It is no surprise that polished diamonds are extremely sought after and popular; after all, they are the toughest substance known to man and they are beautiful. It does come as somewhat of a surprise that rough diamonds, the natural form in which diamonds are found, are in demand, more so than ever before. In fact, just this week marked the beginning of the International Rough Diamond Week (IRDW) held in the Rough Diamond Trading Hall of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv. What made this event so unusual was the collection of stones offered. Some of the rarest rough diamonds were presented to those companies who attended the International Rough Diamond Week. All sold in the rough state, were these large diamonds yet to have been cut, shaped, and polished.
The Argyle Mine and Rough Diamonds.
The name Argyle is well known in the diamond industry, as Rio Tinto’s mine in Australia supplies a great deal of the world’s diamonds. Still, the Argyle diamond mine is most popular particularly for their pink diamond production. Interestingly enough, the mine only sells its stones in the rough state, with exception to pink diamonds, which are always polished before being sold. However, for the first time, the Argyle Mine was selling rough pink diamonds in Israel during this show.
A 5.39 carat Rough Argyle Pink Diamond
A Selection of Rough Argyle Pink Diamonds
Rough Diamonds at the IRDW
Individuals from around the globe gathered in honor of the International Rough Diamond Week. An impressive 400 buyers registered to view and bid on the various rough diamond tenders. Some of the most noteworthy roughs on display at the IRDW were Tzoffey’s 600 plus-carat rough diamond and the Cora 29.6-carat rough blue diamond, which was purchased from Petra for $25.5 million. The last major blue diamond find at the Petra Culinan Mine was a 25-carat stone, which was cut down to a 7.59-carat vivid blue round diamond. Although this stone received record breaking bids at Sotheby’s, the stone wasn’t sold then as the bids didn’t hit the seller’s reserve. It wasn’t too much time after the bid that the stone was finally sold in a private sale.
Different Types of Rough Diamonds
When diamonds form under the Earth’s surface, they take several shapes. All diamonds crystalize in the cubic system, resulting in various crystalline shapes that include Octahedron, Dodecahedron, Cube, and Rhombododecahedron. Rough diamonds are broken down into several categories: those that are suitable for cleavage, those fit for sawing, those appropriate for cutting, and those that can be used as industrial diamonds. Additionally, there are different levels of rough diamonds. These include gem quality, industrial quality, and Crushing-Boart or Boart roughs. A minute 20% of the world’s mined diamonds are used for jewelry purposes while the remaining 80% are utilized for industrial purposes. Gem quality rough diamonds must have the right clarity level and an acceptable color. The shape does not matter because the stone will eventually be cut. Yellow stones are actually preferred as industrial diamonds, because they are the hardest. Crushing Boart or Boart diamonds are the worst quality diamonds that exist, and are essentially used as diamond dust during the diamond polishing process.
It is quite exhilarating to see the source of the brilliant, beautiful diamonds that we know and love. Seeing the diamonds in their rough form makes a clearer connection to Nature, which has provided us with these unbelievable stones, and also gives us a greater understanding regarding the amount of work and effort that goes into cutting and polishing a diamond. To see the “before and after” of the diamond process really can be truly remarkable.