Isadoras antique jewelry

Antique Diamond & Gemstone Cuts

Cabochon Cut

One of the oldest gemstone cuts, a cabochon-cut stone has been shaped and polished without any facets. Click here for more cabochon cut stones.

Emerald Cut

First noted in history in 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gifted Mary of Burgundy with an emerald-cut diamond engagement ring, emerald cut stones remain popular to this day. The emerald cut is a type of step cut, typically a rectangle with rectangular facets. Its cropped corners give the cut a fantastic architectural look that led to its popularity in the 20s through 50s. Click here for more emerald cut stones.

vintage cabochon cut sapphire ring, art deco sapphire rings Vintage Cabochon Cut & Oval Cut Sapphire Rings

Rose Cut

Popular from the 1800s through the 1900s, the rose cut gemstone is one of the very oldest faceted cuts of stone. Often described as a "faceted cabochon-cut stone," the rose cut, unlike a modern gemstone cut has a flat base and a faceted domed top, causing it to look like a rose about to unfurl its petals. Rose cuts are very shallow, so at first glance the stones often look twice their weight. Click here for more Rose Cuts

Old Mine Cut

Old mine cut stones date from the mid-1800s through the 1900s and are most often found in Georgian and Victorian jewelry. Primarily hand-cut with the aid of early machines, old mine cut stones are uniquely beautiful. Predecessor to both the old european cut and brilliant cut, from the top, they look like a gently rounded square. A deep cut, they have a high crown, small table, and flat culet. Click here for more Old Mine Cuts

Old European Cut

The old European cut dates from the 1870s through the 1930s. This cut was popular during the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco eras. One of Isadoras' very favorite cuts, the old European cut diamond is round, when viewed from above. Like the old mine cut diamond, the old european cut has a high crown, small table, and flat culet. This cut has 58 facets and is the predecessor to the modern brilliant-cut diamond. The differences between an old European cut and a brilliant cut stone are subtle, but distinct. Both have a beautiful sparkle, but an old European cut draws the eye inward, while gleam of the brilliant cut tends to have outward movement. Click here for more Old European Cuts

french cut diamond rings, old european cut diamond engagement rings Vintage Old European Cut & French Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

Transitional Cut

One of the cuts with the shortest time period, the transitional cut is nonetheless a gorgeous cut. Cut from approximately 1918 through the 1920s and perfected by Henry Morse and his partner Charles Field, the transitional-cut diamond is a round, faceted cut. An evolution of the old European cut, the transitional cut (sometimes known as the Early American Cut) has a lower crown, medium table, shorter pavilion, and smaller culet than that of the old European cut. This a very consistently proportioned and beautiful stone cut. Click here for more Transitional Cuts

Early-Modern Brilliant Cut

The brilliant cut was invented in 1919 by Marcel Tolkowsky and for the first time very specific proportions and mathematical computations were applied to the cutting of stones in order to create maximum brilliance and dispersion of light. [For the highly interested: Given the diamond’s diameter to be equal to 100, the table should be 53% total depth 60-61% crown depth 16.2%, and pavilion depth 43.1%. The ideal crown angle should be 34.5% and optimum pavilion angle 40.75%]. The Early Modern Brilliant cut has continued to evolve since its creation in 1919 and is one of the most popular cuts of stone to this day. Click here for more Early-Modern Brilliant Cuts

Princess Cut

The prince cut is a square faceted cut, similar to the brilliant cut but rather than being round it is square. It is a modern cut of stone and not to be found in old pieces.

If you love a square look but want a vintage stone we recommend purchasing an illusion-set ring. The illusion setting, a square setting for a round stone, was highly popular in the 1920s through 1950s. So you will usually see an old European cut, transitional cut, or early-modern brilliant-cut diamond set in the illusion setting, which gives the round stone a square look. Click here for more Illusion Set Stones

vintage diamond cocktail rings, non traditional engagement rings, alternative wedding rings Vintage Diamond Cocktail Rings

French Cut

The French cut diamond is a fantastic, square diamond cut that we rarely find but absolutely adore. There is dispute about when this cut was first invented but there is no dispute about the height of its popularity--the Art Deco era. It looks like a square from above with the facets creating the look of a four-pointed star. Click here for more French Cuts

Asscher Cut

Developed in 1902 and popular during the Art Deco era for its geometric form and square step-cut shape, the vintage Asscher cut is one of the most rare and beautiful of cuts. The Asscher cut is square or rectangular with wide corners. The crown is usually very high with a small table and large culet. As only the most expert cutters cut Asscher cuts, and only the finest stones were used, Asscher cuts are almost always exceptional. When cutting the diamond much of the stone is lost, which is one of the reasons the Asscher cut is so rare and those that exist are so valuable. Click here for more Asscher Cuts

*A Note About Culets

If you are looking at an older diamond and wondering why it looks like there is a tiny dot in the very center of the stone, you have probably located the culet. One of the idiosyncrasies of older-cut stones, particularly old European cuts and old mine cuts, is the existence of a culet. Modern stones come to a point at the very base of the diamond. In older stones a facet was created where that point now exists. And when you look at the top of the ring it almost looks like you can see a tiny dot in the center of the stone. Often, the older the stone, the larger the culet.