Antique Diamond Cuts

Antique Diamond Cuts: A Complete Guide

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When exploring the world of moissanite rings, you may have heard of antique cuts. These cuts were first used on diamonds.

Diamonds with their millennia-old history, have seen numerous cuts, each telling a tale of the craftsmanship and culture of its time. This guide will take you on a dazzling journey, shedding light on the various antique diamond cuts that have mesmerized generations.

What are Antique Diamond Cuts?

Delving into the rich legacy of gemstones, antique diamond cuts stand as relics of artisanal craftsmanship from bygone centuries. Shaped by human hands, not machines, they radiate a unique, soulful charm, unlike their modern, brilliantly sparkling counterparts.

Their distinguishing characteristic is their larger facets, designed to capture the gentle glow of candlelight, offering a soft, intimate shimmer. Antique cuts aren’t about glistening perfection but about evoking a sense of nostalgia, whispered secrets, and romance from an era past.

For those drawn to vintage elegance and tales embedded within stones, these diamonds encapsulate a rich tapestry of history, art, and timeless beauty. They are not just gems but pieces of history, paying homage to the artisan’s touch in a world of evolving brilliance.

Types of Antique Diamond Cuts

Ah, antique diamond cuts! They aren’t just about aesthetic value but also carry a rich tapestry of history and artistic endeavor. The cuts we’re about to discuss have stood the test of time, each telling its own story.

Single Cut

Single Cut diamond

Tracing its roots to the 1300s, the Single Cut distinguishes itself with an octagonal silhouette and its understated elegance. With eight facets both on the crown and pavilion, this antique cut is sometimes also referred to as the “eight cuts”.

Characteristics: Picture a diamond with a simple yet refined allure – that’s the Single Cut for you.

Notable appearance: Its signature octagonal shape marks its distinction from other diamond cuts.

Rose Cut

Rose Cut diamond

Born in the 1500s, the Rose Cut is renowned for its likeness to a rose bud about to bloom. Depending on the design, this cut can sport anywhere from three to 24 facets. What sets the Rose Cut apart is its flat base and domed crown, with facets meeting at the pinnacle.

Characteristics: If you imagine a diamond mimicking the gentle bloom of a rose, you’re visualizing the Rose Cut.

Historical significance: Its reign in the jewelry world was marked during the Georgian (1714-1837) and Victorian (1837-1901) periods, but its modern-day revival can be attributed to Jennifer Anniston’s engagement ring from Justin Theroux in 2012.

Old Mine Cut

Old Mine Cut diamond.jpg

Emerging in the early 1700s, the Old Mine Cut echoes the shape of the modern cushion cut but bears a touch of uniqueness with its slightly square profile. This cut was the choice of jewelers of the Georgian and Victorian times, keen on preserving as much of the rough diamond as possible.

Characteristics: This diamond type proudly showcases a large culet, deep pavilion, small table, and an elevated crown. With its 58 facets, akin to the modern round brilliant cut, each Old Mine Cut carries its own charm and story.

Historical significance: According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), “From the early 18th century to the late 19th century, the Old Mine Cut was arguably the predominant diamond cut and was typically spotted in Georgian (1714-1837) and Victorian era (1837-1901) jewelry.”

Old European Cut

Old European Cut

Originating from the late 1800s, the Old European Cut is recognized for its rounded contour. While its resemblance to the modern round brilliant cut is uncanny, its crafting is more organic and less rigid, giving it a natural allure.

Characteristics: Think of a diamond that harmoniously blends vintage and contemporary aesthetics – the Old European Cut embodies this fusion.

Historical significance: Its presence was prominently felt during the late Victorian, Edwardian (1901-1910), and Art Deco (1920-1930s) eras. Like its cousin, the Old Mine Cut, it boasts a small table, towering crown, and pronounced culet, although its culet is slightly more reserved than the former’s.

A Deep Dive into Antique vs. Modern Cuts

Diamonds have, for centuries, captivated the hearts and minds of many, standing as a testament to beauty, wealth, and often, romance. Yet, not all diamonds are the same. Delving deep into the sparkling world of these gemstones reveals fascinating distinctions between antique and modern cuts. This article seeks to illuminate these differences, shedding light on their unique allure and practical considerations for potential buyers.

1. Tracing the Evolution: Cutting Techniques Through the Ages

Antique Diamond Cuts:

The antique diamond cuts are reminiscent of a bygone era. Crafted before our age of technology-driven precision, these diamonds boast unique characteristics defined by manual craftsmanship. Among the most iconic of these are the Old Mine Cut, Old European Cut, and the evocative Rose Cut. They usually feature pronounced culets, deep pavilions, and, occasionally, facets that might appear somewhat irregular to the contemporary eye.

Modern Diamond Cuts:

Stepping into the modern realm, the diamond-cutting process has been revolutionized by technological advancements and a nuanced understanding of optics. Modern cuts, epitomized by the Round Brilliant Cut, are meticulously crafted to exude maximum brilliance and fire. Consisting typically of 57 or 58 facets (culet included), these diamonds are precision personified.

2. A Symphony of Sparkles: Aesthetics of Diamonds

Antique Diamond Cuts:

Antique diamonds radiate a gentle, warm glow, producing ample flashes of light that dance to their own rhythm. This soft brilliance, combined with their romantic flair, is irresistibly charming. Many aficionados believe their slight irregularities infuse them with a character that’s unmatched.

Modern Diamond Cuts:

In stark contrast, modern diamonds are characterized by their radiant white sheen, bursting with an abundance of sparkles. Their cuts are strategically optimized to maximize both brilliance (reflecting white light) and fire (splintering light into a spectrum of colors).

3. A Matter of Value: Pricing and Worth

Antique Diamond Cuts:

While these vintage beauties might occasionally be priced lower per carat due to their non-standardized cuts, they are no less precious. Their historical significance and unrivaled charm could elevate their market price, particularly if they’re in impeccable condition and of superior quality.

Modern Diamond Cuts:

Predominantly, modern cuts are priced higher per carat, with those possessing top-tier cut grades commanding the loftiest figures.

4. Trends and Tidings: Popularity and Market Availability

Antique Diamond Cuts:

Though they might be rare finds in the mainstream market, antique diamonds have a dedicated following. These gems often find homes in specialty boutiques, estate sales, and stores specializing in antique jewelry. They resonate deeply with those yearning for a touch of vintage charm.

Modern Diamond Cuts:

Being the contemporary choice, modern cuts dominate the diamond market. Their widespread popularity ensures they cater to a diverse audience, seamlessly aligning with modern jewelry aesthetics.

5. Acquiring the Gem: Purchase Considerations

Antique Diamond Cuts:

Prospective buyers should be aware that antique diamonds often bear the marks of hand craftsmanship, resulting in potential irregularities or asymmetry. Embracing these unique features requires an appreciation for their rich history and the artisanal skills of yesteryears.

Modern Diamond Cuts:

For those venturing into the realm of modern diamonds, the guiding principles are often the Four Cs – Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Color. A discerning buyer will seek out diamonds with standardized proportions that promise stellar light performance.


The world of antique diamond cuts is a realm of artistry, history, and timeless allure. As you embark on a journey to explore or invest in these luminous marvels, remember that beyond their gleam lies a tale of human endeavor, spanning continents and eras. Whether you’re an investor, a history buff, or someone who appreciates beauty, the antique diamond’s story is bound to captivate you.

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Ring Size Guide

ring size guide
ring size guide

This is a chart that will be extremely helpful for you to determine the ring size that you need. You can either make use of a tape or a small piece of string to measure the area that will be occupied by the ring. When it becomes a complete circle, make a mark on such string. This will be helpful for you to compare with the chart that is mentioned below.

Inside Dia. Inside Circ. Size
14.1 44.2 3 F 44 4.25
14.5 45.5 3.5 G 45.5 5.5
14.9 46.8 4 H 47 6.75
15.3 48 4.5 I 48 8
15.7 49.3 5 J-1/2 50 9.25
16.1 50.6 5.5 K-1/2 51 10.5
16.5 51.9 6 L-1/2 52 11.75
16.9 53.1 6.5 M-1/2 53 13.25
17.3 54.4 7 N-1/2 54 14.5
17.7 55.7 7.5 O-1/2 56 15.75
18.1 57 8 P-1/2 57 17
18.5 58.3 8.5 Q-1/2 58 18.25
19 59.5 9 R-1/2 60 19.5
19.4 60.8 9.5 S-1/2 61 20.75
19.8 62.1 10 T-1/2 62 22
20.2 63.4 10.5 U-1/2 63 23.25
20.6 64.6 11 V-1/2 64 24.75
21 65.9 11.5 W-1/2 66 26
21.4 67.2 12 X-1/2 67 27.25
21.8 68.5 12.5 Z 68 28.5
22.2 69.7 13 Z+1 70 29.75
22.6 71 13.5 Z+1.5 71 31
23 72.3 14 Z+2 72 32.25
23.4 73.5 14.5 Z+2.5 73.5 33.5
23.8 74.8 15 Z+3 75 34.75

Other Tips

1) Measure your finger in warm temperatures at the end of the day.

2) If your knuckle is a lot larger than the base of your finger, measure both the base of your finger and your knuckle and select a size between the two.

3) When considering a wide band, move up a size from your measurement, for comfort’s sake.