Old Mine CutPopularized 1750
Old mine cut diamonds, also known as a cushion cuts, are basically the great-grandfathers of modern brilliant cuts. Developed in 18th century Europe, these cuts were not round but had a slightly curved edge which formed a soft square. They were made with a variety of facet patterns but always with a small table, high crown, and larger culet, giving them an architectural look.
These diamonds were cut virtually by hand before the invention of modern bruting and the motorized saw and therefor have a more natural unprocessed look. These stones will almost never be as white and brilliant as new stones. If you compare one of these stones to a modern brilliant cut, you will notice the pattern reflected has more sculptural triangles rather then slivers of light. Called Old miners by people in the know these are one of the most prized antique diamond cuts.
Rose CutPopularized 1800
With just 24 facets, the subtle beauty of rose cut diamonds is that they impart a soft diffused light rather then the bright light of the modern brilliant cut. The most significant trait of rose cut diamonds is that they are flat at the bottom and dome shaped at the top. Unlike other diamonds which have culets and tables.
Developed in the 1600s in India and continued to remain popular in the Georgian and Victorian eras. Tiffany & Co. famously used the rose cut in ring designs during the turn of the century.
Both vintage and modern rose cut diamonds are fairly rare. Only one in 1,000 diamonds in the market today are made into a rose cut. Modern rose cut diamonds also continue to be made and polished by hand as opposed to brilliant cuts which are cut by a machine.
Old European CutPopularized 1900
The prevailing style from the 1890s to the 1930s. Old European cut diamonds are the grandfathers of the modern round brilliant cut. With the transition cut being the bridge between the two.
The old european cut has a round girdle, meaning it appears round from the top view as opposed to the earlier old mine cut which had a more squared off top view. Like the old mine cut, the old european has a high crown, small table, and open culet. Instead of coming to a perfect point, the cutlet is cut straight across so that it is flat at the bottom.
Old European cut diamonds have facets that are thick triangular blocks as opposed to modern round brilliant cuts which have thinner facets.
Asscher CutPopularized 1920
Invented by the Royal Asscher Diamond Company in 1902 the Asscher cut didn’t gain popularity until the Art Deco era in the 1920s. This diamond is one of the very first patented diamond cuts in the world. At that time the patent was valid for 50 years.
Classic asscher cut diamonds are cut into squares and resemble emerald cuts which are rectangular. But asscher cut diamonds have larger step facets, a higher crown, and a smaller table. Be careful, often people ask for asscher cuts they are just getting square emerald cuts.
The corners are cropped which give the shape an octagonal appearance. The asscher is typically more brilliant then it’s cousin the emerald cut. Asscher cut diamonds from the 1920s and 1930s are very rare.
Emerald CutPopularized 1940
Emerald cut diamonds have a dramatic hall of mirrors effect. Descended from the step cut, emerald cuts were standardized in the 1940s. The step cut emerged as one of the first faceted diamond cuts, third in line after the point cut and the table cut. In the step cut the shape of the rough diamond usually dictated the position and placement of the facets, allowing to maximize the carat weight of the final gem. Usually these had larger crowns and smaller tables.
Modern emerald cuts are made with a precise faceting technique with pavilion steps and a larger open table. These have a hall of mirrors effect, with an interplay of light and dark planes. Long lines and dramatic flashes of light give the emerald cut an elegant appeal. The shape was originally developed for cutting emeralds, thus the name.