a rough diamond

rough diamond

Someone or something that is unrefined but has many exceptional aspects or underlying potential. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. The young actor was a rough diamond. With some training, she'd become a superstar.
See also: diamond, rough

a rough diamond

mainly BRITISH or

a diamond in the rough

AMERICAN
1. If you call someone, especially a man a rough diamond, you admire their good qualities, even though they are not very polite or well-educated. Note: A rough diamond is a diamond that has not yet been cut and polished. Marden was the rough diamond of the three, feared for his ruthlessness but respected for his First World War Military Cross. I liked Neil Murphy, who is somewhat of a diamond in the rough.
2. If you call someone or something a rough diamond, you mean that they have talent or good qualities which are hidden or not well developed and could be developed more. Note: A rough diamond is a diamond that has not yet been cut and polished. British first novels are more likely to be rough diamonds, with flashes of inspiration in an imperfect whole. When I heard this lady sing, I ran to the theater, and I said, `Chick, I found myself a diamond in the rough.'
See also: diamond, rough

a rough diamond

a person who has genuinely fine qualities but uncouth manners. informal
Literally, a rough diamond is a diamond before it has been cut and polished. A North American variant of this expression is a diamond in the rough .
See also: diamond, rough

a ˌrough ˈdiamond

(British English) (American English a ˌdiamond in the ˈrough) a person who has many good qualities even though they do not seem to be very polite, educated, etc: Don’t be put off by your first impressions — he’s something of a rough diamond.
A rough diamond is a diamond that has not yet been cut or polished.
See also: diamond, rough
References in periodicals archive ?
He noted that some of the key objectives of strategy 2020 was to improve DTCB's efficiencies and effectiveness as a rough diamond sorting and valuing operation.
The proposal by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, in his role as KP chairman, and Peter Meeus, chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange, is to train accredited government inspectors in the skills of a commercial rough diamond valuer, who considers shape and possible cuts as well as weight when determining the value of a rough diamond.
Prosecutors say Campbell received a rough diamond from ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor in South Africa at a 1997 reception hosted by former President Nelson Mandela.
The company chairman and chief executive officer, Robert A Gannicott, said, 'We began this quarter with a rough diamond market that could see no bottom and retail sales effectively stalled.
'There are about five experts in the world that could look at a rough diamond and tell you where it came from.