There is a hushed but discernible stirring in the industry that is the talk among jewelers. Somehow, there is a quiet demand for antique, old European diamond jewelry from buyers, including from young people.
Modern-day cutters are now beginning to cut diamonds in the old world style to keep up with the demand. What could perhaps be the reason for such a craving? What is so special with these diamonds cut the old style?
Old European and Old Mine cuts
The old diamond cut style was worked out in such a way that the light would fall directly on the stone through the crown table (the topmost facet). The entering light would then hit the culet (the bottom facet) and goes out of the stone in a shower of rainbow colors.
Another charming characteristic is that they look their best by candle light. Once hit by the soft glow of the candle light, the stone would exude its own special kind of romantic light it is known for.
Most of these diamonds could be part of family heirlooms handed down through generations among the women in the family. Some modern-day cut diamonds are actually re-cut from old sets of antique jewelry.
In the mid 1800s, diamonds are only for the royalty, the upper level clergy, some very rich merchants and titled personages. In the Victorian times, diamonds can be worn by anyone who can afford them.
Most of these old cut diamonds, although slightly tinted, are almost extremely pure (super eye clean) and VVS and VS in clarity.
Before the 1900s, all diamonds were cut by hand. Most of them are small and have a relatively high table (top most facet) and deep pavilion (side facets) and quite top-heavy.
The earlier Old Mine cut appear smaller than the Old European cut (which came later) because they are squares and with rounded corners. (They resemble a bit like the modern-day Asscher or Princess cuts.)
Both of these old cut diamonds have very thin girdles (the edge around the body of the diamond). It is quite common that these antique gems have some chips in them. (Sometimes, they are polished away or hidden under the stone’s metal clasp.)
In the 1800s, tint was not considered so much of a deterrent to price or its beauty as it is now. Both the Old Mine cut and the Old European cut diamonds are also famous for masking their true colors.
Diamonds in Rose cuts were one of the most popular and the first to have faceted cutting style. It has a flat bottom and all the facets are on top, making it dome-shaped.
The facets come to the center forming a point. The facets are planned to give the appearance of the opening of a rose bud.
Old or modern cut?
The surge of demand for these old style cuts in diamonds may have been an offshoot to the movement of going romantic the old world way. Or it could be a rebound from all things too modern, especially in jewelry which is supposed to reflect timelessness.
Whatever it is, it is not fair to judge old-style diamond jewelry by modern day standards. These old relics have their own history which might be more colorful than one could ever have.