Diamond is the hardest material in the world. Small wonder then that is used not only in the production of jewellery but also in more 'down-to-earth' domains. It so happens that the precious stones which are diamonds form the best drill bits for use in the mining industry.
Diamonds in drill bits have not long been used and this is on account chiefly of their price. They were first utilized on a large scale in construction of the tunnel under the English Channel. When in 1957 French and British engineers were pondering how to bore such a monumental tunnel, they came to the conclusion that they did not have the appropriate equipment for the purpose. Over the next 15 years work was conducted also beyond construction plans on the special drill bits necessary. Diamonds were used as drill bit cores and thanks to this the tunnel could be drilled in just three years.
Diamonds are used at present not only for the creation of tunnels. Components of tools used in stonemasonry, for example, are also made from the stones. The blades of saws for the cutting of granite are very often encrusted with diamonds. This increases their durability and allows material to be cut with much greater precision.
Diamonds also function as a material with which tools are whet. To be found with a certainty in more than one kitchen is a set of knives the sharpening of which saw the use of diamond filings. As can be seen, diamonds are not only a girl's best friend.