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What Are The Most Used Cuts In Antique Jewelry?

Oval Amethyst and Diamond Drop Earrings

Jewelry is one of the oldest crafts on Earth, an important information that any admirer should bear in mind. Its origins can be traced back to the apparition of the first civilizations. They ornamented themselves with handcrafted objects to denote their identity, power or status. What does this mean? That even modern jewelry cannot escape from the remains of the ancient past, which are cemented into its essence, no matter how futuristic it might look to the eye.

They say that those who have been enlightened with a Boho spirituality are easily attracted to antique jewelry, as they can recognize its authenticity that no other jewelry style brings to the surface so loud and clear. You already know that the shape of a precious stone defines not only its look, but also its brilliance. There are many different cuts that you will come across during your shopping adventure, so it is time to learn what are the most popular ones in antique jewelry. Stay tuned!



Established at the beginning of the 18th century, the old mine cut became the most fashionable diamond shape by the end of the 19th century. These were, in fact, its golden years. Old mine is the very first version of the original brilliant cut, known for its incredible sparkle coming from the enhanced reflection of light enabled by the cutting process itself. The old mine cut features 56 facets, small table, large culet and high crown. These characteristics give the stone a distinctive hexagonal look that is often referred to as “triple cut”. The name of this diamond shape is quite a symbolic one, associated with the old mines in Africa, which during that period, were the major sources of diamond supply on a global level.

 Old Mine Cut Diamond Halo Ring


Shopping tips for old mine cut diamonds:

» the stone’s appearance gets affected by light, so make sure to view it under different lighting conditions before you buy it.

» the stone may be showcasing a contrasting pattern of light and dark areas, due to reflections occurring within.

» the stone may be showcasing a rainbow of colors if the facets are larger.

» make sure that the edges of the stone are not exposed; the girdle has to be fully protected.

» the old mine cut is commonly mistaken for the modern cushion cut, so choose a trustworthy retailer that will provide you with authentic information about the stone you consider to buy.



The world of antique jewelry would be incomplete without the vintage beauty of the rose cut, which can be seen more and more frequently accessorizing the attire of modern women. This diamond shape first made its debut in the 16th century and it was perfected by the Dutch jewelers during the 17th century. Therefore, the final look of the diamond sculpted in classic rose cut features 24 triangular facets (*the number of facets can vary from 3-24) and a flat base. When viewed from a vertical perspective, the stone looks like a pyramid.

This is another diamond cut that is remarkable for the intense sparkle it provides, although it cannot be completely compared with the one of the round brilliant diamond, which is considered the most lustrous diamond shape of all. At the time, rose-cut stones were primarily used in brooches; later on, they started being applied to rings and pendants as well. The rose-cut diamond can be made as a single cut or double cut. The first comes with a single layer of facets; the latter features two layers of facets.

Rose-Cut Black and White Diamond Art Nouveau Engagement Ring
Rose-Cut Black & White Diamond Art Nouveau Ring

Shopping tips for rose-cut diamonds:

» they look best on solitaire settings.

» they are commonly mistaken for the round brilliant cut, but the only feature that both of these cuts have in common is the circular form.

» fancy colored stones are especially beautiful when given a rose-cut look and are nestled in antique jewelry designs.

» inclusions and blemishes are more visible in rose-cut diamonds and you should pay attention to this feature during the shopping process.

» rose-cut diamonds are alluring in all carat sizes, which means that you do not necessarily have to opt for a larger stone.


Asscher is, undoubtedly, the biggest rival of the emerald cut, which is another highly appreciated diamond shape in the world of antique jewelry. The easiest way to make a difference between asschers and emeralds is the form itself - the first ones are square, the second ones are rectangular. The diamond carved into asscher shape has large step facets that are responsible for the great amount of shine and sparkle reflected into the stone. The corners of the asscher-cut diamond are cropped, but this detail becomes invisible when the stone is framed in a classic four-prong setting.

The official version of the asscher cut was created in 1902 by Joseph Asscher, a renowned artisan in the world’s jewelry and diamond industry. It counts 58 facets and a flat top area, while the one-of-a-kind “Royal” edition of the asscher cut includes 74 facets and a high crown. Asschers are known in the history of antique jewelry as the prevalent diamond shape during the Art Deco period (1920’s “Roaring Twenties”). When combined with intricate detailing and clean, silky lines, asscher vintage jewelry looks beyond flattering, no matter the part of the body that it is particularly worn on.


Antique Asscher-Cut Diamond Ring in Halo Style

Antique Asscher-Cut Diamond Halo Ring

Shopping tips for asscher-cut diamonds:

» choose an asscher-cut diamond fastened in a square halo setting to get the most enticing appearance.

» the inclusions in an asscher-cut diamond are clearly visible, so make sure the stone comes with a VS2 clarity grade at least for an eye-clean look.

» the lower the total depth of the cut, the better. (* make sure the table percentage is something between 60% and 68%). Shallower diamonds look larger and this is exactly what you are looking for.

» asscher-cut diamonds are mostly desired for their clarity and luster, not their color, so do not expect too much when it comes to color performance.

» the most common length-to-width ratio of an asscher-cut diamond is 1.00 to 1.05. This ratio gives the stone the desired squarish look.


A large number of jewelry/diamond enthusiasts have never heard of this cut before, because the truth is, it had never been paid the amount of attention it truly deserves. Therefore, it is not a strange thing that some diamond cutters refer to it as “the forgotten cut with great history”. However, antique jewelry is proud for having the French cut as a part of its attire, because this is the shape that put the antique jewelry craftsmanship in a full blossom during the entire 17th century. The reason why? It is obvious – geometry goes hand-in-hand with the French cut with the same smoothness as wine and cheese.

The diamond sculpted in French cut includes cross-crown facets which come in an total number of nine, including one table facet that is placed diagonally to the crown’s square shape. This creates a captivating “four-pointed star” optical appearance that makes the French cut one of the most authentic diamond cuts in antique jewelry. In simple terms, the French-cut diamond is a gorgeous, square, multi-faceted stone that was immensely favored by the 17th-century royalty. Most of them preferred it in yellow gold settings.  


Radiant French Pave Diamond Ring

 French-Cut Pave Diamond Ring


Shopping tips for French-cut diamonds:

» the French-cut diamond looks very similar to the one carved into princess shape, so make sure you are well-explained what diamond shape you are into.

» at certain cases, the facets of the French-cut diamond are divided in two, in order to create more facets and consequently, a higher refraction of light in return.

» the square shape of the French-cut diamond can be modified into a rectangular one, which is another version of this cut, although it is less common and it can be rarely seen as a part of the antique jewelry offer.

» the majority of French-cut diamonds are re-made from baguette and princess stones. Your jeweler should inform you about the origin of the French-cut diamond you are interested to buy.

If you liked this simple, easy and informative guide about the most popular cuts in antique jewelry, give us the thumbs up. If you have a particular question in mind, we are expecting you in the comment section below.  

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