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An Overview of the History of Diamond Cuts

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Choosing the right shape is one of the most exhilarating aspects of choosing a diamond. Everyone has their own choices and viewpoints about the history of diamond cuts. Maybe some have a specific reason for favoring a particular haircut, or perhaps they simply prefer its appearance. There is unquestionably no undesirable form, and they are all alluring in distinctive ways. From the sophistication of a marquise-cut diamond to the purity and brilliance of a diamond. But there is always something to adore. Has anyone ever been curious about the diamond cuts and shapes? Someone created and popularized them, after all. If the buyer has ever considered the background associated with specific cuts, proceed further. One should discover the story behind some of the most important diamond shapes. 

The History of Diamond Cuts

The origins of diamond cutting are unknown, as no one is certain where the practice originated. In the 1330s, Venice had the most definitive signs. Today, there is an extensive range of diamond cuts, as well as designs with strict parameters regulating quality and style. Whereas in the past, diamond cuts were determined by the merchants’ tools.

The initial cuts were simple point and table cuts, with the point cut replicating the diamond’s natural shape and the table cut being the first to employ faceting. Since the 1940s, the table cut has been referred to as an emerald cut, following the comparable step cut. Despite the fact that Venice was the first removing center, by the end of the 15th century, Paris, Antwerp, and Brussels had emerged as the principal refining centers in Europe. Here, diamond-cutting factories shifted their focus to new techniques for shaping and polishing unpolished stones.

It is believed that diamond cutting history originated in India and was stored there. Royalty wore them as uncut jewelry, believing in their magical, spiritual, and strength-giving properties.

Type of Diamond Cuts

Point  Cut

During the 14th century, diamond cutters developed the point cut to enhance the appearance of rough diamonds. In actuality, the term “point cut” is a misnomer, as it merely entails the fundamental refining of the circular crystal faces to produce even and flawless features.

Table Cut

Midway through the 15th century, the point cut started undergoing refinement.  Slicing off just under fifty percent of the octahedron would create a square with a total of four reduced edges.  This table-shaped diamond was initially the most widely recognized shape. This table cut evolved into the desirable emerald cut that is so common today.

Mary of Burgundy was the very first person to get a diamond engagement ring, which Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave her in 1477. The ring was embellished with an “M”-shaped diamond and a point-cut diamond. This event presumably initiated the custom of wearing diamond wedding jewelry, which is one aspect of the evolution in the history of diamond cuts. Diamond ash could have cut them due to their extreme hardness.  Particularly fond of point-cut diamonds in rings as well as additional jewelry, the Romans introduced the method of diamond cutting to the rest of Europe.

Heart Cut

The heart-shaped diamond is one of Europe’s oldest European diamond cuts, emerging right after the table cut. This romantic shape appealed to the affluent, such as Mary, Queen of Scots, who presented a heart-shaped diamond ring to Queen Elizabeth I in 1562.

Pear Cut

Lodewyck van Bercken, a Flemish diamond polisher, developed the pear cut in 1458. He also invented the scaif, which revolutionized the diamond trade. The scaife refining wheel allowed him to precisely cut diamond facets, paving the way for more intricate diamond cuts.

Rose Cut

The rose cut looks like a confined rose bud. Brought to Europe around 1530, it was the most popular diamond cut all over the nineteenth century. The flat bottom is the most noticeable characteristic of a rose cut, and the domed top is domed. The 24 facets of this cut produce a gentle, diffused light as opposed to the dazzling brightness of the modernized brilliant cut’s dazzling brightness.

Briolette Cut

This cut, derived from the rose cut, is a three-dimensional teardrop shape with 48 to 88 facets. In 1811, Napoleon presented his second wife, the Empress Marie Louise, with a magnificent diamond necklace with ten 4-carat briolette drops. As a result, briolette-cut diamonds became extremely common and sought after by European royalty for the remainder of the 19th century.

Eight-Cut Single Cut

The single (or eight) cut is believed to have emerged in India at exactly the same time as the Table Cut, but it was not introduced to Europe until the mid-seventeenth century. The crown’s table consists of a flat area with eight or nine facets surrounding it. Essentially, it is identical to a square table with curved and faceted edges.

Peruzzi  Cut

The Peruzzi Cut originated in the 18th century. It was an enhanced version of the Mazarin Cut with 33 crown facets, also known as the triple-cut brilliant. The Peruzzi Cut, like the Mazarin Cut, was cushion-shaped rather than round. The Peruzzi cut served as inspiration for the ancient mine cut.

Mazarin Cut

In the mid-1700s, French Cardinal Mazarin devised the Mazarin Cut, which was initially pure brilliantly cut or double-cut brilliance with 17 crown facets. Diamonds began to reflect light after adding more facets to their cushion shape.

Old European Cut

Like the old mine cut, the crown had 58 facets and a more rounded profile. It is also one of the earlier phases of the modern dazzling cut. Old European-cut diamonds have triangular-shaped facets that are thicker than those of contemporary round brilliant cuts. Following the creation of a steam-powered diamond polisher in the mid-1870s, old European-cut diamonds became popular, and the cut remained fashionable until the 1930s.

Asscher Cut

In 1902, Joseph Asscher, a Dutch master diamond cutter and founder of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company, patented the Asscher cut, establishing it as one of the world’s earliest patented diamond cuts. The Asscher cut features a square shape resembling emerald-cut diamonds, which are rectangular. In contrast to square emerald-cut diamonds, Asscher-cut diamonds have bigger step facets, a more prominent crown, a smaller table, and greater brilliance. Trimming the corners gives the shape an octagonal appearance.

Baguette Cut

Cartier reintroduced the baguette cut to the modern market in 1912, sparking its widespread popularity. During the geometric frenzy of the Art Deco era’s geometric frenzy, its elongated, table-cut rectangle form became highly fashionable.

Oval Shape

Throughout history, oval diamond cuts have been recorded, with the most renowned being the legendary Koh-i-Noor diamond, which was the focal point of a sacred Indian Hindu deity statue. Lazare Kaplan invented the modern oval cut in the early 1960s. It is a contemporary, brilliant cut with 58 facets.

Diamonds in the Modern Era

Until the emergence of the Kimberly mine in South Africa in the late 19th century, the history of diamond cuts remained the exclusive domain of the aristocracy. As a result, diamond sales exploded at a phenomenal rate. Because of De Beers’ commercial power and the fact that diamonds were no longer as scarce, they were readily accessible to anyone who was capable of buying one. The sale of the French crown treasures to a series of buyers in the 1870s, including New York-based Tiffany & Co., sparked an ongoing diamond craze. Robert M. Shipley founded the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in 1931, which instituted an assortment of classification parameters for cut, clarity, size, and other characteristics to assist in determining the value of diamonds for the consumer market.

As the twentieth century progressed, not only did stricter rules for diamond cutting and mining emerge, but the diamond also gained prominence in popular culture. From the renowned blue box of Tiffany’s to the mythical “Heart of the Ocean” at the center of the Titanic, diamonds have captivated the imagination of the public and are deeply rooted in our history.

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