Antique diamond rings have a unique and distinctive appearance, not just because of the ring style or its vintage details, but because the diamond shape itself is noticeably different than modern stones. Recognizing antique diamond shapes can help you choose the best antique ring for your style and better appreciate the rich history and longevity of an older ring.

Antique diamond rings

Why Diamond Shapes Have Changed

A diamond is a diamond, right? While the chemical composition of these stones may not have changed, how we shape and fashion them has evolved over the centuries. As lapidary techniques have been refined and modern machinery has grown more precise, diamonds and other gemstones can be cut more uniformly. Therefore, older diamond shapes that were hand-cut and polished often have slight variations between their facets, variations that give each stone a unique appearance with its own individuality and character. In contrast, modern diamond shapes have more uniformity and geometric perfection. Both styles are beautiful, but as concerns about conflict diamonds and ethical rings continue to grow, more people are rediscovering antique diamond shapes and all their vintage beauty.

 Antique Diamond Shapes

9 Antique Diamond Shapes to Enjoy

There are a number of diamond shapes that are older and distinctive for their unusual facets and shaping. When looking for a truly antique diamond shape, watch for these amazing options…

• Cabochon Cut

One of the oldest gemstone shapes, the cabochon cut has no sharp edges, but just a gentle round polish with a smooth surface that lends a rich luster to the stone. This cut is still popular today with softer stones such as opal, turquoise, and onyx.

• Single Cut

First recorded in the 1300s, this simple cut had eight facets around the stone, surrounding a rather large table, for a total of nine facets on the stone’s crown in a nearly octagonal shape. This is a bold shape but simpler and more direct than many modern variations.

• Pointed Cut

Another very early cut, the pointed cut – also called the pyramid or writing cut – had just four facets creating a distinct pyramidal shape and a sharply pointed stone. While subject to wear on the tip, this is a very unusual stone shape, first noted in the 1400s and 1500s.

• Emerald Cut

While still popular today, the emerald cut first appeared in the 1500s. This is a rectangular stone with slightly cropped corners and an internally stepped look. This stark, geometric diamond shape was especially popular in Art Deco rings.

• Table Cut

A flattened shape with a pronounced table on the crown and simple beveling on the sides, the table cut was most popular from the 1500s through the early 1700s. Today, similar shapes often have more beveling on the sides, creating a deeper visual effect.

• Rose Cut

This romantic cut has rows or layers of triangular facets without any table on the stone, giving the overall shape the appearance of a rose bud. The bottom of the stone is usually flat, and there may be from 3-24 or more facets. This cut first appeared in the 1550s and remained popular through the early 1900s, especially in Victorian rings.

• Old Mine Cut

This square-like or somewhat rectangular shape featured a high crown, small table, small culet, and rounded corners. The deep shape is similar to modern cushion cuts. The old mine cut was most popular in the 1700s and 1800s, including in Victorian rings and Georgian rings.

• Old European Cut

With 58 facets, a small table, small culet, and round perimeter, the old European cut is the forerunner to the modern brilliant cut diamond. This shape was especially popular in Victorian and Edwardian rings and jewelry, and had its heyday from the late 1800s to the 1930s.

• Asscher Cut

The first patented “signature” diamond cut, the Asscher cut first appeared in 1902. This square shape features more facets and a pronounced table, with heavily cropped corners that create an octagonal look. The cut is still produced today, but often with even more facets to further enhance its brilliance, whereas older Asscher cuts have fewer facets and a slightly lower crown.

All of these antique diamond shapes are stunning in their own way, with decades, even centuries, of history and beauty behind them, making any one an amazing choice for a distinguished piece of jewelry.

 Antique Diamond Shapes