In 1866, there was a young boy in Hopetown, South Africa who happened to pick up a beautiful, shimmery pebble that he unearthed from a clogged water pipe in his family’s farm. This sparkly stone became one of the many stones he used when playing games with his friends. One day his mother noticed its shine, and she passed it on to a neighbor who had experience in diamonds, at no charge. This intriguing stone turned out to be a 21.24 carat rough diamond, which was named “Eureka.” This was the first raw diamond to be discovered in South Africa. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The Eureka Diamond
If only this boy had known the value of what he had discovered. To any untrained eye, the value of a rough diamond can be difficult to spot. I want to share with you some important tips on how to choose a rough diamond, so that when you stumble on a remarkable raw diamond yourself, you’ll know how to spot it.
Aside from the four C’s - clarity, cut, carat, and color - there are other things to consider when choosing the right rough diamond. Here are some tips to help you choose the right stone.
Know Why You’re Buying a Diamond
The first question you need to answer is: Why are you buying loose diamonds?
A diamond in the rough is not always used to adorn an engagement ring. Actually 50% of rough diamonds are used for industrial purposes. Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, which makes them perfect for saws and drill-tips. The harder the diamond, the better the tool, so you would judge industrial diamonds based on hardness and shape, not on how clear or shimmery they are.
That said, stones that are typically used for industrial purposes often look gorgeous in jewelry. These diamonds are less expensive than their cuttable counterparts.
If it is fine jewelry that you want, then you would typically judge a rough diamond on the standards used for polished diamonds. You’d still look at the four C’s - color, shape (instead of cut), clarity, and the carats of the stone, but you’d be measuring them slightly differently. For example, the cuts aren’t the round, square, or pear-shaped stones that you’re used to. Rather the structures are maccles, flats, octahedrons, dodecahedrons, cubes, rounds and other crystals. And really, it's up to you what shape you like best for your purpose.
Keep in mind when buying that if you’re going to have your stone cut and polished by a professional, you will lose about 50% of the diamond’s weight.
4 More Tips for Choosing the Right Rough Diamond
- Learn all you can about the characteristics of rough diamonds so that you know what you’re looking for.
- Buy from a reputable vendor with a dedication to sustainability and ethics, to make sure that you don’t scammed
- Buy by day. If you’re shopping online this rule won’t apply, so instead, look for high-quality pictures of the diamonds.
- Avoid conflict or blood diamonds. When you buy your diamond from The Raw Stone you are guaranteed a conflict-free diamond from an ethical, trusted source.
If you're still debating how to choose your rough diamond best, we invite you to contact us directly. We'd be happy to speak with you about any of our stones, and how you might make the best buying decision possible!
Or, go straight to view our inventory here.