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Industrial Diamonds: Raw Natural Rough Diamond Jewelry

'Industrial Grade' Diamonds

Approximatly 80% of natural diamonds are not of the gem-quality (gemmy) variety found in most traditional jewelry. Most of these lower-quality diamonds are found as irregular-shaped stones such as ballas, cubes, and macle, or as die stone, boart and carbonados. Discolored, included, and/or semi-transparent diamonds, die stone, boart, and carbonados are useful however, in industrial applications [1], where their extreme hardness is ideal for cutting and grinding very hard materials, including other diamonds.

Creative jewelry designers have found a nobler use for these humble gems, using them in their raw state, to add color and contrast, as well as an earthy and contemporary look.

Rough industrial diamonds are quality-graded based on shape, surface quality and internal cracks, fissures or other flaws. The highest quality rating is "select" followed by AA, A, O, TA, B, and C.

Rough Diamond Jewelry

Rough Diamonds in Zobel Pendant

   Black Industrial Diamonds

White & Black Industrial Diamonds

Once thought to be of little value, the gemmy versions of these flawed, off-colored diamonds (I-1 to I-3 clarity or worse) are emerging as popular candidates for use in contemporary jewelry. Industrial-grade diamonds can be particularly appealing when set in their natural rough state (above, left by Michael Zobel).

Natural and artificial Black Diamonds, once used exclusively for industrial applications, have become quite popular when mixed with colorless diamonds for a "black and white" contrasting effect (above, right by Bez Ambar).

Setting with Raw Diamonds by Todd Reed

Setting with Raw Diamonds by Todd Reed

   Raw Diamond Jewelry by Todd Reed

Raw Diamond Ring by Todd Reed

Jewelry designer Todd Reed (above) challenges the notion of "perceived value" by mounting raw, unpolished, and uncut diamond next to their faceted counterparts (above, left). In celebration of their "perfect geometry," Todd features larger rough stones in their natural octahedral and macle shapes (ring: above, right), or cubic shapes.

Rough Diamond Crystal Shapes

Taking this concept a step further, Canadian jewelry designer Niki Kavakonis incorporates colorless uncut diamonds into her creations. Niki's "Tip of the Iceberg" ring (below, right) showcases a rough 2.78ct octahedron-shaped diamond from the Ekati Diamond Mine.

Diamond Fashion Trends

Rough gemstones have a primordial quality, and a feeling of antiquity that their faceted counterparts have lost. As the "bling bling" look of recent decades [2] has waned, a more natural, earthy look is beginning to emerge in popular culture.

Rough Ekati diamond ring by Niki Kavakonis

Rough Ekati diamond ring by Niki Kavakonis

   Black Diamond Rings by Bez Ambar

White & Black Faceted Diamond Rings

Mass production, or high-volume Jewelry manufacturers like Diamonds in the Rough are now mainstreaming the 'natural look' by selling rough, unpolished diamond jewelry to upscale retailers like Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.

Fancy Colored Diamonds

Diamond Cutting

Diamond Chemistry & Composition

Gemstone Books
Diamond Books

Bibliography on Raw Diamonds

1. Citco, Industrial Diamonds .

2. Victoria Gomelsky, Rough diamonds and Art Nouveau jewelry beat out bling .

3. Michael Zobel .

4. Todd Reed .

5. Diamond in the Rough

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