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Old Mine Cut Diamonds: Are the Old Ways the Best Ways?

Old Mine Cut Diamonds: Are the Old Ways the Best Ways?

There are particular diamond cuts that have lived through their first wave of popularity several hundred years ago – and they’re special because of that. Old mine cut diamonds are one of those diamonds, and that’s why it’s essential to know their history and why they’re as popular as they are.

Some diamonds are only interesting for their physical characteristics and the pure value of the cut and the diamond itself. And yet, there are some gems that are much more than that.

We know that backstory and history add to the value of things, and that’s why we’ve decided to familiarize you with this vintage diamond cut. There are only a few cuts that can be put in the same category as the Old Mine Cut diamonds, but don’t worry – we’ll get into that, as well.

For now, lay back, make yourself comfortable, and let’s dive right into the subject of one of the oldest – and most popular – diamond cuts in the world!

History Of The Old Mine Cut

As we’ve already mentioned, there’s a long history behind these gems – and it’s worth learning more about it. Some of you probably know that diamonds have been popular throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America for practically over 600 or 700 years.

These diamonds were cut in simple shapes since there wasn’t any technology to help diamond cutters with precision and accuracy. That’s why most of these “simpler looking” stones are from those early ages of diamond popularity.

The Old Mine Cut is one of the earliest established cuts that has lived up to its potential for the first time in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now, this might seem like not that long ago, but don’t worry – we’re going to put it in perspective for you soon enough.

Around the end of the 19th century, diamonds started being sourced from newer African mines instead of the older mines that were primarily located in Brazil and India. The name “Old Mine Cut” was originally used as an indicator of a diamond sourced from those Indian or Brazilian mines. And at the time, it was cut into a squarish shape and produced some sparkle.

Once the mines in Africa started producing more precious stones that had higher color quality, these diamonds were cut in the same fashion. And as you can guess, they were called Old Mine Cuts, as well.

As they became more popular, these diamonds reached their peak and started to become one of the most recognized diamond cuts in the world. There were (and still are) some variations of this cut – for example, the old European cut, which is a transitional cut between the Old Mine cut and the modern brilliant cut.

Some of those have gained popularity for themselves – but none like the Old Mine cut. The brilliant-cut remains incredibly popular around the world to this day – but we can’t forget to whom we owe for that cut, can we?

The history of this cut is continuously written – even today – since people continue to wear it and add to its history to this day.

What Is The Old Mine Cut?

Now that we’ve learned a thing or two about the rich history of this diamond cut, let’s see what the Old Mine cut really is, why it’s so popular, and should you (or should you not) be interested in the Old Mine cut diamonds.

Old Mine cut is a specific way of cutting a diamond into a round-shaped polished diamond. You’ll commonly find these diamonds on necklaces and rings from the 18th and 19th century periods.

There are some newer versions, of course, but today, these diamonds can be seen in all kinds of jewelry pieces. But originally, necklaces and some rings were the main pieces of jewelry that featured an Old Mine cut diamond.

Needless to say, you can buy Old Mine cut diamonds for a reasonable price if you find someone who makes them today. And if you do – you shouldn’t waste that opportunity. Virtually no one cuts diamonds in the Old Mine Cut style, so finding a new diamond with that cut would be quite a rare occurrence.

That brings us to our second point: The majority of Old Mine cuts that you can find on the market today are antique diamonds that are, in some cases, hundreds of years old. And that brings their price up drastically.

This dramatic rise in the price of this diamond has led to it being forgotten for some years. In the last decade, it seems that it regained some of its popularity. We won’t talk about the actual value of these stones right now – but we’ll look at this topic in a short bit.

Old Mine cut diamonds are among the most recognizable cuts you can find – and that’s exactly what makes them so special. A significant part of the reason why gemstones are so popular today can, in fact, be traced back to the old mine cut.

This is a cut that’s been a big part of diamond history and is, to this day, one of the most popular diamonds from our not-so-distant past.

Physical Characteristics Of The Old Mine Cut Diamonds

Regardless of Old Mine cut diamonds being relatively unavailable today, we’re going to discuss their physical characteristics. If anything, it will help you better understand the art behind these precious stones and identify them when you see one.

Now, in the age when Old Mine cut became popular for the first time, there were much fewer regulations about the clarity, color, and size. And as you can imagine, that resulted in quite a few inconsistencies during the cutting process.

But these days, we know what an Old Mine cut diamond is – and understand what its physical characteristics should be. In the past, diamonds have been cut to be either extremely small or extremely big, and the Old Mine Cut is not an exception to this rule.

Today, you can expect to see 1-carat or 1.5-carat diamonds boasting the Old Mine cut. That doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to find some larger – or even smaller – Old Mine cut diamonds out there, of course.

These diamonds are also influenced by the 4 C’s of the diamond world – and it heavily depends on what you’re willing to pay. You can get Old Mine cut diamonds that are anything between an SI1 and FL, but the ideal clarity level for this type of gemstone should be VS1, VS2, VVS1, or VVS2 – on the GIA scale of clarity, of course.

As far as the color of your Old Mine cut diamond goes, there isn’t a general consensus – but you should aim to get the best color possible for the money you’re willing to spend. These diamonds generally allow a lot of light to go into them – and any color looks amazing with the right exposure to enough light. 

That’s also one of the main reasons this diamond has been used for necklaces: Those are the pieces of jewelry that get the most exposure to natural light when worn daily.

One last thing that you should remember is that these diamonds have 58 facets, exactly like the round brilliant cut that’s so popular today.

What Are Old Mine Cut Diamonds Used For?

Some of you may have even seen an Old Mine cut diamond and not even know it! Some might’ve had that opportunity in real-time – while others only saw it in history textbooks.

After all, countless rulers, kings, and queens have worn pieces of jewelry that contained these diamonds. Plus, they’ve been around for quite a few signature eras, including the Victorian era, Georgian era, Edwardian era, and the Art Deco era.

The majority of the Old Mine cut diamonds that you can buy today originate from these eras – and are most often set in antique pieces of jewelry. That only goes to show why Old Mine cut diamonds are as expensive as they are – and, more often than not, unobtainable in this day and age.

Today, they’re used for trading and collecting, and the majority of these diamonds are in private collections. Gems that are in such collections often aren’t for sale and aren’t worn anymore. Instead, they’re kept and shown on display.

Today’s purpose of Old Mine cut diamonds is to be sold as a piece of an antique set of jewelry – or maybe as a stand-alone diamond originating from a famous historical era.

But, if you find Old Mine Cut or Old European cut diamonds on the market, you will probably see them in huge Victorian-era-looking necklaces or rings that were popular back then. You can probably even buy an Old Mine cut diamond directly from people that still cut diamonds in that manner – although that’s highly unlikely. 

If you get your hands on one of these, they can look fantastic in earrings – but for that, they need to be somewhat smaller, measuring no more than 0.75 to 0.5 carats.

How Expensive Is An Old Mine Cut Diamond?

Now, you may think that because of what we’ve told you until now, these diamonds cost millions of dollars – and that a regular person could never get their hands on one of these. These diamonds shouldn’t be too expensive – provided that you find some that aren’t more than 200 years old, that is.

If you manage to find a 0.5-carat Old Mine cut diamond, expect to spend somewhere between $1,800 and $2,500 for it. Naturally, as we get to bigger diamonds, the price rises, as well. But, the pricing is only fixed for new Old Mine cut diamonds – and not the antique ones.

If you find someone who’s selling an Old Mine cut diamond from, let’s say, the Art Deco era, you should be ready to spend around $6,000 – and in some cases, north of $10,000 – depending on the significance of the said diamond.

These diamonds are, as we said earlier, mostly found in personal collections – or they’ve been passed down for generations and are now locked in someone’s family safe. Either way, it won’t be that easy to find someone that has a genuine Art Deco era Old Mine cut diamond – let alone someone who bought it recently.

But if you do get a chance to buy a genuine Old Mine cut diamond, here’s something to keep in mind: People who are in possession of such a rare diamond will give you a hard time – and won’t sell it for anything below their top price.

Conclusion

There are many different diamond cuts around the world. Some might be older than the others – but none are as old and as popular as the Old Mine cut. 

Old Mine cut diamonds are some of the most recognized diamonds today, and they have been an inspiration for diamond cutters for centuries now. Even the Old European cut and the modern round brilliant cut found their roots in the Old Mine cut.

Let’s remember that these diamonds generally aren’t produced anymore today. There are likely only a handful of diamond cutters around the world that still make it. We hope that we’ve introduced you to a new diamond cut – one you didn’t know much about until now – and that we’ve shared some interesting facts about this iconic cut.

We’ll leave you with this: Diamonds are, indeed, forever – and the Old Mine cut diamonds are the perfect example of that!

Learn More: Diamond Shapes: All Different Types of Diamond Shapes