1902 Encyclopedia > Diamond > Industrial Uses of Diamonds

(Part 9)

Industrial Uses of Diamonds

Perhaps even more important is the use of the diamond for cutting glass, for polishing gems and other hard bodies, and recently by engineers for boring machines used in forming tunnels and artesian wells. The glazier’s diamond is about the size of a pin’s bead, and is set in copper or brass. The curvature of the fracture faces gives a sharp edge that cuts and not scratches merely. Each costs about 12s. to 18s., and, as it will weigh only about 1/60th carat, the price is higher than that used as gems. For polishing purposes the so-called "bort," i.e. stones so imperfect in form and quality as to be useless for ornament, are broken down and crushed into diamond powder. The carbonado from Bahia is also employed both for polishing and for boring machines. In the latter the stones are fixed in a ring of steel, made to revolve with great rapidity, and kept cool by current of water, which also removes the detritus. In consequence its price has risen lately from about 1s. to 18s. or 20s. a carat.

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