Most people think of diamonds as luxury jewellery items that are known for their beauty. The prices of most diamonds that you encounter are set by their use as jewellery. Jewellery diamonds are judged based on their size, weight, clarity, colour, and other factors that make them aesthetically appealing. However, do you know what happens to diamonds that are found unsuitable as jewellery? Obviously, they are not thrown away. Diamonds are too precious for that. Diamonds that are not fit for jewellery or “gem quality” are used as industrial diamonds.
Diamond blades are saw blades that are tipped with diamonds on the edges. Diamond blades are more useful than metal or ceramic blades when there is a need to cut stone, ceramics, glass, bricks, asphalt, concrete, coal, and gemstones.
The saw blades come in assorted different shapes. Some of them are even specifically designed for uses such as cutting marble, asphalt, masonry, or granite. Each material is going to have different requirements in a saw.
The most common type of saw blade is the circular diamond saw. It is the most versatile of the different saw blades. To cut raw stone blocks, hundreds of gang saw blades are used.
Eighty percent of diamonds mined are unfit to be used as gemstones. That is about 135,000,000 carats (27,000 kilograms) of diamond per year. These unfit diamonds are then used industrially. Synthetic diamonds are also very common in industrial settings. They were invented in the 1950s and almost immediately found use in industry. Synthetic diamonds account for an additional 4,500,000,000 carats (900,000 kilograms) every year. That means about ninety percent of industrial diamonds are synthetic.
However, what differentiates gemstones from industrial diamonds is a very blurry line. When there are many gemstones available, low-grade diamonds are funnelled into the industry. However, when gemstones are in low supply, they are often polished and cut into small gemstones.
Bort is a term used that refers to the lowest quality of diamonds. They are typically the smallest, most irregular in shape or poorest colour. They are typically very opaque. The lowest quality of bort is crushed and used to make grit. The abrasive grit of different sizes is used for items such as grinding sandpaper or drill bits. Diamond tipped drill bits are available for consumer grade products such as Hitachi power tools. These tools are useful for cutting glass or ceramics. Steel drill bits tend to crack and break glass or ceramics because they are not harder than the surface into which you are drilling. Diamond drill bits do not have this problem.