Know your vintage diamonds
February 22, 2017

Old stones are typically not white.
That is because most of the white stones we get in the market today come from Southern Africa – Angola, Botswana, Sierra Leone – and those mines didn’t exist then. The older, yellow looking old cuts Stones were coming from Brazil and Venezuela.

Old stones face whiter than modern cuts. As a general rule old stones face one
or two color grades whiter. Because of their open culet, color is not trapped in the stone.

Old Mine Cuts

Look More Square!
Heavy crown
Very large Open culet
Very deep bottom
Very small table
Heavy, clunky look, facets not uniform

Old mine cuts were a product of the technology of the time. The diamonds, cut without the advantage of motorized machinery, followed the rough diamond’s octahedral shape.

Until the late 1800s, this created mostly square or rectangular cushion-shaped diamonds. The shape of the old stones of that time was not uniform at all, even thought they have the same number of facets, 58, as the modern round brilliant.

Old Euro Cuts

old euro
Open culet, but smaller than the old miner
Very small table
More even facets on the pavilion
Bottom half is short

In the 1900s, with the advent of motorized machinery, more evenly cut diamonds arose. It bridged the roundish old mine cut and the modern round of today. The main the difference between the cuts can be seen on the back facets. On the old European, they radiate out from a large culet pretty much evenly, like a pie would be, whereas the old miner has rays and then kite facets coming off the culet.