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Those properties determine the major industrial applications of diamond in cutting and polishing tools and the scientific applications in diamond knives and diamond anvil cells.

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Small amounts of defects or impurities (about one per million of lattice atoms) color diamond blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (lattice defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red.

Diamond also has relatively high optical dispersion (ability to disperse light of different colors).

Diamonds are far from evenly distributed over the Earth.

A rule of thumb known as Clifford's rule states that they are almost always found in kimberlites on the oldest part of cratons, the stable cores of continents with typical ages of 2.5 billion years or more.

Most diamonds come from the Earth's mantle, and most of this section discusses those diamonds. Some blocks of the crust, or terranes, have been buried deep enough as the crust thickened so they experienced ultra-high-pressure metamorphism.

These have evenly distributed microdiamonds that show no sign of transport by magma.

The most familiar uses of diamonds today are as gemstones used for adornment, and as industrial abrasives for cutting hard materials.

The dispersion of white light into spectral colors is the primary gemological characteristic of gem diamonds.

a weaker zone surrounding the central craton that has undergone compressional tectonics. Lamproites with diamonds that are not economically viable are also found in the United States, India and Australia.

Kimberlites can be found in narrow (1–4 meters) dikes and sills, and in pipes with diameters that range from about 75 meters to 1.5 kilometers.

The popularity of diamonds has risen since the 19th century because of increased supply, improved cutting and polishing techniques, growth in the world economy, and innovative and successful advertising campaigns.

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