Once destined for industrial use, low-quality rough diamonds were thought to have too many impurities or inclusions to be used in high-end rings, bracelets, and necklaces. But today, these diamonds are making their way into luxury jewelry. So why the sudden interest?
Rough diamonds are fashionable in part because they are natural and unaltered. An additional factor in the rising popularity of rough diamonds is that they are generally less expensive than polished diamonds. In many cases, jewelry featuring colored rough diamonds provides a more affordable alternative to colored polished diamonds, which while very popular, are also very expensive.
Jewelry with rough diamonds also has an artisanal look. Jewelry connoisseurs prize one-of-a-kind, handmade jewelry, and rough diamonds fit the part.
Designers are showcasing the natural beauty of the stones as they emerged from the earth, generally untouched by human hand. Todd Reed, a designer who pioneered the style, made this provocative statement about diamonds: “the most perfect cut is still an uncut.”
Rough diamonds have become so popular that they’re showing up as center stones in engagement rings – traditionally the domain of polished, faceted beauties.
Diamond slices – thinly sliced sections of large, highly included rough diamonds – have also been making their way into jewelry. The idea, say designers who create these pieces, is to cut the rough to show interesting patterns while keeping the stone’s original outline. In the same way that the rarity of a diamond is a contributing factor to its cost, the more interesting the inclusions and their patterns are in a diamond slice, the higher the price.
What seems to be sudden interest in rough diamonds is actually not new. Indian jewelers have long recognized the beauty of uncut gemstones. The tradition of using them is centuries old, and it still continues in modern design houses
So are rough diamonds a fashion fixture or a flash on the scene?
The green movement is growing. One-of-a-kind jewelry is in demand. Rough diamonds are affordable. Put these trends together, and the future for jewelry with rough diamonds is bright.