Top 9 Vintage Diamond Cuts & Shapes

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by Suzanne Sachs  5 min read




Vintage engagement 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 vintage diamond shapes, which are eco friendly, can help you choose the best vintage ring for your style while appreciating the rich history and longevity of an older ring.


• 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 and recycled gemstones 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.


Top 9 Vintage Diamond Shapes

There are a number of ethical diamond shapes that are distinctive for their unusual facets and shaping.  When looking for a truly vintage 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, garnet, turquoise, and onyx.


• Single Cut

First recorded in the 1300s, this simple cut has 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.


• Cushion Cut

The cushion cut, also called the pillow cut is a squarish or slightly elongated diamond shape, with gently rounded corners and slightly rounded sides. This gives the stone a soft shape similar to a pillow or cushion, hence its familiar name, yet at the same time improves the stone’s durability and helps protect it from accidental damage. The cushion shape represents gentleness, femininity and time.



• 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.

• French Cut

A favorite of many antique jewelry enthusiasts throughout the world are French cut diamonds. French cut diamonds were discovered in Europe during the 17th century. They are square in shape, and posses a high crown with a small table. French cut diamonds come with 18 to 24 facets. Also very popular during the Art Deco and Mid century eras.


• 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.


Choosing a Vintage Diamond Shape

Choosing a vintage engagement ring is an unforgettable experience, yet at the same time you want to make a choice you will really feel good about. One important factor to understand is that each time a modern diamond is cut and redesigned, resources are being used to make those changes, whereas with an antique or vintage ring does not. Choosing ethical, sustainable vintage diamonds help the earth by not requiring any new mining for metals, therefore the is no devastation to land.  This is the ultimate in recycling.  No matter what your reason is for choosing a vintage or antique ring, we are confident you will find the perfect one that will last a lifetime.

Vintage Engagement 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:

Vintage rings are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of unique engagement 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 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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Contact Suzanne

If you love vintage or eco-friendly jewelry please feel free to contact Suzanne or browse our collection of eco-friendly vintage engagement rings.


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