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A Guide To Vintage Diamond Cuts


The diamond cannot be cut by means of metals and gems of other species; but it also resists polishing, the diamond can only be polished by means of other diamonds

— Agastimata

A couple of years ago I came across a diamond ring that was in for repair with a very usually cut diamond. Initially dismissing it as a poorly cut diamond, after further study I found something very interesting. The diamond was actually an Old Mine Cut back from when diamonds were mined in the framed Golconda Mines in India. I complied this guide for you to discover what these vintage cuts have to offer and learn more about the history of diamond cutting and polishing I hope you will enjoy it.

How do styles differ from era to era? Throughout history, trends have changed, influencing everything from fashion to furniture, and jewellery is no exception. Here’s our guide to the different eras and the indelible mark they left on jewellery designs.


Old mine cut, so named for the old diamond mines of India, harks back to a time when these precious gems were measured by eye and cut by hand, a skill most rare. Bearing close similarity to the modern cushion cut, it features a high crown and small, squarish table with rounded corners comprising 58 facets. Exuding more sparkle than that of many previous cuts, it would become a hallmark of the Victorian Era.


Old European cut features a rounded table and larger, triangular facets, akin to those of the modern brilliant cut. Its popularity peaked from the mid-1870s to the 1930s.

Victorian cut has a classical shape, reminiscent of a bygone age. It features a unique, multifaceted top crown with a small table and step-cut bottom pavilion comprising 73 facets, which contributes to the diamond’s reflective brilliance. Because of its perfect proportions, it appears even larger when set. The shift from shaping diamonds into old cuts to modern round brilliant diamonds was spread gradually over many decades. Terms such as ‘Victorian cut’ and ‘Edwardian cut’ describe the round brilliant styles created during different periods of this change. 


Carré cut, originally developed to make maximum use of the rough stone, is a square-shaped stone with 90֯ corners and a large upper facet. As with baguette or emerald cuts, its step-cut facets emphasize any flaws in the stone so only high-quality gems are suitable for this style. What it lacks in the sparkle of a brilliant cut, it makes up for in refined elegance. A popular choice in the Art Deco Era. 


French cut stones, a natural evolution of the table cut, are square or rectangular multifaceted gems, recognisable by the typical cross the crown facets depict. Dating back to the 1400s, they became fashionable in the 18th century and then again during the Art Deco Era.


Rose cut, notable for its simplistic faceting, flat back and domed tops covered in triangular facets that mimic the inner spiral of a rose. The rose cut dates back to the 1500s and is considered one of the original core diamond cuts


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