What is an old cut diamond?

Old cut diamonds are one of the most special and spectacular diamond cuts available. Each one having been individually measured by eye means that no two are the same. Due to the way they were all cut by hand, each one is Individual.

At a distance, one could be forgiven for confusing an old cut diamond from a modern brilliant cut diamond. Both sparkles beautifully, and both are of a round shape. However, there are some very distinctive differences when you look closer.

Find out more about what exactly an old cut diamond is.

What is an Old Cut Diamond?

The term old cut diamond refers to a diamond that has been cut before the 1930s.

It was the most common cut of diamond found in Georgian (1714-1837) and Victorian (1837-1901) period jewellery.

Old cut diamonds have 58 facets, just one less than a modern brilliant cut diamond and easy to miss from a distance. However, upon closer inspection, you will notice that an old mine cut diamond has a smaller table (the top facet), and a higher crown.

What is an Old Cut Diamond?

How Were Old Cut Diamonds Made?

Old cut diamonds were handcrafted by someone known as a bruter. These early diamond cutters would laboriously shape the diamond by grinding two diamonds together to achieve the beautiful octahedral shape of the diamond. A diamond polisher would then polish the facets so that they sparkle.

Because each diamond was handcrafted, it is extremely rare to find a fully symmetrical old cut diamond. It is these details that hold the true beauty and appeal of an old cut diamond.

How Were Old Cut Diamonds Made?

What are the Different Types of Old Cut Diamond?

You may often hear old cut diamonds referred to as old European cut or old mine cut with old European cut being the most widely available, followed by old mine cut.

The term old mine cut refers to an early version of the modern cushion cut available today.

These diamonds are much less even than the modern cushion cut as they were measured by eye and cut entirely by hand.

The old mine cut was first developed in the 18th century and had a variety of facet patterns. It is generally associated with the historic mines from which they were sourced.

Old European cut diamonds are closer to the modern round brilliant cut and the name refers to the cut being developed in Europe.

What are the Different Types of Old Cut Diamond?

What to look for in an old cut diamond

When buying a piece of jewellery with an old-cut diamond there are a few things you should remember:

Light changes a diamond’s appearance. Make sure you view the diamond under different lights.

You should expect to see a different contrast pattern of white and dark areas. These are caused by reflections within the diamond.

You should also expect to see large, striking patches of colour where the light is breaking into spectral or rainbow colours due to the facets being larger. These will be particularly visible under spotlights.

Remember to check the girdle to ensure that it is fully protected all the way around. No edges should be exposed. Old cut diamonds generally have thinner girdles and these need to be protected.

What to look for in an old cut diamond
Shop Old Cut Jewellery
Emerald and Old Cut Diamond Trilogy Ring, 4.30 carat total, Platinum
Emerald and Old Cut Diamond Trilogy Ring, 4.30 carat total, Platinum
Emerald and Old Cut Diamond Trilogy Ring, 4.30 carat total, Platinum
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Old Cut Diamond Cluster Ring in Platinum, 3.50 carats
Old Cut Diamond Cluster Ring in Platinum, 3.50 carats
Old Cut Diamond Cluster Ring in Platinum, 3.50 carats
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Vintage 0.95ct Old European Cut Diamond Three Stone Ring
Vintage 0.95ct Old European Cut Diamond Three Stone Ring
Vintage 0.95ct Old European Cut Diamond Three Stone Ring
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Cushion Cut Diamond Cluster Ring Georgian Style Cut Down Setting 2.51 carats
Cushion Cut Diamond Cluster Ring Georgian Style Cut Down Setting 2.51 carats
Cushion Cut Diamond Cluster Ring Georgian Style Cut Down Setting 2.51 carats
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Exceptional Pair of Antique Pear Shape Diamond Drop Earrings
Exceptional Pair of Antique Pear Shape Diamond Drop Earrings
Exceptional Pair of Antique Pear Shape Diamond Drop Earrings
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Antique Style Old-Cut Diamond Cluster Ring, 4.18ct, with Certificate
Antique Style Old-Cut Diamond Cluster Ring, 4.18ct, with Certificate
Antique Style Old-Cut Diamond Cluster Ring, 4.18ct, with Certificate
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Art Deco Sapphire and Old Cut Diamond Cluster Dress Ring
Art Deco Sapphire and Old Cut Diamond Cluster Dress Ring
Art Deco Sapphire and Old Cut Diamond Cluster Dress Ring
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Antique Georgian Old-Cut Diamond and Blue Enamel Cluster Ring, 2.75cts
Antique Georgian Old-Cut Diamond and Blue Enamel Cluster Ring, 2.75cts
Antique Georgian Old-Cut Diamond and Blue Enamel Cluster Ring, 2.75cts
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Antique Old Cut Diamond set Pendant in 18ct White Gold
Antique Old Cut Diamond set Pendant in 18ct White Gold
Antique Old Cut Diamond set Pendant in 18ct White Gold
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Antique 19th Century Cushion Cut 3.76ct Diamond Ring
Antique 19th Century Cushion Cut 3.76ct Diamond Ring
Antique 19th Century Cushion Cut 3.76ct Diamond Ring
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Antique Sapphire and Diamond Three-Stone Ring, 5.47ct, C.1900
Antique Sapphire and Diamond Three-Stone Ring, 5.47ct, C.1900
Antique Sapphire and Diamond Three-Stone Ring, 5.47ct, C.1900
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Old Mine Cushion Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring, 4.82 carats
Old Mine Cushion Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring, 4.82 carats
Old Mine Cushion Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring, 4.82 carats
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Antique Victorian Old Mine Cut Diamond Cluster Ring
Antique Victorian Old Mine Cut Diamond Cluster Ring
Antique Victorian Old Mine Cut Diamond Cluster Ring
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Edwardian Antique Three Stone Diamond Plaque Ring
Edwardian Antique Three Stone Diamond Plaque Ring
Edwardian Antique Three Stone Diamond Plaque Ring
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Old Cut Diamond Ballerina Cluster Ring, 1.80 carats
Old Cut Diamond Ballerina Cluster Ring, 1.80 carats
Old Cut Diamond Ballerina Cluster Ring, 1.80 carats
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Art Deco Old Cut Diamond Heart Brooch with Natural Pearl
Art Deco Old Cut Diamond Heart Brooch with Natural Pearl
Art Deco Old Cut Diamond Heart Brooch with Natural Pearl
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Antique Dutch Rose Cut Diamond Cluster Ring. 1880
Antique Dutch Rose Cut Diamond Cluster Ring. 1880
Antique Dutch Rose Cut Diamond Cluster Ring. 1880
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