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What Do Raw or Uncut Diamonds Look Like?

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Raw or Uncut Diamonds

Raw diamonds are uncut and unpolished gemstones found beneath the ground. These raw, uncut stones have not been manipulated into specific shapes and sizes. These diamonds are in their high-quality state but will have to be cut and polished into jewelry or tools before being used in their industry.

The primary element found in diamonds is carbon. Incredible amounts of heat and pressure beneath the ground fuse carbon atoms into a diamond structure. Often, other elements combine with the carbon during the diamond’s creation, altering its color and purity.

Colored diamonds do not have the value of white or colorless diamonds. Color is caused by elements introduced to the carbon during the creation of the raw diamonds. These elements are considered impurities, and often they lower the value of the diamond. The rarest, and most valuable color, is the colorless or white diamond.

How to Identify a Raw Uncut Diamond

The United States is one of about 14 countries known to have diamonds. The US also claims to have the only “Public Diamond Mine” in the world. It is an open plowed field in Arkansas where you “Can Keep What You Find.”

If you do find a diamond, this is what you should look for…

  • Look in streams, on beaches, and along sea floors.
  • Raw diamonds come in multiple colors, are often cloudy, and typically cubed, flat, and irregular.
  • If your gem repels water, it might be a diamond.
  • Does your stone conduct heat easily? Diamonds are known to conduct heat more readily than other gemstones.
  • Rub your diamond on a corundum plate. It is rated a 10 in hardness and should scratch the plate rated at a 9.
  • Place your stone in a solution with a gravity of 3.52. It should float.
  • Head for the bank!

Two Distinctive Raw Diamond Categories

Four primary categories are used when determining the value of a diamond – clarity, color, cut, and carat weight. Flawless diamonds are the rarest, and some jewelers can go a lifetime without ever seeing a flawless diamond.

Diamonds basically fall into two main groups.

  1. Gem Quality – This is the type of diamond used in jewelry. These diamonds come in different cuts, designs, and sizes.
  2. Industrial quality – These diamonds are often called “industrial diamonds.” Due to these stones’ hardness, they have many uses – cutting of metallic objects, drilling other mineral salts such as gas and oil, etc.

Industrial diamonds makeup 80% – 90% of all diamonds, and are usually full of impurities and imperfections.

GIA is one of the most respected certification entities that evaluates the value of diamonds. Before purchasing, make sure your diamond is registered.

How Raw Diamonds are Cut

There are five main steps in creating a final, polished diamond – planning, cleaving, bruting, polishing, and inspecting. The process is meticulous and requires skill. 100% of raw diamonds collected will result in only 50% becoming finished stones.

Due to the hardness of diamonds, two methods are used in the shaping of a stone. These include cutting with other diamonds and using lasers. The most common is hand cutting with other diamonds and tools.

Famous Rough Diamonds

  • Sergio Diamond
  • Cullinan Diamond
  • Tiffany Yellow Diamond
  • Taylor-Burton Diamond

Sergio diamond


The Sergio Diamond is the largest diamond ever found. It was found above ground in Brazil in 1895 and is believed to have been of meteoric origin. It was a black diamond, one of the hardest, and cut up into smaller diamonds to be used in drills.

Cullinan diamond


The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality, rough diamond ever found, weighing 3,106 carats. The diamond was located in South Africa and finally cut into multiple stones in 1907. The largest stones (The Star of Africa I and The Star of Africa II) were used in Egland’s Crown Jewels. The monarchy also owns multiple other stones.

Tiffany yellow diamond


The Tiffany Yellow Diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered at 287 carats. It was discovered in South Africa in 1877 and purchased by Charles Tiffany. Charles Tiffany had the stone cut and polished, and it can still be viewed in the Tiffany Flagship store if it is not on load to a museum or celebrity.


What does a raw, uncut diamond look like? It often looks like an ordinary rock or piece of quartz. There are differences, though, so pay attention! Diamonds are rare, so if you do find one, take the time to determine your stone’s value.

Purchase Your Own Raw or Uncut Diamonds

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