Friday, August 27, 2010

Rough Diamond Jewelry.

Ever since I started working in diamond exploration, I have wanted a piece of jewelry made from a rough, uncut diamond, but I never had a clue where I could get one. People always ask me to bring them back a diamond from the field, but the truth is that even I don't ever see one. I spent two weeks looking at core of possibly one of the world's richest diamond deposits, and I did not see a single diamond. Nor did anyone else working on the project.

Diamond deposits are not rich. If you find a kimberlite (diamond-bearing rock) with 1 carat/tonne, you start jumping for joy - that's often good enough to start a mine. Just to give you some perspective, a carat of diamond is 0.2 grams. to get one gram of diamonds, the weight of 1 mL of water, you will need, on average, 5 TONNES of kimberlite. The kimberlite I was working with, as far as we can tell, has over 5 carats/tonne. And I still didn't see a diamond.

The point is that I almost never see rough diamonds, so I wasn't sure where I would even get a rough diamond to make jewelry out of. The ones we do get from the lab are far too important to the project for us to sell or make jewelry out of

Well, I discovered sellers on Etsy making jewelry out of rough diamonds. I was so ecstatic! I especially love the work of Etsy seller Artifactum. All the rings are hammered out by hand and they complement the rough look of the stones themselves. They're so wonderful!

I also found the work of Dafna. The diamond rings are more delicate, but what I really like are the "bucky" inspired jewelry. Anything nerdy makes me happy...

A quick look through Etsy for diamond jewelry has shown me how, even on what seems like such a wholesome site as Etsy, people use false advertising to sell their items. There are a lot of people selling what they call "Herkimer Diamonds". Not everyone knows that "Herkimer Diamond" is another term for quartz, which is one of the most common minerals on the planet.

Similar terms exist for other precious stones. For example, "Balas Ruby" is another name for a red spinel. When buying precious stones, beware of adjectives your not familiar with :)


  1. Hello,
    Basically the rough diamonds jewelry are quality graded based on shape,surface quality and internal cracks,fissures or other flaws.

  2. That's what I love about them. Of course, they would never use top grade diamonds to make rough jewelry (remember the 4 C's: Cut, Clarity, Colour, Carat). This has the amazing bonus of making them extremely affordable.

    If they weren't made into these rings, they would be destined for grinding wheels, polish, and drill bits. The best jewelry, in my mind, is created by making something beautiful from unwanted and unexpected items.