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Ever heard of "table cut" diamonds???

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Ideal_Rock
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I just ran into this on the Christies website (this month''s "Magnificent Jewels" sale).

Unfortunately there''s not GIA report with it...the center stone looks like frosted glass to me. It can''t be too awful since the estimated value is between 30-50,000!!

It''s described as a rectangular table cut center diamond with graduated table cut shoulders.

Has anyone ever heard of this?

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Kaleigh

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No , but can''t wait to hear what the experts say about this cut. It does look like frosted glass. Very interesting.
 

ello

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Imagine that...so much money yet no fire!
 

valeria101

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Yes!
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In fact, I joined Pricescope to ask about one! To me, these simple shapes show the best why diamonds are diamonds.

Not everyone's piece of pie, I have to admit.
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That is a very unusual design and set of table diamonds, you'd expect a couple unmatched ones in some old jewelry. Quite differently looking than the shallow front stone in the ring too... These stones should be cut recently, and there couldn't have been many folks out there inclined to take such a decision. Too bad there is no story with the ring.
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diamond_quester

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There's a diagram on "table cut" and other older cuts at Wikipedia.

link here

Ironically I thought the ring was stylish in a ultra-modern kind of way.
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Kaleigh

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Date: 4/4/2006 10:32:29 PM
Author: valeria101


Yes!
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In fact, I joined Pricescope to ask about one! To me, these simple shapes show the best why diamonds are diamonds.

Not everyone''s piece of pie, I have to admit.
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Wait a minute Ana, tell us what you learned about them, their history etc.... Please??
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valeria101

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Aha! The listing at Christies mentions the name of the maker - Bhagat... A jewelry house specializing in unusual diamond derived from rose and table and briolettes, cut to model and all around treated in unusual ways. There are a couple more pieces by the same listed in the same auction, all case in point. This ring goes along the line: the magnified picture shows cut corners and some faceting on the crown of the diamond - which doesn't make it 'table cut' by the book. The others are long and flat - flat fancy cuts too.

Modern table cut? Didn't know there is such a thing. Learning something new every day!


I can't remember where I heard about the name for the first time... The type of diamonds come in fairly old jewelry, and until today I had no idea whether anyone had reconsidered this archaic cut for modern use.

So, what it is? A diamond crystal with the natural facets polished a bit and a tip (or two, making a small 'culet') cut off! This was as much as technology allowed when these diamonds were made. I am not sure where the name comes from, but since the table was the only deliberately cut facet... perhaps this is the reason why such things are called 'table cut'.


Here's one in its original 16 century setting - I wasn't hoping to find as much online!

mring_jewel11.jpg


Perhaps I should know a good explanation about what improvement this table cut brought over its predecessor - which looked like this:

mring_jewel2.jpg
(pictures from Albion Art)


The center stone in the Bhagat ring listed at Christies seems to be a very flat rectangular stone, with four facets on the pavilion and the shallow crown cut much like a radiant would have it - definitely not with the proportions and looks of these guys here.

Another modernistic cut (Context - a branded diamond) revives these archaic diamond forms - it is an octo cut to ideal proportions. I do not know if they make any with a table. Here's one set in a ring by Robert Paul - an Aussie designer:

context.jpg


With a grand total of eight facets, these stones are very bright! Now, as anything, there is a fairly small range of proportions that make them so, and the Context cut diamonds follow them, which makes them drastically different from the fifteen century predecessors (those polished octahedrons, or 'point cut'). The crown facets need to be lowered and polished down to reach optimum brightness, something impossible to do in the fifteen century - then all that could be done with anything but the largest diamonds was to polish the existing natural facets.

Returning to table cuts: I wonder if many such diamonds survive - small ones as the ring posted has are rare enough, large ones must have been recut many times over along the way. These jewels are allot older than the fashion of locking diamonds in museums and collections of old, unwearable jewelry. The larger ones I ever seen were not in jewelry but set in religious ornaments - objects that had escaped fashion for a couple of centuries give or take.

I like to think that the brilliance of diamonds has been 'discovered' somewhere with one of these table cuts, as this model was the first that modifies enough the original crystal shape to produce the infamous 'light return'. Even if some large stones were faceted more extensively at the time into more or less random briolletes, I wonder if that way of doing things was not too far from any resemblance of table, crown and pavilion to have led to further development. Besides, table cuts were done in many small stones compared to a handful of large Indian briolettes per century. Perhaps these things are well known and documented - mine is only a wild guess. I would surely like to hear more of the story of early diamond cuts myself.
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Anyway...

... you might want to visit the website where the two ring pictures come from. Albion Art it is styled as an online jewelry museum with wonderful pieces and great commentary attached.
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PS: 'Guess everyone has hard of the 'Great Table'. A lost, huge flat diamond... and definitely nothing like the description above. Different story, I guess. For them, the name must be describing the shape - 'like a tablet' literally. A couple of historic diamonds are like this. And jewelry more or less contemporary with the oldies above makes use of these flat diamond slices mounted as the glass panels of a led - set stained glass window. The same daredevil designers (Bhagat) got this style of diamond jewelry out of the closet as well. And in less out of this world jewelry, you may find rose cuts mounted this way (case in point - sort of). Despite the historic allure, these are not the most expensive diamonds today! Some sellers call them 'flats' quite unceremoniously - these may become tiny baguettes or go forward to mysterious industrial uses. Sad?

(pictures to come)
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valeria101

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I am as curious as any about how the larger table cut diamonds may have looked like in jewelry! There are some in portraits.... but, no real thing. Similar jewelry may have been made with other stones, cut in the same way - whether with the intention to imitate diamonds or not. Even of those not much has survived, and the exception is a treat (for me, at least). Here's one listed by the Three Graces Antiques with a large rock cristal, table cut.


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There are a few examples with smaller table cut diamonds where this comes from, and you might want to take a look for good fun.


As for the other 'table diamonds' - the tablet-like flat ones, I failed to find any decent example of European jewelry set with such a thing that I could post here. Aside reading about them, I remember some examples from museum collections - perhaps Dresden or Berlin. Nothing on the websites of the venerable institutions either. The diamonds were Indian, of course and in Indian jewelry they would have probably been set foil backed like flat diamonds were in the archer ring below - that style of setting is alive and well, and I'd bet you can find some in traditional indian jewelry today.

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