was used to signify wealth and aristocracy. This means that diamond jewelry is today also viewed in a similar fashion, but much less drastically. Especially in the Victorian era where everything needed to be dramatic, diamonds signified some of the most important distinctions between aristocrats and the general populous.
Shine & Sparkle
Diamonds have a distinct shine and sparkle to them, especially when a beam of light hits the top of the diamond. There’s nothing shinier than a diamond on the sun, and that’s one of its key traits!
People know how that distinct shine looks, and once they see it – it’s hard to forget it. Anyways, people tend to remember those moments and consider diamonds special because they can shine and sparkle like no other gemstone can.
These characteristics make diamonds easily lovable and that’s for a reason. If you’ve ever seen dozens of diamonds spilled and then light shined into them, you know what we’re talking about!
The sparkle of a diamond depends on how much light it can take in and reflect that light back to you. Diamonds that don’t have a high clarity level can’t reflect light and sparkle as well as some other diamonds that have a higher clarity level.
On the other hand, the diamond’s shine depends on multiple factors. The color of the diamond plays a huge role and can make a huge difference in how much a diamond can shine. These parameters may not seem as important to you at the moment, but when you realize how much of a difference that makes, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
First of all, diamonds with better clarity and color grade are sold for much larger sums of money than diamonds that have a lower grade clarity or a lower grade color.
In addition to that, the shine and the sparkle of a diamond heavily depend on the cut of the diamond. All cuts have a goal of letting as much light as possible hit the diamond at the best angle that results in the best shine possible. If the crown of the diamond is wide enough to catch as much light as possible, it will clearly result in a much prettier shine!
Also, a setting heavily influences the sparkle of a diamond. If a diamond is set in a setting that surrounds it and “buries” it in precious metal, there won’t be as much shine.
But diamonds that are embedded in a setting will allow them to receive as much light as possible with thin lines of precious metal that barely surround the diamond, but firmly hold it in place so it won’t fall out of the setting.
All of these factors come into play when we talk about the famous diamond shine and sparkle!
Related Read: Types Of Diamond Settings: A Guide To Setting Styles
Diamonds Are One Of The Rarest Minerals On Earth
A big part of why diamonds are as popular as they are is the fact that they are quite rare. We’ve all heard about thousands of carats excavated every year from Russia, but that’s not all that much compared to the rarity of other minerals.
Some gemstones are multiple times more common than diamonds but are not close to being as famous as diamonds. That only goes to show you how big of a role rarity has in diamonds’ popularity. These gemstones have started their climb in popularity in Europe and then later on in North America as stones that signify the rarity and social status that goes along with it.
Diamonds were a sign of wealth and influence since monarchs started wearing them.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s diamonds became widely available for almost all people. Firstly, they were put in jewelry stores made available to anybody that walked past them, and made small enough diamonds so that people with regular-paying jobs could afford a diamond at one time.
Nevertheless, that didn’t make diamonds more popular without reproductions. This meant that more diamonds got sold, and that lead to fewer diamonds under the earth’s first layer. So, more buying of diamonds lead to diamonds being even rarer which bumped up the prices quite a lot over the century.
Still, this is a big part of the diamonds’ popularity since people do know that there are fewer and fewer diamonds available and that in order for the new ones to grow, hundreds of millions of years will have to pass.
But this isn’t some kind of a marketing trick, this is a part of why gold, silver, and platinum are so popular as well! Rarity and scarcity lead to the rise of prices and rise in popularity, which diamonds are champions of.
Diamonds are probably the most loved gemstone on earth. No other gemstones enjoy nearly as much love as diamonds do. Is that for a reason? What makes a diamond special?
Well, many things do, but we’ve listed some of the biggest reasons why diamonds are oftentimes considered special. Some reasons people tend to forget, and some are well-known, but regardless, we should all know that diamonds are considered special for a reason (or multiple reasons).
Here’s a quick overview of our list:
- Diamonds Are The Hardest Minerals On Earth
- Diamonds Have Unrivaled Temperature & Electricity Conductivity
- Diamonds Look Amazing In Jewelry
- Shine & Sparkle
- Diamonds Are One Of The Rarest Minerals On Earth
Do you agree with our list? Would you add a reason or two? Would you not consider some of these as the reasons for diamonds’ large popularity?
Think about it and let us know!