Appreciating the True Beauty of Rough Diamonds

A selection of rough diamond crystals, varying in shape, size and colour. Note the waxy lustre of the diamond in its natural form.

Earlier this week, I was sat with one of my children watching a cartoon. One of the characters discovered a diamond, and proceeded to pluck the stone out from a rock. It was only a cartoon, but at the same time, there was a significant mistake – presenting this raw, natural diamond as a fully faceted gemstone. Perhaps because of what I do, I look at such representations far too seriously. Rough diamonds have a completely unique appearance and possess a beauty of their own. But how many people actually visualise a diamond as a finished, fully faceted diamond? Probably most of us do. But then again, there are some individuals who are captivated by a diamond in its natural form. So much so, that from time-to-time a client approaches us to create an engagement ring with a rough diamond set in place of polished diamond. The contrast between white diamonds and coloured diamonds, rough diamonds and polished diamonds can produce dramatic results.

Modelling a rough diamond into an engagement ring requires consideration of the unique, uneven shape and size of a rough diamond. Not the easiest work, but a great way of producing an entirely unique ring, with the raw quality of the diamond in its rough form. Rough diamonds come in so many different shapes. All products of the isometric crystal system.

The modelling of a rough diamond engagement ring requires consideration of the asymmetry and unique size of the rough diamond.

For most people, the extensive process of cutting and polishing reveals the true realised beauty of a diamond.  Diamonds are instantly recognised by the flashes and sparkle of perfectly cut facets, and not by their raw state.


Showing a rough diamond alongside a polished Princess cut diamond.

It is incredible that small, waxy looking crystals of pure carbon are transformed to reveal the beauty of clarity, transparency, colour, fire and light refraction, through the precision of cutting and polishing, developed over Millennia.

With all of this in mind, our two photographs taken this week reveal this transformation, from the rough diamond crystal, to the final polished diamond.

The question we would ask here is which would you sooner have? The rough diamond, or the faceted version?

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.

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