Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity
  • Pricescope Upgrade/Maintenance Is Complete.

    We still have a few things to iron out. If you see any bugs, issues or have any concerns, let us know here in this discussion.

Questions about a recent influx of antique diamonds - a discussion.

diagem

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
4,881
Some good questions about the influx of antique diamond cut availabilities in recent years in this post https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/anyone-for-a-massive-old-mine-cut-or-two-15ct-and-26ct.251993/ I thought this subject deserves its own title...

Answers intertwine with a few scenarios where commerce and information has changed in the last two decades.

Twenty years ago (which 15 of them are recorded here on Pricescope), when I just started cutting rough diamonds into antique style cuts was considered never heard off. I remember antique jewelry dealers and retailers having a terrible time accepting such a product, Some even where serious about showing me the door out, completely rejecting such new diamonds.

Luckily I also met a few great jewelry personas which actually appreciated my work from the beginning and thus the rest is history as they say.

Now to the point.

We have to remember that old cut diamonds have been around for much longer than the modern cuts we are so used to seeing. The first 58 facet Brilliant cuts date to the first half of the 17th century (and there were plenty of forerunners being produced well before), it’s true that diamond production was not as it is today but we still need to understand that there were plenty of antique diamonds produced over a time span of over 400 years. That is a lot time compared to the era of modern cuts which is only about 100 years old (Tolkowsky 1919).

Back when I started, almost all the old cuts diamonds re-entering the trade (by second hand purchases) were being recut at almost no questions asked. Actually until 5-10 years this was still the case believe it or not. Even presently, there are still plenty of old cuts being recut to modern cuts for different economic reasons.

But another thing happened in the last 20 years..., the internet highway of information has entered our lives and changed the way we live, educate ourselves, purchase and entertain ourselves (just a short list).

Antique jewelry and gems have been noticed by both the public and industry professionals as one, the point of incident was a huge boom (IMO were still in it).
From being looked upon as old grandmothers jewelry styles to some of the hottest trends in jewelry designs. Contemporary jewelers also discovered their unique beauty and characteristics accepting them into their design worlds. And of course diamond professionals discovering their hidden values over recutting them to the same old same. All that mix is responsible for what we are currently seeing all over social media. Antique gems, diamonds and jewelry have been inducted to the classical term to its fullest. It’s not a trend anymore.

Given these circumstances, such a popular subject has brought a lot of foul play into the mix (like in all other categories), luckily we are still able to recognize genuine antiques but it definitely takes a sharp eye these days.

Most cutters don’t have the historical knowledge , practice and information to be able to mimic the unique characteristics that make up antique jewels and/or gems. The craftsmanship is just too time consuming in this world of quick turnovers and sales.

My suggestion would be to research well before purchasing antique gems or jewelry from just any vendor offering them. All the information for secured jewelry purchases in out there, we just need to know what to look for.

Hopefully my writing will open this discussion to an open forum discussion which will benefit us on the subject of antique diamonds in the genuine term.

I will keep my eyes open.

Have a great weekend,
 

Lessics

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
174
Dear Yoram, I have been avidly reading your blog and enjoyed reading this post as well. Can you recommend other diamond cutters that are similiarly talented and qualified as you in cutting antique diamonds? Maybe in Europe? So we know where we can turn to for a quality product if you don't carry the item one is looking for?
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
4,956
Dear Yoram, I have been avidly reading your blog and enjoyed reading this post as well. Can you recommend other diamond cutters that are similiarly talented and qualified as you in cutting antique diamonds? Maybe in Europe? So we know where we can turn to for a quality product if you don't carry the item one is looking for?
I suspect him answering this would break PS's forum rules for trade members.
 

diagem

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
4,881
Dear Yoram, I have been avidly reading your blog and enjoyed reading this post as well. Can you recommend other diamond cutters that are similiarly talented and qualified as you in cutting antique diamonds? Maybe in Europe? So we know where we can turn to for a quality product if you don't carry the item one is looking for?
Truth be told, I genuinely can’t answer this question, I am certain you could get some answers perhaps from some other PS vendors of antique diamonds which I am sure they utilize. In our neck of the woods, I don’t know any cutters qualified for what you are looking for except my team which work with me. And of course I have no way of carrying all items people are looking for. I wish I could;-)
 

diagem

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
4,881
@diagem thank you for this answer. I suspected kind of as much. Just over my time on PS I have seen antique diamonds increase in price from absolute bargains to more like parity with modern cuts.
When antique cuts were exclusively considered recutting materials, prices were much cheaper that comparable modern cuts. As example, I purchased my wife’s 2.25ct OMC based of the price of a 1.50ct RB potential. Those days are long gone.

Then there is the regular trading of antique cuts by everyday dealers which learned to price antiques in comparisons to their modern peers. Which is IMO still erred.

Then there are specialized jewelers & dealers that know the little nuances which allow for premiums to be collected on certain antique diamonds. This is where this segment becomes interesting as there are no genuine antique clones, each antique diamond will be valued on its own merits. Some especially rare and beautiful antiques command their own value just because they are a one of a kind mostly as far as cut. A really beautiful antique cut can’t be compared to any modern cut or even antique for that matter. Each could be considered its own work of art. And pricing art has no price lists.
 

Lessics

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
174
@diagem thank you for your quick response. The two grand antique diamonds that you debuted last week, where did you find them or did they find you? I only see such grand jewels at auction but even sothebys or christies doesn't have such caliber every year imo.
You must be the Graff or JAR of antique diamonds
And would it be against pricescope rules that you tell us about your dabble in lab diamonds? Or maybe an idea of a blogpost? I and others really appreciate the free information you provide to us.
 

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
576
We need to Sarin all the antiques as they come in and save in a database. Please, cutters, keep records of this lost art. I’m hope in fifty years antique styles will be cut more regularly and with great artistry (such as at Gemconcepts). Many of us would pay the premium.

Also, Diagem, please consider making your perfect antique cuts less perfect. Maybe experimenting with keeping the skin of the diamond crystal intact in places (Eg don’t facet or even touch the girdle) or other cool retro techniques.

Many of us would pay to hear a lecture about planning old cut styles. or to see antique cutters in action. I hope some day we start to gather and document knowledge.
 

diagem

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
4,881
We need to Sarin all the antiques as they come in and save in a database. Please, cutters, keep records of this lost art. I’m hope in fifty years antique styles will be cut more regularly and with great artistry (such as at Gemconcepts). Many of us would pay the premium.

Also, Diagem, please consider making your perfect antique cuts less perfect. Maybe experimenting with keeping the skin of the diamond crystal intact in places (Eg don’t facet or even touch the girdle) or other cool retro techniques.

Many of us would pay to hear a lecture about planning old cut styles. or to see antique cutters in action. I hope some day we start to gather and document knowledge.
I have been keeping 3D files of all the unique antiques that I have handled. I agree, they save a copy of the diamond craftsmanship and at the same time allows me to enter the historical cutters mind while letting me learn a lot.

LB, I have been cutting diamonds to mimic many cut varieties of different antique periods for about twenty years, my first attempts were to really mimic the old look and feel, throughout the years I have been cutting them to the Old Charms of yesteryears and developed such cuts to the very precise cuts available today. I even remember being "literally" accused by some PS vendors to designing diamonds that can easily pass as genuine antiques which can potentially be resold by my clients as such. I of course took that as a big compliment ;-)

Again, I will reiterate, planning & cutting old style diamonds cuts is not part of the modern cutter's repertoire. It requires deep knowledge on the very long history of cutting and their periodical evolutions.
As example, I employ a rather young lapidary whom I believe is one of the most knowledgeable and proficient cutters of our times, he was the first who was able to visually understand the nano-nuances within the current technological scanners margin of errors and limitations. A really splendid mind who has the ability to pickup on 3D optical symmetry errors before they occur and fix them beforehand. BUT!! He was never able to enter my mind in regards to the old charm designs as much as I tried, and I did try hard.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
7,775
Excellent and informative post Yoram!!

I would buy that book!
Speaking as someone who has walked right beside you on parts of your journey- I'd buy the book as well!
Thankfully, there's still a few "boutique" cutting shops left...but even among that tiny group, Yoram is at the forefront combining beauty and technology.
You've taught me a ton over the years- and I'm grateful.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,052
Oh my, it was in the early days that I took note of diagem (Yoram) on PS! He posted a picture of a beautiful OMC with a large cutlet with kozibe, and I saved it because I thought it was the most beautiful diamond I had seen. Now I certainly do appreciate all beautifully cut diamonds and appreciate the skill that goes into creating them. But I started seeing the increase in people buying antique stones here, and some were well cut and others were not. I appreciate well cut antique stones just as I do modern cuts. To my delight, Yoram for a time was the main cutter of Jonathan's AVCs and a smaller number of AVRs. You can see the AVR that I am proud to own and enjoy in my avatar picture, and I have a smaller OMC that he cut as well. I have an antique asscher that is certainly well cut, too. I appreciate the earlier designs of antique stones, and one can really admire the cutting skill of those who cut far before we had the technology of today. But as Yoram said, we don’t have many people cutting antique style stones today period, much less those who seek to cut stones as art. I consider myself blessed to have two beautiful stones from Yoram, and I hope they are not my last.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
8,651
Being an Aussie we get a lot of cheaper badly made new Antique pieces with shallow badly cut "Antique cut" diamonds flooding our market (mostly from Asia). Many of the stones are pretty blaaah to look at which is a shame because it does nothing to demonstrate to the average Aussie what decent old cuts should look like.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
6,049
Being an Aussie we get a lot of cheaper badly made new Antique pieces with shallow badly cut "Antique cut" diamonds flooding our market (mostly from Asia). Many of the stones are pretty blaaah to look at which is a shame because it does nothing to demonstrate to the average Aussie what decent old cuts should look like.
I'm not sure how that differs from the situation with MRBs... :lol: lol
 

Rfisher

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
1,616
Being an Aussie we get a lot of cheaper badly made new Antique pieces with shallow badly cut "Antique cut" diamonds flooding our market (mostly from Asia). Many of the stones are pretty blaaah to look at which is a shame because it does nothing to demonstrate to the average Aussie what decent old cuts should look like.
Bleep out any vendor information and I’d love to see examples what you speak of.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
8,651
Bleep out any vendor information and I’d love to see examples what you speak of.
I've seen these at shops here in Australia (Brisbane arcade, the Myer Centre), many are filled with "new" badly cut Antique diamonds cut in India and China and the pieces themselves have often been made in India and China. Go to Aussie auction house sites, and for that matter American jewellery auction sites -some of them are also filled with pieces like this. The auction places describe them with words such as "Antique style" which means reproduction to cover themselves legally.
 
Last edited:

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
8,651
Bleep out any vendor information and I’d love to see examples what you speak of.
Most of the Antique jewellery stores (even some of the good ones) in Australia stock a mix of genuine old cuts and the new old cheaply made items;


Or click this link they have a number of pieces;



Here are some American ones;



These are more high end but these people make new Antique style rings that Dover Jewellery, and a heap of other well regarded vendors sell sometimes as genuine Antique pieces when they are not;



Google Antique Style or Deco Style diamond or Coloured Stones rings and step into the plethora of reproduction jewellery and stones.
 

Rfisher

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
1,616
Thanks @arkieb1
I have seen those before but didn’t connect them to what you mentioned earlier.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
8,651
Thanks @arkieb1
I have seen those before but didn’t connect them to what you mentioned earlier.
In Australia the diamonds in a lot of pieces like this are new old cuts, that have been cut in places like India and Asia, some of them look O.K but a lot of them are badly cut.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top