What Makes Vintage Diamonds Different?

Let’s Break It Down

The diamond above is an Old Mine Cut. Notice the large open culet (the black dot in the center is because the bottom of the stone is cut off) and the slightly square, irregular shape.

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.

The diamond above is an Old European Cut. 

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 mine has rays and then kite facets coming off the culet. You can still see a small dot in the center due to the open culet.


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.


Do you love the history and charm of old diamonds? Contact us to source one just for you!