Diamonds and Technology: Diamonds have always been the queen of wedding jewelry and proposal rings. With a history as far back as the 4th century, different diamond styles have been a part of the evolution of man. The technological age has not been an exception. f
While many would expect that diamond jewelry has been greatly influenced by technology, not many know that diamonds play a part in technological advancement. Only 30% of the diamonds in the world are of the gem quality used in jewelry.
Where do the rest go, you wonder? These non-gem diamonds have non-gem uses that involve technology. How are these diamonds used in tech? How has tech influenced technology? Will the relationship between the two continue over the years?
How Do Diamonds Influence Technology?
The 70% non-gem diamonds known as industrial diamonds have been driving a change in the tech space. It has gained traction as a useful material for different tech industries.
Clive Hill, President of the Washington Diamonds Corporation, described these diamonds as “the new super material that will be used more widely than for mere gemstones…the non-gem uses will dwarf the gem uses of a diamond.” Some of these uses include:
- Solar Energy
The company, General Electric, has found a way to infuse diamonds in solar energy conversion. The innovation combines diamonds and silicon in a material called Silicon Carbide (SiC).
This material helps develop highly efficient inverters that make switching solar cells from DC to AC faster. With this material, diamonds can make the renewable solar energy space a dream come true for all.
- Oil and Gas Drilling
Diamonds are the hardest materials on earth, with the capacity to withstand a lot of heat. This characteristic makes them ideal for drill bits used in oil and gas drilling.
Different types of diamonds are used in this function. Some are impregnated diamonds, natural diamonds, and thermally stable polycrystalline. Diamonds have played a role in this tech industry for a long time.
Diamonds have been replacing the traditional silicon as semiconductors in electronic circuits. While diamonds have high thermal conductivity, it is matched with low electrical conductivity. These qualities make diamond substrates a good replacement.
- Water Purification
Imagine purifying your water with diamonds. Well, it is not the stuff of fantasies. Diamonds have electrochemical properties that enable the oxidation of compounds efficiently. It is also biologically and chemically inert.
These qualities make it ideal for household and industrial water treatment products. It can also withstand different environments, making it long-lasting.
- High Power Laser Systems
The Fraunhofer Institute, Germany, and MQ Photonics Research Centre, Australia, built a powerful diamond-based laser. This laser is allegedly 20 times more powerful than industrial lasers. There have also been other researchers who have created diamond-based laser systems that can change the entire use of laser systems.
Technology has grown and touched different aspects of people’s lives. But, tech requires materials, which can influence the development of technology.
Diamonds have become a must-have material in the tech sphere, influencing its developments. So, while you enjoy your diamond proposal rings and wedding bands, don’t forget that there is much more than a diamond can be.
How Does Technology Influence Diamonds?
Considering the popularity of diamonds and the demand for different diamond styles, it is no surprise that technology has come to play a part in different aspects of diamond mining and retailing. We have highlighted some of the ways that technology has influenced diamonds.
- Lab-Grown Diamonds
Natural diamonds take time and resources. The mining process displaces about 75 tons of earth to get you one carat of gem-quality diamonds. Add the danger to the earth with cost, and you might feel a lot of guilt for wearing those wedding sets.
But, technology is revolutionizing this aspect of diamond production with lab-grown diamonds. These diamond-growing greenhouses mimic the conditions for natural diamonds. Two major technologies can be used; High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Carbon Vapor Deposition (CVD).
The synthetic diamonds are 100% real but cost 30-70% less, are environment-friendly, and are conflict-free. As these diamonds are adopted more, it would affect the price of diamonds.
- Laser Tech for Diamond Processing
Do you want to make your diamonds more unique and personalized? Laser tech has made it possible to have precise diamond cuts. You can inscribe love messages, your name, or even a serial number.
Laser tech also enables precise polishing that eliminates knots in the diamond structure. Your diamonds will look as good as flawless without stress.
- 3D Printed Jewelry
With computer-aided design (CAD) and a 3D printer, you can make your diamond jewelry to your taste. No design is too complex. The fast-growing technology will make it possible for clients to have what they want exactly and makes the creation more exciting.
- Blockchain for Tracking
There is no gainsaying that diamonds are valuable, and many illicit activities have been associated with them. However, blockchain technology is making it possible to reduce these activities.
With the decentralized ledger tracking abilities, market participants can account for all individual diamonds from mine to market. It would also reduce the sales of blood diamonds.
- Enhanced Retail Services
Selling a diamond requires skills in the identification and grading of diamonds. However, the process has become simpler and more enjoyable for customers with technology. Some apps allow potential customers to know the diamond price chart, grade, and qualities.
Augmented Reality also allows customers to have an almost realistic feel of the diamond jewelry before buying it. The sweetest part is that they can understand the jewelry from any part of the world. You don’t have to go through stress to sell or buy diamonds with tech.
Diamonds and technology have a symbiotic relationship working well on both sides. The influences seem to be quite balanced, with an increasing need for diamonds in tech and tech enabling an increase in diamond production. This relationship will continue for foreseeable years as the diamonds and technology industries grow.