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Glass vs. Diamond: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 28, 2023
Glass is a hard, brittle, transparent substance made by melting sand with soda and lime, while diamond is a naturally occurring, extremely hard crystalline form of carbon.

Key Differences

Glass is a man-made material, typically created by melting silica (sand) with soda and lime. However, diamonds are natural minerals formed under high pressure and temperature deep within the Earth, composed purely of carbon atoms in a crystal lattice.
Glass is hard but brittle and can shatter easily. On the other hand, diamonds are the hardest known natural material, renowned for their ability to cut through other substances and their high refractive index, which gives them a unique brilliance.
Glass is widely used in windows, bottles, and eyewear due to its transparency and moldability. Whereas, diamonds due to their hardness, are used in industrial cutting and drilling tools, and when cut and polished, in jewelry.
Glass is relatively inexpensive and readily available, while diamonds are considered rare and valuable, often fetching high prices in jewelry and as collectibles.
Glass can be made in various colors and finishes, but generally, it lacks the brilliance and fire of diamonds. Diamonds exhibit exceptional sparkle and fire due to their high dispersion of light.

Comparison Chart


Made from silica, soda, and lime
Pure carbon in a crystal structure


Hard but brittle
Hardest known natural substance


Windows, bottles, eyewear
Jewelry, industrial cutting tools


Inexpensive, common
Rare and valuable

Optical Qualities

Transparent, can be colored
Exceptional brilliance and fire

Glass and Diamond Definitions


A hard substance used in windows and bottles.
The glass window shattered during the storm.


The hardest naturally occurring material.
Diamonds are used in industrial drills due to their hardness.


A transparent, brittle material made by melting sand with other substances.
She admired the delicate glass vase on the shelf.


A precious gemstone made of crystallized carbon, known for its hardness.
The diamond ring sparkled brilliantly under the light.


A material used in making eyeglasses.
He cleaned his glasses with a special cloth for glass.


A term denoting high quality or excellence.
The hotel was rated as a five-diamond establishment for its luxury.


A state of fragility or vulnerability.
Her emotions were as transparent as glass.


A symbol of luxury and wealth.
The diamond necklace was the centerpiece of the jewelry collection.


An object made of glass, like a mirror or lens.
The artist crafted a beautiful glass sculpture.


A shape resembling a diamond, especially in cards.
He drew a card with a diamond symbol on it.


Any of a large class of materials with highly variable mechanical and optical properties that solidify from the molten state without crystallization, are typically made by silicates fusing with boric oxide, aluminum oxide, or phosphorus pentoxide, are generally hard, brittle, and transparent or translucent, and are considered to be supercooled liquids rather than true solids.


An extremely hard, highly refractive crystalline form of carbon that is usually colorless and is used as a gemstone and in abrasives, cutting tools, and other applications.


A drinking vessel.


A piece of jewelry containing such a gemstone.


A rhombus, particularly when oriented so that one diagonal extends from left to right and the other diagonal extends from top to bottom.


How are diamonds formed?

Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth under extreme pressure and temperature conditions, from carbon.

What is glass?

Glass is a hard, transparent material made by melting sand with soda and lime.

Is glass recyclable?

Yes, glass is highly recyclable and can be reused multiple times.

What are the main uses of glass?

Glass is used in windows, bottles, eyeglasses, and various decorative items.

Are all diamonds clear?

No, diamonds can come in various colors, including yellow, blue, and even black, depending on impurities.

What is a diamond?

A diamond is a precious gemstone composed of carbon atoms in a crystalline structure, known for its hardness and brilliance.

How is glass made?

Glass is made by heating silica (sand) with soda and lime at high temperatures until it melts and then cooling it rapidly.

What is the Mohs scale rating for diamonds?

Diamonds rank as the hardest, with a Mohs scale rating of 10.

What are diamonds mostly used for?

Diamonds are used in jewelry as gemstones and industrially for cutting and drilling due to their hardness.

Can glass be colored?

Yes, glass can be colored by adding metal oxides during its production.

What makes diamonds so valuable?

Diamonds are valued for their rarity, hardness, and unique optical properties like brilliance and fire.

What is the Mohs scale rating for glass?

Glass typically has a Mohs hardness rating of about 5.5.

How is glass used in technology?

Glass is used in technology for screens, fiber optics, and lenses.

Can glass be strengthened?

Yes, glass can be tempered or laminated to increase its strength and safety.

Is diamond the only form of carbon?

No, carbon also exists in other forms like graphite and fullerenes.

Are synthetic diamonds real diamonds?

Yes, synthetic diamonds have the same chemical composition and properties as natural diamonds but are made in a lab.

What is the most famous diamond?

The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous diamonds, known for its size and unique blue color.

Can diamonds conduct electricity?

Most diamonds are insulators, but some, especially those with boron impurities, can conduct electricity.

What determines the quality of a diamond?

A diamond's quality is determined by the 4Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.

How is glass used in energy saving?

Glass is used in double-glazing windows and solar panels for energy efficiency.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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