Diamond is the hardest natural substance in the world. Composed of carbon, diamonds are highly-sought-after gems due to many factors, including their hardness. Diamonds are colorless, feature impressive clarity, and do not tarnish. Scientists tout the impressive qualities of diamonds; they are the least compressible and stiffest metal. They are excellent thermal conductors as well.
Diamonds are most frequently used as an impressive, sparkling gem for jewelry. Natural diamonds fall into one of four categories, depending on the diamond’s impurities. Most natural diamonds are Type Ia diamonds, which feature up to .3% nitrogen. Synthetic, or industrial, diamonds are typically Type Ib diamonds. Type IIa diamonds are very rare, containing very little nitrogen. Finally, Type IIb diamonds are the rarest, featuring the lowest amount of nitrogen.
A diamond is also graded based on what the industry refers to as the four Cs. The diamond’s price directly relates to how the diamond is assessed in these four areas, established and evaluated by the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA. When a diamond is graded, it is first weighed and measured to determine its carat weight, the first of the four Cs. Next, the color is graded; as a colorless material, a diamond with a lack of color is considered ideal. The GIA also assesses the diamond’s clarity and finish. Clarity describes the absence of inclusions and blemishes. The final C, cut, has three attributes: brilliance, fire, and scintillation. Cut also refers to the diamond’s proportions, symmetry, and polish.
Once the four Cs are assessed, the GIA gives the diamond a grade. Diamonds fall into six categories: flawless; internally flawless; very, very slightly included; very slightly included; slightly included; and included. Although the GIA grades are the industry standard, other organizations, including the American Gem Society, International Diamond Council, and European Gemological Laboratory, also grade diamonds according to their organization-specific standards.
The use of diamonds extends beyond jewelry, however. Through High Pressure High Temperature Synthesis, diamond is made synthetically, attempting to recreate the conditions in which diamond is made naturally. Industrially, diamonds are appealing due to their hardness. They are used in surgical cutting tools and as the coating on other industrial cutting tools. Diamond film is a scratch-proof surface that protects watches and other items. Thin film diamond is a relatively new synthetic creation made through Chemical Vapor Deposition.
Diamonds as a skin care ingredient might seem luxurious, but they provide significant, long-lasting benefits for the skin. Some skin care brands are adding diamonds to product lines so that users can enjoy their advantages. Diamonds are ground into fine particles, often referred to as diamond dust, which is incorporated into skin care products with a number of specific benefits.
The impressive physical qualities of diamonds make it one of nature’s hardest materials. This durability and physical strength contributes to diamond’s effectiveness in skin care products. Diamond dust, then, is first used as an exfoliant. The impenetrable quality of diamonds make them effective exfoliators, scrubbing away dull, dead skin cells to reveal healthier, younger-looking skin underneath. Skin is left more radiant with a noticeable glow. The exfoliant properties of diamond dust make it a popular ingredient in anti-aging skin care products, such as serums, scrubs, moisturizers and lotions.
Diamonds are, of course, also known for their unmistakable sparkle. Diamond particles effectively reflect light, even when diamonds are ground into dust for use in skin care products. These radiant, light-reflecting particles can diffuse shadows on the skin caused by wrinkles and, in turn, diminish their appearance. The light-reflecting ability of diamond is another important anti-aging benefit of this unique and effective skin care ingredient. Micro-diamonds, or diamond dust, can bring out the skin’s natural glow. Another anti-aging benefit of diamond in skin care products is its ability to stimulate collagen production, which can leave the skin looking younger.
Given their exfoliating properties, diamonds are often incorporated into microdermabrasion treatments for the skin. In these treatments, the tip of the microdermabrasion machine consists of diamond. The tip is applied to the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, clear blemishes and acne-caused scarring, and eliminate dead skin cells that leave the skin looking dull. Thus, diamond plays a role in many microdermabrasion treatments to revitalize and rejuvenate the skin.