What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of diamonds? Jewelry? Engagement rings? Wealth? What about industrial tools, computers or the late Chinese stone age? Diamonds have forever been valuable to humans whether in measures of practicality or sheer monetary worth. Here is a list of just five interesting and weird ways that diamonds have been used.

Chinese Burial AxeCredit: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41154000/jpg/_41154865_axe_peterlu_203.jpgCredit: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41154000/jpg/_41154865_axe_peterlu_203.jpg

Polishing Burial Axes

One of the earliest known uses of diamonds has been traced back to over 4,500 years ago in the late Stone Age in China. In ancient China, burial axes were made out of a mineral called corundum – the same material as rubies and sapphires. Diamonds were often found buried along with these tools. Seeing how corundum is the second hardest substance known to man, it is thought that the diamonds were used to cut, polish and sharpen the axes. They were valued for their practicality rather than their beauty.

Diamond Wire SawCredit: http://c307867.r67.cf1.rackcdn.com/global/imagelib/mactech/215diamondwire.jpgCredit: http://c307867.r67.cf1.rackcdn.com/global/imagelib/mactech/215diamondwire.jpg

Diamond Wire Saw

The ancient Chinese are not the only group of people to use diamonds as tools. In present day, diamonds are a very common material in the use of industrial tools. One of the most common and useful industrial tools is the diamond wire saw. The diamond wire saw is often used for pipe cutting in industrial settings. While one of the slower methods, it is a great tool for the job as the saw itself uses a wire or cord that is embedded with rough diamond material to cut through the cast iron piping. Now that’s practical!

Diamond Computer MicrochipsCredit: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4U69of1ZW5w/Tub_Dg1doOI/AAAAAAAABZs/EH6r-Uqak2U/s400/diamond%252520computer%252520chip.jpgCredit: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4U69of1ZW5w/Tub_Dg1doOI/AAAAAAAABZs/EH6r-Uqak2U/s400/diamond%252520computer%252520chip.jpg

Computer Microchips

Don’t worry, you read that heading correctly. It’s true – while silicon is typically used to make computer microchips, one of the most recent discoveries in microchip production is the usefulness of a diamond material known as nanodiamond. By using thin films of nanodiamond, many of the computer chip’s basic components, such as transistors, can be built. Scientists find the use of nanodiamond in microchips beneficial as the material can operate in harsh conditions of extreme heat and will allow the chips to work at higher speeds while using less power.

Kanye West's Diamond TeethCredit: http://blog.myjewelrybox.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/kanye-West-teeth_1743783c1-150x150.jpgCredit: http://blog.myjewelrybox.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/kanye-West-teeth_1743783c1-150x150.jpg

Diamonds For Teeth

Kanye West

No, we’re not talking about a diamond grill. This is for real. In 2010, Kanye West decided he’d like to change things up a bit by getting a new set of diamond teeth. While taking a personal break from the world of music and publicity, Kanye had his entire bottom row of teeth replaced with a permanent set of gold and diamond teeth that were drilled into his jaw. When asked why he wanted to do this, Kanye responded with “I just thought the diamonds were cooler”. 

Diamond Speaker DomesCredit: http://www.diamond-materials.com/pictures/products/diamond%20tweeter%20membranes%202.jpgCredit: http://www.diamond-materials.com/pictures/products/diamond%20tweeter%20membranes%202.jpg

Speaker Domes

There’s nothing like a great surround sound system to enhance the overall quality of your movie watching and music listening – but what makes a great speaker sound so good? How about diamonds? A lot of high quality speakers are now made using diamond speaker domes. Since diamond is such a hard, sturdy material, it is being used to make thin diamond speaker domes that can vibrate rapidly with the sound without warping or deforming, which would degrade the speaker’s sound quality. Music has never sounded so good!