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Rough Diamonds: Do Raw Uncut Diamonds Have Resale Value?

Rough Diamonds: Do Raw Uncut Diamonds Have Resale Value?

Diamonds can have resale value but it depends on several factors such as the demand and supply of these precious gemstones as well as the quality of the diamond itself. But what about raw diamonds? Do uncut diamonds have resale value?

If you are thinking of purchasing uncut diamonds so you can profit off them later on, we advise against this since rough diamonds have a very low resale value. In addition, raw diamonds can’t be reused after they’re set in rings or other types of jewelry.

Unless you intend on selling uncut diamonds with the rest of the jewelry piece, you won’t get much money from it. But what are uncut diamonds? What factors influence the price of these rough gemstones? You will find answers to these and many more questions in this article, so without further ado, let’s dive in.

What Is An Uncut Diamond And How Does It Look Like?

Uncut diamonds, also known as raw or rough diamonds, are diamonds that haven’t undergone any type of processing.

While many jewelers and retailers generally prefer their uncut diamonds made in the lab, they’re also available naturally. There are more than twenty countries around the world where diamonds can be mined.

Since rough diamond isn’t processed, it also costs less. Processing methods that are utilized to make diamonds shiny are what increases the cost of these precious gemstones. This begs the question: can you create a ring that features uncut diamonds?

Yes, you definitely can. However, because raw diamonds retain a lot of their initial shape, they tend to be irregular in nature. As such, rings that have raw diamonds are usually designed in a way that they match the specific stone.

To alter rough stones into faceted and polished diamonds, more than 50% of the initial raw stone is striped. The cutting and polishing processes can take up to several hours for an experienced diamond cutter to achieve, and it typically requires specialized equipment. 

This is the reason why a well-cut and polished gemstone will generally cost way more compared to its rough counterpart.

Related Read: How Much Is a Rough 1-Carat (1ct) Diamond Worth?

Factors That Impact The Uncut Diamonds’ Price 

Uncut stones don’t possess the brilliance and shine we tend to notice in cut and polished stones. However, there are a few factors that influence the quality of uncut diamonds and, thus, their price. 


To put it simply, carat weight measures how much a single diamond weighs. A metric “carat” is defined as 0.2 grams. It should go without the question that the more carats a diamond has, the higher the price of that stone will be.

However, this only applies if the other characteristics stay the same because a small and clear rough diamond could have a higher price in comparison to a large uncut diamond that features lots of flaws.


A rough diamond’s shape becomes a factor only if you’re planning to have it cut. As we already mentioned, diamond processing generally takes more than 50% of the diamond.

A big, uncut diamond that comes with a whimsical shape will need more cutting to create the shape you desire. Therefore, you may notice that it can cost less than compared to a tinier gemstone that has an easily workable shape.


Most diamonds feature a yellow or brown tint within their structure. If a stone has more color, it will sometimes appear a bit dull. Completely colorless uncut diamonds are extremely rare, thus the less yellow or brown tinting a rough diamond has, the higher the price tag.


Rough diamonds aren’t perfect – many of them possess internal flaws also known as inclusions. How big or small a flaw is will impact how much the gemstone will be worth.

Generally, the fewer flaws a diamond has, the higher the clarity grade it will have. A raw diamond that’s flawless can be more expensive than a well-cut, polished diamond that has low clarity grade.

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Are Uncut Diamonds A Good Deal?

In some ways, raw diamonds are a better buy than cut diamonds. For example, an uncut diamond will cost way less in comparison to its cut counterpart. You can get a rough 1-carat gemstone for just a couple of dollars whereas a cut diamond of the exact same weight may cost thousands of dollars.

In addition, these rough gemstones are conflict-free. All raw diamonds must come with a certification that states that they were extracted from a war-free zone. This document must come with all uncut gems that are exported or imported. 

On the flip side, once the gems have been processed, this document becomes invalid.

Apart from this, uncut diamonds are also distinct. If you want to get a diamond ring but you don’t quite like the traditional diamond’s white color, a rough one can be an excellent alternative. The peculiar quartz-like looks of the raw gemstone will make your uncut diamond ring stand out.

However, almost everything has a negative, and raw diamonds aren’t an exception. Although you’ll get an exceptional jewelry piece for way less money, there are several factors that may make you rethink before purchasing.

Firstly, uncut diamonds don’t shine, so if you’re looking for a gemstone that sparkles, you may want to take into consideration some other alternatives like moissanite or white topaz.

It’s worth noting that rough diamonds are generally full of internal flaws too. Usually, once raw diamonds are excavated, the ones with the potential to look brilliant are sent off for processing and those with a lower prospect are left in their rough state. These rough diamonds are the ones you will encounter when you go shopping for uncut gems.

It can also be challenging to choose the right gems, specifically if you lack experience purchasing uncut diamonds. It typically takes a diamond expert to assess the raw diamond. Regardless, if you don’t intend on having your stone cut and polished, then you don’t have to be bothered with the diamond’s shape.

Ultimately, uncut diamonds are a fantastic way to infuse some allure into your ring on a budget. However, don’t forget that you’ll only get the bang for your buck if you use the diamond as it is.

On the flip side, If you plan to get your diamond cut and polished, a rough one might not be the best option for you since some diamond cutters can charge a few hundred dollars per carat for cutting and polishing. Additionally, if you choose a low-quality stone, all that hard work will be in vain.

Learn More: Are Raw Diamonds Worth Anything?

How To Identify Uncut Diamonds

Here are some tips on how to recognize rough diamonds:

Use A Loupe Or Microscope

Any of these gadgets can help you inspect a gem to figure out whether it’s a diamond or not. Actually, a  loupe is what most diamond experts use to assess gemstones. Place the stone in question under the device and look for rounded edges with tiny indented triangles – that’s how you know you have a real raw diamond.

Use A Diamond Tester

Diamond testers are great devices that can be bought online. If you want to know if a gemstone is really a diamond, simply hold the diamond tester’s tip against the stone in question. If it beeps and lights up, the gemstone is a diamond. 

If you aren’t sure, you can always take your stone to a diamond expert and have them examine the gem for you and confirm whether or not you have a real uncut diamond on your hands.

Related Read: How Much Is A Diamond Tester?

Things You Need To Know Before Purchasing Uncut Diamonds

Where You Purchase Your Gemstones Matters

Because raw diamonds aren’t processed, they probably are not going to be accompanied by the GIA certification. This means you should be careful when purchasing uncut diamonds. The GIA diamond report grades the 4Cs of cut diamonds to guarantee that shoppers know exactly what they are getting.

Do your research so you can trust the diamond seller. Also, being able to trace back the diamond to the place where it was mined will ensure that you’re getting a gemstone that’s conflict-free. 

Related Read: How Do I Get My Rough Diamond Certified?

Your Rough Diamond Most Likely Can’t Be Processed

Not every rough diamond can be cut and polished. So, if you wish to upgrade your diamond ring by processing the rough stone in it, chances are, you won’t be able to do it. But why?

Your raw diamonds may withhold some internal flaws that can prevent the diamond cutter from processing the gemstone. Not only that but based on the diamond’s quality, cutting and polishing may impact its durability.

In addition, if the rough stone is too small, leveling the edges and corners may leave you with a gemstone way too tiny for your ring. If you wish to process your rough diamond, have it evaluated by a diamond expert before you make a purchase.

Uncut Diamonds Can Be A Bit Hard To Maintain

This is especially true with uncut gems that feature a bumpy shape. If the diamond isn’t properly set in the ring, accidental bumps could push it out of place.

In addition, your gem may become loose over time and fall out of your ring setting. The non-uniform edges also mean that there’s a higher chance to chip and scrape other things with your diamond.

Can You Hire Someone To Process Your Uncut Diamond?

If you think you can save some money by purchasing a raw diamond and having it cut and polished for you, you may want to reconsider. While you can have some raw diamonds cut and polished, there are several important things to keep in mind:

  • It’s crucial that your uncut diamond has gem grade, meaning the diamond has to have the potential to be processed into something presentable. The uncut diamond needs to have no fractures and very few inclusions.
  • The uncut diamond must also be fairly large. Processed diamonds are generally half the size of the initial raw gemstone they started out as. So a 3-carat uncut diamond would become a 1.5-carat gemstone after being cut and polished.
  • Make sure to partner with a skilled and reputable diamond cutter. Keep in mind that it may be hard to find one in your area since most work for bigger companies and often won’t do independent small jobs.
  • Processing a raw diamond can still be pricey. Diamond cutting experts can be quite expensive. Cutting is typically priced per carat, so you expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $400 per carat. Also, remember that there are no guarantees – if you’ve chosen a low-quality uncut diamond, to start with, all of your efforts will be in vain.

Raw diamonds are one way to save some money but they can be a hassle. If you’re looking to get a more affordable gemstone, consider reputable online retailers like the James Allen and the Blue Nile. These stores provide high-quality images and videos of their gems so shoppers know exactly what they’re getting.

Related Read: How Much Does It Cost To Cut A Rough Diamond?

Do Rough Diamonds Have Resale Value?

If you’re looking to profit off of uncut diamonds, we advise against it since they carry very low resale value. When it comes to the prices of cut and uncut diamonds, it’s evident that there’s a huge pricing difference between the two, due to the extensiveness of the diamond cutting and polishing processes.

Also, diamond cutters find it difficult to remove set rough diamonds for reuse because the cutting process can impact the stone’s durability.

Nevertheless, uncut diamond jewelry is becoming more and more popular and is even considered trendy due to the fact that these raw gems are affordable and conflict-free. If you aren’t much into the shine and sparkle of cut diamonds, then these rough stones would be ideal for you.

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