A Definitive Guide To The Old Mine Cut Diamond

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by Suzanne Sachs  5 min read





The mine cut diamond shape is a lovely choice for any engagement ring, but is it right for you and your significant other? Understanding the intricate and dazzling history of an old mine cut diamond can help you decide if this vintage diamond shape is best to represent your love and the commitment to your happily ever after.

What You Need To Know--

What is the Old Mine Cut Diamond?

The old mine cut diamond is an antique diamond cut that is easily recognized for its unusual proportions. These stones have a much smaller table and higher crown than modern diamond cuts, along with a larger culet. That larger culet is often notably visible when looking down through the stone, adding a distinctive feature to each diamond. Mine cut engagement rings often feature larger than expected stones, as the unique proportions of this cut create heavier overall diamonds.

Every mine cut diamond is unique and has been hand-cut and polished, rather than machine created. Because of this, these stones often have thinner, uneven girdles and may show an overall asymmetry to the facets. These are good visual clues that a mine cut diamond is authentic and genuine rather than a modern mine-style cut. These stones have a total of 58 facets, but because of the higher crown, they tend to have more surface sparkle rather than deep inner reflections. The overall diamond shape has slightly curved edges and a squarish or rectangular perimeter, similar to the modern cushion cut.


History of the Old Mine Cut Diamond

The mine cut is the oldest recognized diamond cut of the modern era, and is named after its geographical origins in “old mines” of India and Brazil. Before lucrative diamond mines were discovered in South Africa in the 1860s, the bulk of the world’s quality diamonds were mined in India and Brazil, and the artisan cutters fashioned them into the distinctive mine cut, also called the miner’s cut or old mine cut. As new mines were discovered and diamond production grew, newer stones were often still fashioned in this old cut style, until the Industrial Revolution brought about new precision cutting techniques.

The old mine cut is the earliest precursor to the modern round brilliant cut. These stones were most popular in the mid-1850s through the early 1900s, making them common in Victorian, Georgian, and Edwardian engagement rings. In the Victorian era particularly, this gem cut experienced a resurgence and was highly sought after.


old-mine-cut diamond


Finding a Old Mine Cut Diamond Today

It can be challenging to find authentic antique engagement rings today. Many of these stones have been recut using modern laser cutting and precision machine techniques over the years to improve their overall shape and clarity. Still, couples interested in vintage and antique engagement rings may be able to find mine cut styles. These gems are particularly popular for the socially-conscious, as mine cut diamonds are non-conflict stones, having originated long before modern conflicts and blood diamonds originated. They are also more eco-friendly stones, as there is no further environmental strain when they are sourced for modern engagement rings.

When choosing a mine cut engagement ring, examine the stone carefully to note its unique characteristics and verify that it is an authentic mine cut. Be especially aware of the stone’s girdle, which should be protected in a sturdier ring setting, such as a bezel or multiple thick prongs, to ensure it will not be easily damaged.



5 Reasons To Buy an Old Mine Cut Diamond

  • True mine cut diamonds have a great deal of personality because of their unique shape and individual cut.
  • They can also be a budget-friendly option, because their asymmetry and warmer colors are less economically valued than modern precision-cut, colorless diamonds.
  • Even some celebrities, including Ashley Simpson and Natalie Portman, have recognized the beauty and character of mine cut diamonds in their own engagement rings.
  • A mine cut engagement ring can be a stunning option for any couple, with distinctive traits and a rich, conflict-free history.
  • It’s a great choice for couples beginning what they hope will be their own conflict- free, distinctive history with many happy anniversaries. 

Antique Rings For Everyone:

No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.

Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:

Antique diamond rings are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and design. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of mine cut diamond rings today.

Suzanne Sachs

Suzanne has always believed vintage rings can change lives. She's been in the jewelry industry for over 35 years, working with vintage jewelers, diamond dealers, diamond cutters, and gemologists. Suzanne started Artdecodiamonds in 2000 and understood the demand for vintage rings throughout the world. She ultimately started VintageDiamondRing.com in 2014, and understands each vintage ring is a reflection of you – your history, your relationships, your style, your elegance and is honored to have the opportunity to help you showcase your flair in a unique and exquisite way.


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