Antique Diamond Cuts For Vintage Inspired Brides

You’ve probably heard of common diamond shapes and cuts for engagement rings, like oval, round brilliant, and emerald—but there’s plenty more where that came from. In fact, there’s a beautiful variety of unique cuts that aren’t always available at your everyday jeweler. 

An antique diamond is a product of the first cutting methods before the invention of modern machinery. Instead of being cut with a laser (like today’s diamonds), these precious stones were cut by hand, resulting in large, asymmetrical facets. It’s true: they aren’t as “brilliant” as modern cut diamonds, but that’s exactly what makes them special. These stones are romantic, soulful, and incredibly nostalgic.

True antique diamonds (stones that were mined and cut before the 1930s) are rare, hard to find, and usually carry a premium price. But don’t fret—modern day diamonds cut with antique-style methods are available at certain specialty jewelers. These stones might not be “authentic” antiques, but they still have that gorgeous vintage look.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Rose Cut

A rose cut is one of the oldest diamond cuts, originating from the 1500s. This beautiful cut is named after a rose, as its facets resemble the flower’s delicate petals. A rose cut’s most famous trait is its transparent effect, due to its flat bottom and domed top. And with a minimal look that’s modern and vintage all at once, it’s no wonder rose cut stones are currently having a modern resurgence.   

Portrait Cut

Like rose cuts, portrait cut diamonds are famously unique. This historic cutting method produces a thin, flat stone with minimal facets along the edges. Because of their iconic glasslike appearance and transparent effect, this cut was originally used to protect miniature portraits. Portrait cut diamonds are perfect for modern brides in search of a sleek, minimal look.   

Old Mine Cut

An old mine cut is an antique style that originated in the early 1700s, as cutters began to experiment with a stone’s play of light. Similar to a cushion cut, most of these stones have soft edges and a slightly square shape. An old mine cut’s most distinct trait is its large amount of facets, which are known to sparkle beautifully in low light settings—like candlelight.     

Old European Cut

Similar to an old mine cut, an old European cut is the product of a later developed cutting technique from the 1800s. Typically round in shape, this cut more closely resembles today’s brilliant cut diamond. An old Euro’s facets evoke a beautiful refraction of light and color. This is a beautiful stone to consider if you love a diamond’s classic “sparkle”, but you want something with a more vintage look.

In today’s wedding industry, modern brides are famously returning to old vintage styles in search of their engagement ring. If you can track down an antique cut diamond from specialty jewelers or rare one of a kind collections, these beautiful gems will make a lovely centerpiece to your most meaningful piece of jewelry.


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