The old mine cut diamond is an 18th century throw back that’s as timeless as it is unique. These cuts were all hand crafted and dimensions vary between stones, meaning no one old mine cut diamond is alike.
This particular cut resurfaces occasionally at estate sales or antique stores, but otherwise can be extremely hard to find. Vintage diamonds are a major trend, so we get excited when the rare old mine cut comes through the showroom.
The History of the Old Mine Cut Diamond
When we say antique on this one, we mean antique. The old mine cut (along with the European cut) are the oldest diamond cuts on record. It was very popular in the Georgian and Victorian eras, which spanned from early 1700’s to late 1800’s.
The ‘old mine’ name was originally given to diamonds hailing from India or Brazil, before diamond deposits were discovered in Africa. Later the ‘old mine’ name was applied to any diamond with exceptional color AND that had the older style cut. Eventually, ‘old mine’ cut became synonymous with squarish-shaped diamonds with faceting arrangements that were popular beginning in the early 1700s.
Early diamond cutters labored for ages to get the perfect cut by hand. They would grind two diamonds together to achieve the perfect shape by following the octahedral shape of the diamond crystal. The actual technique was highly secretive at the time.
The proportions were designed to make the most of the available light at the time which was, of course, candlelight. A diamond polisher would then polish the stones individually.
Today, the process of cutting a diamond can take up to two weeks– from planning and mapping to the final polish. Can you imagine how long it took to cut a diamond solely by hand?
The Old Mine Diamond Cut Specs
Old mine cuts don’t sparkle like those cut with today’s precise technology, which is why they’re unfortunately so hard to come by. Over time, many of these ‘rugged’ diamonds have been refashioned to appeal to the masses. The rustic looks were often transformed into more brilliant cuts, therefore loosing all of the original, primitive appeal.
Luckily that practice has since been discontinued as the demand for vintage and antique gemstones increased over the last decade. Today’s brides don’t want cookie-cutter engagement and wedding rings with the same old diamond setting. They love unique styles that reflect their distinct tastes and personalities.
And there’s really no other diamond style that’s more unique, distinct, or original than old mine cuts.
Proportions: larger cutlet, smaller table, higher crown
Related: Glossary of Diamond Terms
The old mine cut diamond is a literal vintage treasure. Because antique and vintage jewelry trends are on the rise, more and more customers will seek out these primitive cuts.
Each mine cut diamond holds a story– from the individual who discovered it inside an ancient diamond deposit to the diamond sculptor who labored for months to get the perfect cut, to the Georgian elite who adorned the jewelry.
Are you interested in creating your engagement ring with a loose vintage diamond from our inventory? Contact Sergio@jfjco.com to schedule an appointment and find the perfect diamond today.
Want to see some examples of our work? Then take a look at our engagement ring photo gallery and video gallery. You can keep up with Jonathan’s on Facebook, Twitter, and even follow our personal Instagram accounts below: