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We’re going to say something groundbreaking: Not every bride wants a giant, super-sparkly diamond ring on her finger. If you agree, you’ve come to the right place, likely in search of an engagement ring that defies tradition and feels more unique to your personality. Raw diamond rings are a stunning option, especially if you’re completely uninterested in a blingy, cookie-cutter ring.
What Is a Raw Diamond?
A raw diamond is an uncut stone that has not been shaped or polished in any way. As these stones are in their most natural form, they are cloudy in appearance or, in other words, have inclusions.
While raw diamonds don’t twinkle in the traditional sense, many have a more subdued shimmer that catches the light at various angles of the stone's uneven surface—the ultimate effect for low-key brides craving a one-of-a-kind diamond. Recently, there has been a larger market for this style of ring, resulting in more designers using raw and natural diamonds. Jewelry designers like Bario Neal and Sofia Kaman use raw diamonds in their pieces to set them apart from more traditional rings. You'll also see a wide range of raw and rough diamond rings on Etsy.
Since raw and rough-cut diamonds are inherently unique, their one-off shapes make setting them a major task for jewelry designers. Whether you go for a sleek solitaire or vintage-style cluster, a lot of thought goes into making your ring as extraordinary as possible. Can’t argue with an incredibly well-made ring, right?
If you think a raw or rough-cut diamond is right for you, scroll through our edit of 30 different styles for every taste and budget below.
Kathryn Rebecca Rough Diamond Leaf and Branch Engagement Ring
Multiple colored stones make up this engagement ring. The center round diamond is held between rough pink and yellow topaz and green sapphire stones. The stones are set in 14k white and rose gold.
What to Look for When Buying a Raw, Rustic, or Rough Diamond Engagement Ring
One plus to a raw-cut diamond is that its color makes each stone one of a kind. If you are looking for an alternative to a clear, colorless diamond, raw diamonds are a great choice because they have brown, yellow, or even gray elements. With a raw diamond, you really have the ability to choose a stone that best fits your personality and style.
Because raw and rough-cut diamonds don't have the same element of sparkle that polished diamonds have, you might want to consider a halo setting of brilliant diamonds for your ring. A halo setting or a pavé band will add a bit of that eye-catching glimmer that comes with other diamonds. You may also want to consider a cluster setting to combine your unique diamond with gemstones like sapphires or other colored stones.
- Do raw and rough-cut diamonds cost less than a traditional diamond? While a lot of work goes into setting a raw or rough-cut diamond, they tend to cost much less than their polished and cut counterparts. Generally, you can find natural diamonds starting at about $500, but traditionally cut diamonds will start at around $1000. So if you’re on a budget but also seeking a diamond ring, raw and rough-cut diamonds might be the answer.
- Are raw and rough-cut diamonds durable? Raw and rough-cut diamonds are just as durable as polished and clean-cut diamonds. Diamonds are the most durable gemstone you can buy, so your ring is sure to stand the test of time.
- Where can I purchase this type of diamond? Etsy or smaller retailers are a great place to start your search; just make sure you are purchasing from a trusted seller. Authentic raw diamonds are ethically sourced and conflict-free, so ask your jeweler if your diamond is certified conflict-free with Kimberley Process certification.