National Minerals Information Center

Industrial Diamond Statistics and Information

Diamond may well be the world's most versatile engineering material as well as its most famous gemstone.  The superiority of diamond in so many diverse industrial applications is attributable to a unique combination of properties that cannot be matched by any other material.  For example, diamond is the strongest and hardest known material and has the highest thermal conductivity of any material at room temperature.  Diamond that does not meet gem-quality standards for color, clarity, size, or shape is used principally as an abrasive, and is termed "industrial diamond."  Even though it is more expensive than competing abrasive materials, diamond has proven to be more cost effective in numerous industrial processes because it cuts faster and lasts longer than any rival material.  Synthetic industrial is superior to its natural diamond counterpart because it can be produced in unlimited quantities, and, in many cases, its properties can be tailored for specific applications.  Consequently, manufactured diamond accounts for more than 90% of the industrial diamond used in the United States.

 

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Donald Olson

USGS Mineral Commodity Specialist
National Minerals Information Center
Phone: 703-648-7721