The round brilliant cut has gone through many changes through the ages. The Old Mine Cut was the original, with 58 facets and a roughly round shape. As cutting skills advanced, facets became more precise and symmetry came to the fore; still cut by hand though, Old European Cuts are characterised by their round shape, high tables, flat culets and chunky facets. They are the predecessors to the Modern Round Brilliant Cut as we know it today, which is extreme in its precision, as it is now mapped by computer programmes, before being cut guided by machine.
Older diamonds were made to be worn by night, under the flicker of candlelight – one of their most distinguishing characteristics is that they have a very distinct twinkle which sets them apart from the big flash of a modern cut stone. They appear ‘chunkier’ than a streamlined, newer diamond, and where many modern cut diamonds come to a sharp point, older cuts will often have a visibly large culet – a flat facet at the base of the diamond.
Each has an allure that is truly unique; as the stone tilts and rocks, both should show those all-important sparks of white as well as flashes of rainbow hues which indicate a lot of life in a well cut diamond! Those who love antique jewellery will be drawn to the older stones, which naturally reside in many older designs; the clean lines of a modern stone suit contemporary styles perfectly.