Inclusions & Blemishes

Diamond Blemishes: Rough Girdles | Rare Carat


Once upon a time, the gang here at Rare Carat decided that all we wanted to do was to give you, our wonderful internet friends, the best darn diamond-buying experience this side of Antwerp. And to be fair, we think we’ve nailed it. This includes offering you all the knowledge you could possibly need so that you cannot possibly mess this up. The rest is up to you! We suggest taking a deep dive into all of our fabulous content here on the blog (as well as the ‘learn’ section) and arm yourself with every bit of diamond info you can possibly hold in that lovely head of yours. Knowledge is power, people. It’s also the key to avoiding an overpriced diamond, just sayin’. If you are overwhelmed, take it slow and begin with our cute little intro post to the world of diamonds. Click here to read that. Want to get more specific? Take a run at this post, which introduces the wonderful world of diamond imperfections. That will give a base understanding of what the hell diamond inclusions are, and why they matter for clarity. That should set you up nicely for this cheeky little post on rough girdles. Prepare yourselves, things are about to get rough! Not really though, I was just dying to say that. Shall we move on? Lets.

Now I’m not going to lie, ‘rough girdle’ sounds to me like the name of a saucy western film. And if it’s not, it needs to be. Make it happen and give me executive producer credit. All I ask for is a trailer filled with diamonds. And kittens. And money. And pamplemousse LaCroix which I will never, ever drink. And money.

A ‘rough girdle’ is a girdle (that’s the thin perimeter of the widest part of the diamond) that has an irregular/pitted/grainy surface to it. It looks like this:

"That's One Roooough Girdle" (to be said in Westerny voice)

Rough Girdles magnified

This rough edging is not the result of poor polishing techniques or any bad handling of the stone however. Nope, that rough girdle is simply a belt of what the original diamond looked like! The diamond polisher merely decided to leave the girdle in its rough state - usually because it would have ‘shaved’ (LOL) off too much of the diamond weight, perhaps bringing it from a 1ct stone down to a .98ct stone for example, which would of course mean it would be worth less!

In very rare cases a rough girdle can cause weaknesses in the stone later on (especially if it’s a thin or very thin girdle), but on the whole a rough girdle will not impact your diamond in any way (other than to laugh at the term rough girdle if that’s your jam). That said, you know we always like to encourage you to examine that diamond grading report thoroughly, or risk ending up spending A Fist Full of Dollars and ending up with a diamond that looks like True Grit. 

We'll Take the Good, You Can Keep the Bad and the Ugly

Good, bad, and ugly

Dr. Rian Mulcahy
Dr. Rian Mulcahy
Rian is officially a Diamond PhD - just ping us if you’d like to read her fascinating 200-page thesis, titled Facets of Value: An Investigation into the Formation of Worth in the Diamond Market. She has consulted various firms all along the pipeline, from the rough diamond market to the recycled diamond industry. She holds an MA in Globalisation and Development from University College Cork and a PhD in the Sociology of Diamond Valuation from the London School of Economics.