Diamonds are the hardest of all gems and therefore can be polished to exquisite brilliance. Their high dispersion, also known as fire, gives them the famous “bling” effect. Although they are the hardest gem known, they are not the toughest due their four-directional cleavage. Diamond cutters figure this physical property into their cutting process and the resulting sparkling gem can last a lifetime under normal care.
Diamond’s unique physical properties, especially its extreme hardness, have been valuable to many cultures throughout millennia, not only as a rare gemstone but also as an important industrial mineral. It has many dimensions to its beauty, meaning and use by humans.