The Evolution Of Diamond Cuts Over The Years

How Diamond cuts have evolved over the years

As tastes and technology have progressed with time, diamond cutting techniques have evolved from simple manual executions to dazzling, computer-aided complex designs that create stunning diamond engagement rings. This week, we’re looking at the evolution of Diamond cuts over the years, from its simple start as a point cut, to todays near-perfect brilliant cut diamonds.


The Point Cut (14th Century)

In the 14th century, diamonds were rarely used in jewellery and when they were, it was worn only by royalty. The most shape a stone polisher could hope for with a diamond during this age was to polish a rough stone into an octahedron shape, known as a point cut. This way, the stones natural octahedral facets could be tamed into a more symmetrical shape.


Table and Single Cuts (15th Century)

By the 15th century, the table cut emerged as the new diamond cutting technique and was achieved by sawing off slightly less than half of the top of an octahedron point, thus achieving a flat top, much like the flat top of a table. Soon after it became popular to create cuts on the four corners.  This style became known as the old single cut (or old eight cut).


Even with these improved cutting techniques, the stones would still not be recognised by many today as “diamond” since a table cut diamond would often appear dark or black to the eye.  


The Rose Cut (16th - 19th Century)

By the 16th century tools had been invented that were better able to cut facets into diamonds and Rose cuts, which consisted of triangular facets cut in a symmetrical pattern across the top of the crown, but with the bottom of the stone being flat and having no pavilion, gained huge popularity. Rose cuts have more sparkle than other cuts at this time and often these diamonds were set in closed back settings.


Old Mine Cut (18th - 19th Century)

As we moved through the 18th century into the early and mid-Victorian era in the 19th century, the rose cut gave way to a new cut – the old mine cut, also known as a cushion cut, which became popular. The 18th century still saw only the wealthiest and the aristocracy wearing diamond jewellery, 


Old European Cut (19th Century)

In the late 19th century a diamond rush occurred after the discovery of diamond mines in Africa and diamond cutting became a major industry unto itself. The age of the industrial revolution; new diamond saws and jewellery tools allowed cutters to become much more precise with their work. Soon a new cut gained favour and was called the old European cut and had 58 sparkling facets.


The Round Brilliant Cut and today’s popular diamond cuts (19th Century to Present Day)

The early 1900’s ushered in the popularity of the round brilliant cut.  This modern cut became the ideal based on the fact that precise calculations were used to create a faceting pattern that allowed rays of light to enter and exit a stone for maximum fire and brilliance.  With the ability to now use modern machinery to aid in cutting diamonds, new shapes began to appear such as Asscher, Emerald and modern brilliants, becoming very popular during the Art Deco era.


If you’re interested in visiting our showroom in the heart of Hatton Garden to see any of our diamond jewellery, simply book an appointment online, or give us a call on 0203 116 0069 and speak to one of our friendly, expert members of staff who can help guide you through any type of jewellery purchase.


We’ve helped thousands of customers over the years design custom rings (with our design your engagement ring service), choose the perfect present for an anniversary, sell jewellery and choose jewellery for many special occasions, so if there is something you’d like but can’t see online, we’re confident we can make it to your exact needs, just get in touch.



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