Science: Jewels for Battleships

Today, for the first time, the U.S. is making its own synthetic jewels. It has to. Reasons:

> Over 4,000 jewels —sapphires and rubies —are used as bearings in the electrical devices of a modern battleship's engine room. Some 100 more jewels are in its fire-control mechanism. Another 100 are in the navigation instruments.

> Over 100 jewels are used in the instrument panel of a big U.S. bomber. Others are in its bombsight.

U.S. production of synthetic jewels has reached 1,000,000 karats* a month, is going up fast. But some 10,000 U.S. workers must still...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!