Rough diamonds – how to understand our rough diamond descriptions. – The Raw Stone

So, you want to choose a rough diamond from our collection, perhaps for a raw diamond engagement ring, or a piece of rough diamond jewelry for a loved one or yourself, but this is the first time you’ve ever bought a raw diamond and you don’t know where to start or what to look for.

First of all, we’re not surprised this is the first time you’re purchasing a rough diamond. For the vast majority of our customers, it’s their first time too! A raw diamond isn’t the most common purchase, and it’s usually a one-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. Because of that, we’ve decided to make it as simple and easy to understand as possible.

The diamond industry has complicated ways of grading and valuing a raw diamond. In order to understand the codes the industry uses and get a handle on how to use the instruments needed to properly understand a diamond’s quality, there are many institutions in the diamond industry that would be happy to teach you …. for thousands of dollars.

To save you from the cost and time spent on a diamondology course, we took those courses for you – plus we’ve been in this industry for over a decade. And, instead of using the terms we learned in the courses (like VVS1 or pique for example), we’ve decided to use terms that EVERYONE can understand.

Let’s get started.

Shape: Rough diamonds come in a variety of shapes. We’ve categorized them into these shapes:

  • Octahedron
  • Dodecahedron
  • Rhombododecahedron
  • Triangle
  • Round
  • Cube
  • Freeform

 Sure, not all of us know what a rhombododecahedron is, but a quick image search on google will give you an idea:

This is roughly the shape of a raw diamond rhombododecahedron:Rhombododecahedron shape


Color: We’ve used some basic diamond terminology here to sound a bit official, but to give you a very simple idea of what the letters mean in our color descriptions, we’ve also described them. For example, D – very very white and colorless, F – white with slight natural hue undertones. If you’d like, you can even ignore the letters, and just focus on the description. And, if that’s not enough for you – just check out the photos. We took them in natural light and did not edit out the natural coloring of the stone. The videos are very telling too. They’re taken outside with an iphone and are completely unedited.

Size: We weigh each stone on a diamond scale – so you see the weight shown in carats. Carat measurements are not always so helpful with raw diamonds because the shapes of the stones can cause a less heavy stone to appear larger, sometimes, than a heavier stone. So, we also measure each stone by width on two dimensions and then height. These measurements are shown in millimeters. Putting these two size measures together, you should be able to get a better idea of the piece.

Clarity: If you notice on our site, we don’t use the word “clarity” at all, because it represents one of those diamond terms that we like to stray away from. Many of our diamonds are perfectly clear without any inclusions, and so we’ll say that straight up! If there are inclusions, not only will you see them in the images, but we will also describe them in the description. We think inclusions are amazing, and are one of the aspects that give rough diamonds their depth and beauty. We will call them “wisps” or “tiny flecks of matter trapped in the stone from millions of years ago” or “seams” if they’re white in color.

Other aspects: Rough diamonds, unlike cut diamonds, don’t have a perfectly smooth and polished surface. Instead, the surface can have designs on it, or be smooth, or matte, or bulbous. Take note of how we describe the surface of the stone because it is the surface of the stone that gives the raw diamond a lot of its personality, shine, sparkle or transparency. We say all that in the descriptions, for example – a stone that has lots of natural patterning on its surface will refract light every which way and will give the stone a lot of sparkle. A diamond that has a smoother surface will allow you to peer into the heart of the stone and see what’s inside, a smooth surface also gives a lot of shine and light.

Gut instinct: We choose all our raw diamonds for use specifically in jewelry. We pick them one by one according to our own taste, and we think they’re all gorgeous. When all the details of exactly which stone is this, that or whatever has overwhelmed you, then we say, just pick with your heart. Whichever stone you choose will look amazing, and that will be the perfect stone for you.

Ask for help: Last but not least, we’re a small business and we’re humans. If you want to talk to one of us about the diamonds, or you’d like another photo or video of one or two, then please feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to help you. You can be in touch at


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