OLD CUT DIAMONDS: VINTAGE PLEASURES

Back in simpler times, diamonds were cut without the help of motorized machinery (no easy feat), often resulting in an uneven, box-like, imperfect cuts that were, nonetheless, remarkable creations. Though similar facet-wise to their modern counterparts, old mine cut diamonds ooze charm that has proven irresistible to style conscious buyers. Like the saying goes: “Everything old is new again.” Here are a few reasons why old mine cut diamonds are back in fashion.

Natalie Portman's Old cut diamond ring

The Nostalgic Romance

What could be more romantic than wearing a ring that once belonged to your future husband’s great grandmother? One passed on through the generations? Or for that matter, imagine wearing a sparkler whose creation was inspired by the great beauty of some Victorian-era aristocrat. Whatever their backstory and most likely in part because of their rarity, these gems have a unique and intriguing appeal that simple, modern diamonds cannot match.

Adam Levine popped the question to Model Behati Pinsaloo with this beautiful 1930's antique diamond ring

The Price

Typically less expensive than modern stones, old mine cuts are still a great investment for the savvy collector. How so? Glad you asked: years ago (going as far back as 40 years), these diamonds were priced according to how much effort it would take to update them into a modern piece, resulting in up to 25% less stone at a higher price! Nowadays, the appeal of these unique beauties allows dealers to sell them “as is” so buyers get a larger stone that is valued higher than a recut one. Win-win!

The Shape

Pre Belle Époque period (circa 1890-1914), stones were oddly shaped. They were a mishmash of uneven sides and variations. The setting crowns were usually heavy with very deeply bottomed culets and the gems clunky. The benefit, however, was found in the purpose for this awkwardness: the only goal early diamond cutters had was to produce the purest, whitest stone possible. And eventually, creativity and craftsmanship prevailed.

Mary-Kate Olsen received a vintage yellow gold diamond & sapphire ring from Olivier Sarkozy

The Celebrity

Like with many style trends, celebrities are often responsible for bringing awareness to the masses. Mine cut diamonds are a rare exception (Imagine that... Celebrities being unreliable...). This is not to say that there aren’t any famous people sporting gorgeous old miners (sometimes confused with the newer European cut diamonds of the late 19th century); it’s just that there haven’t been enough of them to cause a stir. Nope, the demand for this lovely cut was most likely brought on by society’s new(ish) reverence for well-made antiques. All the same, proud celebrity old mine diamond owners include Ashley Simpson, Natalie Portman and Jennifer Aniston.

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