The Cutting Edge of Diamonds - Part 2

Previously on Moijey Fine Jewelry & Diamonds:

Diamonds used to never be cut on account of sacredness

The point cut was the earliest known diamond cut, which...

Evolved into the Table Cut,

Then the Rose Cut, which was popular for two or three centuries. And then...

The Old Mine Cut and the Old European Cut became blueprints for the modern brilliant cut.

In the 1700s a diamond deposit was discovered in Brazil, leading to an increased production round brilliant, which is where our story continues.

For half a millennia, diamond cutters have been trying to release the reputable brilliance and fire of diamonds. Early attempts have been excellent starting points: The Table Cut provided the first facets, the Rose Cut provided an early example of triangular faceting, and there are two cuts that became blueprints for the modern round brilliant cut diamond we all know and love today.

The Old Mine Cut has 58 triangular and kite-shaped facets, similar to the modern round brilliant, except that the top half is larger and a noticeably large culet. Its shape was also similar to the cushion cut, the author’s personal favorite diamond cut. We’ll get into the fancy cuts later. A high top half and deep lower half have enhanced the old mine cut diamond’s ability to reflect and absorb light. As a result, the old mine cut remained popular in the eighteenth century.

The Old European Cut is similar to the old mine cut, except that it possessed a circular girdle, which was unusual for a faceted stone to have at the time. That and having a round shape when facing up was also unusual because the older diamonds were cushion shaped.

The earliest development of the started in the late 1800s. A jeweler named Henry Morse, through trial and error succeeded to achieve an optically efficient cutting design. Through his cutting experiments, he discovered the correct angles and facets necessary to produce a beautiful array of fire and brilliance and dancing light. Unfortunately, the cutting industry wasn’t enthusiastic about Morse’s discovery, believing that the older cuts to be superior. Oddly enough, Morse’s proportions were similar to Marcel Tolkowsky’s proportions.

In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky persuaded the cutting industry that his proportions were recommended to bring in the maximum amount of light in a diamond.

The round brilliant cut is the most dominant diamond cut in the marketplace. As a result of Tolkowsky’s proportions, diamond cutters and manufacturers developed different shapes, which are considered fancy, and modified the proportions to fit these shapes.

The most popular shapes in our Silver Spring Diamond Room are princesses, cushions, and pears. Emerald cuts attract our customers as well.

With the round cut as the dominant shape, the princess cut is the second most popular shape. Named the modern classic, the princess cut was created in the late 1970s and it became one of the first square shapes to possess triangular facets instead of step cut facets. The Princess is also ideal for channel settings and invisible settings, like our 14kt White Gold 1 1/5CTW Square Diamond Engagement Ring.

Do you remember when I mentioned the cushion cut as one of the author’s favorites? The cushion has been enjoying recent popularity with people who want an old-school yet modern feel in their jewelry, primarily their engagement rings. Also called an “antique cushion,” the cushion can either be a slightly curved square or rectangle, like this 14K White Gold Cushion Infinity Engagement Ring Mounting which is new to our website.



Another unique shape is the pear-shaped brilliant cut. A pear shaped cut can almost be as brilliant as a round cut and like the round can offer timelessness. Our new 14K White Gold Pear Ring Mounting is an ideal example.

On occasion, Moijey Fine Jewelry & Diamonds provides clients a step cut diamond, like an emerald cut. A step cut, which was developed in the 1400s, has facets that are either square or rectangular instead of triangular and kite-shaped. The emerald cut is the most popular step cut. Cuts like the emerald cut are excellent in bringing out the clarity of diamonds and our 14kt Gold Semi-Mount 6x4mm Emerald Cut Center provides lovely transparency.

On this article, I listed what I know is popular with our clients. If anyone has a question or wants to learn more about diamond cuts, give us a call. We would love to hear what you have to say.