What Is An Old Mine Cut Diamond?

Old mine cut diamonds have been around for centuries, long before diamond cutters had access to precision cutting tools. These early diamonds were cut by hand, using techniques and methods passed down from generation to generation. The diamond trade has changed dramatically over the centuries, and we now have access to advanced cutting machines that can achieve incredible precision. However, these old mine cut diamonds still possess an old-world charm, which appeals to many people. 

If you have a specific interest in antique diamonds, you're likely to encounter old mine cuts from time to time. It's helpful to know a little bit about these incredibly beautiful diamonds, as they represent an important part of the history of diamond cutting.

History of Old Mine Cut Diamonds

The term "old mine cut" has quite a history attached to it. It was initially used during the Georgian and Victorian eras from 1700 to 1800 and was given to diamonds hailing from India or Brazil before diamond deposits were discovered in Africa. During this time, diamond cutters were known for their precision and eye for detail because they could cut and measure diamonds by hand. The old mine cut was incredibly popular until the 19th century, when the old European cut rose to popularity.

Characteristics of Old Mine Cut Diamonds

While there are many aesthetical similarities between old mine and modern-day cut diamonds, there are also some notable differences. Most of these differences can be attributed to how these diamonds are cut and polished. The hand and eye technique used in old mine cut diamonds made it hard to achieve the precision seen in diamonds today.

A Small Table

The table of a diamond is the flat, polished surface on the top. And just like in other antique diamond cuts, old mine cut diamonds have a relatively smaller table. If you place an old mine cut diamond next to a modern cut, such as a cushion cut, and view from above, you'll be able to see this notable characteristic.

Large Notable Cullet

A cullet is where all of the facets join together into a point at the bottom of the diamond, and in old mine cut diamonds, this is often quite large and pronounced. The large cullet is often visible through the table.

A High Crown And Deep Pavilion

When you look at an old mine cut diamond, they appear much taller than modern diamonds. This is because old mine cut diamonds have a much taller crown area, the top part of the diamond, and a deeper pavilion, the lower part of the diamond. 

Short Lower Facets

Although they have a deep pavilion, old mine cut diamonds often have shorter facets on the lower half of the diamond. This feature is largely because of its large culet and makes the old mine cut stand out from other antique cuts, such as the old European cut.

Imperfect Symmetry

One of the most notable characteristics of old mine cut diamonds is their lack of symmetry. This can be seen in the way the facets are arranged and in the overall shape of the diamond. While modern diamonds are cut with perfect symmetry in mind, old mine cut diamonds were cut by hand, increasing the likelihood of mistakes or variations during the cutting process. As such, they often have a more organic, asymmetrical look.

Take Away

If you are looking for an antique diamond with a unique charm, then an old mine cut diamond is the perfect choice for you. These diamonds are steeped in history, and their unique cutting style makes them look unlike any other. Contact us today to schedule a viewing, or visit our website to browse through our jewelry pieces.