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Clear Cut Classroom: Antique Cuts

Want to learn more about antiques? Inspired by your questions from our weekly Q&A’s on Instagram, we’ve got you covered. Today, we’re talking all about antiques! 

Watch the full video here:


There are two types of antique cuts: the old European cut and the old mine cut. The old European cut is the antique version of today’s modern round brilliant. Similarly,  the old mine cut is the antique version of today’s modern cushion cut. Check out our first post to learn more about cushion cuts vs. round brilliants.

There are a few elements that separate antique cuts from their modern day versions. First, they have smaller table facets, meaning the big facet at the top of the diamond is a bit smaller. They also have a steeper crown angle which is the angle that connects the perimeter of the diamond to the table. Finally, they also have a larger culet, which is essentially an extra facet that’s a point at the bottom. In general, antique cuts have bigger facets and flashes of lights then the modern versions. Most antique cuts fall into the lower color grade. This is because higher quality and higher color antique cuts were recut into modern stones.

When shopping for antique cuts, you have to approach the 4 C’s differently. We recommend sticking to these four principles:

1. You can compromise on the cut! Antique cuts will have proportions and symmetry that is off -- that is totally normal and ok since they’re hand cut (and that’s what makes them so special)!

2. You have more wiggle room with color! Most antiques will fall lower on the color scale and that is also totally fine. Antique cuts can mask color much better than their modern versions so it’s ok to compromise on color.

3. Clarity is always important! For antique cuts, clarity is no different. Make sure you cannot see any inclusions to the naked eye.

4. For carat weight, it depends on where the diamond holds its weight. Since antique cuts are completely unique from one another, carat weight depends on the diamond’s specific dimensions.


Always remember to choose an antique cut based on the overall diamond. If it is bright and white, has no eye inclusions, fits your budget and is charming -- that is the stone for you.

Antique cuts are very rare and in high demand right now. What’s special about them is that they’re completely unique -- so your antique cit will be different from everyone else’s. They’re found in the crown jewels and historic pieces. They’re never trendy and never go out of style. Which antique cut do you prefer? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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