I'm no expert, but my understanding is that a most higher colour antique diamonds have since been recut into modern round brilliants. That's why finding a high coloured antique diamond is so difficult.
I recently received my 4.09ct O/P colour OMC and it doesn't look yellow or dark at all. I have found, based on Australia's limited antique diamond inventory, that older cuts tend to face up whiter than their similarly coloured modern cut counterparts. I suspects this may have something to do with the chunky facets and the way they reflect light. For instance, my diamond changes colour all the time - in direct sunlight, it looks very white, indoors it looks creamy and in dispersed light it picks up all the colours around it and reflects a beautiful array of pastels.
They're a very different look from round brilliants, and for me, colour wasn't the most important thing. If I was purchasing a round brilliant though, I'd want the colour to be in the G-range.
For some reason, I have heard, older cuts face up whiter than modern round brilliants. I don't know if this is actually true (my antique stone is an F which probably escaped recutting becauset its small--.25) but I hear it a lot. I am also thinking, the style of older rings, especially from the Edwardian and Deco periods, you don't see the side of the stone, where the color would show the most.
People still want to recut a lot of the old stones. I have a friend with an OEC which was left to her daughter, it has some chipping around the girdle and she wants to recut both for that reason and because she thinks it doesn't look as good as a modern one. the only reason she hasn't done it yet is that she also doesnt' like the cutting the stone down to less than a carat. she['s been thinking about this for two years and fortunately hasn't done it yet. The jeweler did say that he could fix the chipping without changing the cutting style, but she doesn't LIKE the cutting style (and daughter is not a jewelry person who will do whatever Mom says.)
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