Monday 25 February 2013

Diamonds are a Roman's best friend

If you think diamond edged cutting tools are something we thought of in the 1950s, then Pliny the Elder can tell you the Romans knew all about 'Industrial Diamonds'. In 78AD he describes how the shards left over from 'breaking' a diamond were used by engravers - who inserted the slivers into their iron cutting tools because, "they cut into the hardest surfaces with little effort." Waste not want not. Even at that time diamonds were considered the world's most valuable gemstone, so this would have been a brave decision to turn such a rare stone into a stone cutter.

For more Roman history - check out 'A Body of Doubt' - live on Amazon

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