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Raw Diamonds: Are they Worth Buying?

What diamonds we have in the jewelry houses are polished and grinned ones with a specific cut to elevate their magnificence. Hence, we always opt for precious stones of this kind rather than the ones from which they came from i.e. raw diamonds. Right?

But it’s equally essential to have knowledge about the rough/raw diamond too. Therefore, for this, we have come up with this post. Today, we will elaborate on the raw diamonds in detail. So, let’s start.

What is a raw diamond?

Contrary to the processed diamonds, a raw diamond (or a rough diamond) is one that hasn’t gone through any processing or treatment after getting discovered miles below the Earth’s crust. A rough diamond has yellowish and brownish tints which rarely you will notice something colorless. This sort of diamond is believed to be formed as per the following process.

How is a raw diamond formed?

Carbon is the primary component of a diamond (and not coal). Beneath the earth’s surface, a tremendous amount of pressure and extreme heat leads to the fusion of the carbon atoms which then take any random/specific shape. Upon cooling, they form crystals which we call rough diamonds. It’s of two types:

Gem-quality diamonds

As the name itself reads, the raw diamonds found suitable for jewelry purposes are called Gem-quality Diamonds, and these form merely 20% of the total diamonds mined. 

Industrial-quality diamonds

The rest of the 80% rough diamonds that aren’t suitable for the jewelry making are put into use in the industries and thus called industry-quality diamonds. In the industries, they are used in multiple types of equipment and machines, two common ones being the drilling machine (used for drilling of minerals, gas, oil, etc. beneath the earth) and cutting machines. A rough and uncut diamond forms the core part of the metal tips of the drilling machines, where it’s used to enhance the cutting capacity of the cutting machines.

How to identify a raw diamond?

Before heading ahead, keep in mind that the chances of locating a rough diamond will be a billion to one i.e. one raw diamond out of a billion diamonds most of which will only be present near the diamond mines. But this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to come across it. 

Nowadays, raw diamonds are becoming so popular in jewelry designing that you will find most of them on sale. But the problem that lies ahead for the buyers is how to identify a raw diamond from its closest imitates, quartz, colored glass, etc. For this, we have a solution, i.e. the scratch test, for which we use a mineral named corundum which also forms stones like sapphire and ruby. 

The basic idea behind this test is simple. We would scratch the supposed rough diamond against the corundum mineral. If it’s able to scratch it, we will get to know that it’s a Real Diamond. And if not, it’s a diamond’s imitate.

How is a raw diamond cut?

Diamond cutting experts spend a lot of time in planning and cutting so as to yield more from the Raw Diamond as nearly 50-60% of it gets lost only in the polishing stage. Being the hardest known substance on the Earth, a diamond can only be cut by another diamond. Hence, two diamond stones are used simultaneously to cut each other.

Therefore, it takes 8-10 hours to cut and polish 1-carat of raw diamond owing to which, a treated diamond costs much more than its base rough diamond which is relatively inexpensive.

Three famous raw diamonds ever mined!

We know several famous polished diamonds. Now, let’s come across the three popular rough diamonds as well.

Sergio Diamond

The Sergio diamond of a whopping 3,167 carats still remains the largest rough diamond ever found. However, it’s of industrial-quality and thus, was broken up into smaller pieces for use.

Cullinan Diamond

Worth a whopping 3106.75 carats, the Cullinan diamond is the largest gem-quality diamond ever found, and was named after the mine’s chairman Thomas Cullinan. Although its beauty was unmatched, it took him 2-3 years to attract some interested buyers for this diamond. 

Taylor-Burton Diamond

Weighing merely 241 carats, the Taylor-Burton isn’t the largest of all, yet it’s the most celebrated diamond ever known. It got its name when in 1966 Richard Burton paid $1.1m for it as a gift to his wife Elizabeth Taylor.

Is a rough diamond worth anything?

Yes, I know you might be wondering that the amount you pay for your diamond is that for a polished one, but you’ll be surprised to know that the quality of the raw or uncut diamond plays an important role in determining the final cost of your finished stone. The better is the raw diamond, the more worth its polished version carries. Hence, while selecting any cut diamond, always pay heed to the quality of its rough diamond.

Is a raw diamond acceptable for an engagement ring?

Not all, but those who would like their ring in a Bohemian natural look will feel satisfactory of their ring bossing a raw diamond. Additionally, as a raw diamond doesn’t go through any type of treatment, your favorite ring can come at a much lower price giving you the freedom to spend extensively on the base metal. 

For the Ring Settings, you can pick any of the two: Bezel or Prong to further intensify the conventional appearance of your ring while providing sufficient strength to the diamond. Hence, a raw diamond is acceptable for your engagement as well as a wedding ring. 


Are raw diamonds cheap?

Yes, a raw diamond is much cheaper than a finished stone on the back of the fact that it doesn’t undergo any type of processing like cutting, grinding, polishing, etc. This eliminates the labor costs as well. However, on these lines, it’s more vulnerable to having lots of internal flaws and blemishes making it less valuable as well.

Do raw diamonds sparkle?

As a raw diamond is mined with lots of flaws and blemishes, it’s light reflection property is very much close to null. Hence, it doesn’t sparkle.

How is a raw diamond formed?

Beneath the earth’s surface, a tremendous amount of pressure and extreme heat leads to the fusion of the carbon atoms, which then take any random/specific shape. Upon cooling, they form crystals which we call raw diamonds.

How a rough diamond appears in looks?

The majority of the raw diamonds have a yellowish or brownish tint. You can also find some colorless, but the probability of that is very small. 

Diamond Education

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