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Diamond Hardness: What Makes It Exceptional?

Diamond Hardness: The Good and The Bad

One of the key factors that determine a diamond’s quality and worth is its hardness. We’ll examine it, how it is determined, and its significance to the diamond trade.

How hard is a diamond?

diamond hardness

The term “diamond hardness” describes a substance’s resistance to scuffs and abrasions. It gauges how well a material can withstand being gouged or etched by other substances.

A diamond’s crystal structure, which is made up of firmly bound carbon atoms organized in a particular pattern, is what gives it its extreme hardness.

Other materials find it challenging to pierce or damage the diamond’s surface due to its configuration.

How is the hardness of diamond measured?

The Mohs scale is a scale developed in 1822 by Austrian Friedreich Mohs as a criterion for mineral identification which can help us appreciate the density of diamond.

The scale ranks 10 minerals.

Minerals, with a higher number, can scratch those with a lower number i.e. Diamond will scratch, Corundum which has a mohs no. of 9 (that’s rubies and sapphires) which in tun will scratch Topaz which has a mohs no. of 8.

This will in turn scratch Quartz which has a Mohs no. of 7; while the softest mineral, talc, is ranked at number 1.

A diamond is 58 times tougher than any other mineral on earth. Corundum is nearest to it; from which rubies and sapphires are formed.

Due to this, only a diamond can cut another diamond.

The only mineral that receives a 10 on the Mohs scale is a diamond.
Diamonds are the toughest material on earth; the only thing that can damage them is another diamond.

Due to its resistance to normal wear and tear, diamond is the perfect material for jewelry.

Why Does the Diamond Industry Value Hardness?

For a number of reasons, diamond hardness is a crucial quality in the diamond business. It first aids in figuring out how long a diamond will last.

The term “durability” describes a diamond’s capacity to tolerate wear and strain over time. Less-hard diamonds are less ideal for jewelry applications because they are more susceptible to crack, scratch, or break.

Second, a diamond’s capacity to be cut and polished is influenced by its hardness. In order to turn a rough diamond into a lovely gemstone, cutting and polishing are necessary processes.

Diamonds must be cut and polished using specialist tools and methods because to their exceptional hardness.

Only a professional diamond cutter can minimize the chance of damage while shaping a diamond into a beautiful jewel.

Even though a diamond is protected from scratches, diamond rings should not be stored with rings with softer stones like Tanzanite or Opal as the diamond will scratch them.

Some of the ways that diamond hardness is utilized outside of the jewelry industry:

Tools for cutting and grinding: One of the most well-known uses of diamond hardness is in these types of implements.

Hard materials like stone, concrete, and metals are frequently cut and shaped using diamond saw blades, drill bits, and grinding wheels.

Rough diamonds known as boart which cannot be cut or shaped in to gems are crushed in to diamond powder and used in shaping and cutting other diamonds & tool bits.

When diamonds are being shaped, the powder is applied on a wheel and as it spins round, the friction between the rough diamond and the powder gives the rough diamond the desired shape.

When a diamond is being sawn, the saw is tipped with diamond bits which enables the saw (which could be made of metal) to penetrate and cut the diamond.

Industrial Abrasives: Industrial abrasives are also made using diamond hardness. There are several uses for diamond abrasives, including sanding, polishing, and grinding.

Dental drills and surgical blades: These are two examples of medical devices that make use of the diamond hardness.

Diamond is a great material for these applications because of its hardness and longevity since it may keep its sharpness over time, minimizing the need for frequent replacements.

Electronics: Some high-performance electronic gadgets contain diamonds. For instance, computer chips’ performance and longevity can be increased by using diamond heat spreaders to assist in removing heat from the devices.

Diamonds are effective in applications that call for protective coatings or armor due to their hardness and durability.

For instance, diamond coatings can be used to increase the tensile strength and wear resistance of cutting and drilling equipment.

Factors that affect diamond hardness:

Crystal orientation: Hardness may be impacted by its crystal orientation. The diamond’s hardest direction runs parallel to its octahedral face, which is its eight-sided face. The hardness of the diamond’s other crystal orientations varies.

Inclusions: Internal flaws can lessen a diamond’s hardness. The diamond may develop weak spots as a result, which makes it more prone to breaking and chipping.

Cutting and polishing: These two processes can change how hard a diamond is. By removing material from the diamond during the cutting and polishing process, weak spots may be formed.

Temperature: Hardness can be impacted by high temperatures. High temperatures may cause a diamond to soften and make it more prone to harm.

As tough as it is, if a diamond is placed in an oven at 1405 degrees Fahrenheit (763 degrees Celsius), it will vanish…only a small amount of carbon dioxide will have been released.

Size: A diamond’s size can have an impact on its hardness. Due to their larger surface area, larger diamonds may be more prone to shattering and chipping.

Overall, diamond hardness is a valuable property that has many applications in and outside of the jewelry industry.


Diamond Info | Diamond Grades | Hardness

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