Diamonds are gifts from Mother Earth, and some jewellers are letting their innate beauty shine through in their natural form. Jewellers are tapping into the unpolished allure of rough gems, and these designs are making their way onto major red carpets and on the fingers of brides around the world
Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Alicia Keys have all recently rocked rough gems on the red carpet. Unlike their cut counterparts, these stones provide that extra edginess that contrasts the formal attire spotted at these polished events.
Rough diamonds are, in every sense of the word, unique in that they do not conform to the facets and cuts required to make a ‘perfect’ diamond. Instead, they retain their free form, and jewellery pieces must be designed around their shapes, not vice versa.
The crown of a Hungarian, which dates back to 1074 AD, was the first example of rough diamond jewellery documented. Rough gems have been found throughout history in crowns and royal jewellery; stone cutting that resembles modern-day techniques did not come to light until the 1830s. Hence rough stones have always played an essential part in the history of jewel-making.
De Beers is one of the few jewellers tapping into raw diamonds’ natural, uninhibited beauty. Its Talisman collection features unpolished diamonds in various colours and has become the house’s most recognisable designs over the years.
Diamonds get their fiery shine from their facets; unpolished gems’ charm, however, lies in their irregularity. To bring sparkle to these designs, De Beers pairs polished white diamonds with coloured roughs – set in gold – these pieces are understated in shine yet bold in personality.
American jewellery brand Ditr Jewellery specialises in rough diamonds and has become a cult favourite among Hollywood’s most stylish sets. Their red carpet exposure has made them popular choices for brides who want something a little more unconventional.
Luxury houses such as Cartier and Boucheron have also created jewellery using rough diamonds in the past. In 2012, Boucheron unveiled a version of its signature ivy necklace at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris. Diamond pave ivy leaves sit on top of a bib necklace pieced together out of green unpolished square diamonds.