The Evolution of Diamond Cuts
Humans have always been fascinated with diamonds, and began polishing, cutting, and modifying diamond crystals as early as the 14th century. Since then, diamond cutting has come a long way- from simply polishing and shaping the stone to the 58 precisely placed and cut facets of a modern round briliant cut diamond. Read about some antique diamond cuts below.
Point cuts are modeled after the shape of a natural, uncut diamond crystal: the octahedron. Think two four-sided pyramids stacked on top of one another.
One of the earliest recorded diamond cuts, point cuts add polish and symmetry to the rough but follow the natural shape of the diamond crystal.
Popular in the Renaissance period, table cuts are essentially point cut diamonds with the top pyramid lopped off at a 45 degree angle. The bottom cutlet, rather than coming to a point like modern cuts, was lopped off at the bottom. The 45 degree angle allowed cutters to maximize brilliance without sacrificing much weight.
Table cuts are the ancestor of modern step cuts, such as emerald and Asscher cuts.
Rose cut diamonds have a flat bottom and many triangular-shaped facets on the face of the stone. This cut enhances the brilliance and scintillation of a diamond. They tend to enhance the apparent size of the stone, covering more surface area but lacking depth. This early cut dates back to the 1500s.
Old European Cut
Popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, old european cut diamonds have round outlines, deep pavilions, and high crowns. The most distinctive feature of an old european cut diamond is the chopped off cutlet, creating a circular shape that can be seen through the table.Round Brilliant Cuts
Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds
Today, this is by far the most prominent diamond. Round brilliant cuts are considered the ideal way to fashion a diamond. This cut maximizes diamonds’ desirable qualities like brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Over the course of the 20th century, round brilliant has become the dominant cut, and all other factors being equal, is generally the most valuable cut of diamond.