Old Mine Cut Diamonds

When envisioning a vintage engagement ring that embodies ‘old world charm,’ the old mine cut diamond stands out. These diamonds date back to the early years of diamond jewelry when each stone was meticulously cut and polished by hand. With larger facets and a distinctive fire, old mine cut diamonds offer a softer look that is utterly unique. If you’re considering an old mine cut diamond for your engagement ring, here’s what you need to know to make an informed choice.

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History of Old Mine Cut Diamonds

Old mine cut diamonds are distinguished by their squarish shape with gently curved edges. Often considered the precursor to the modern cushion cut, these diamonds have a smaller table, high crown, and 58 large facets, resulting in a bulkier appearance. This cut, which first appeared in the 18th century, was designed to sparkle under candlelight, making it a favorite among the elite during evening events.

What is old mine cut diamond

Image Source: Yadav

Throughout the Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian eras, old mine cut diamonds adorned rings, necklaces, and brooches, showcasing their hand-crafted brilliance. The term “old mine” originates from the diamond mines of Brazil and India, which were later eclipsed by African mines in the 1800s. Initially, it described diamonds from these older mines, but over time, it came to denote the popular diamond cut style of the early 1700s.

Pros and Cons of Old Mine Cut Diamonds

Old mine cut diamonds are perfect for those who adore antique and vintage jewelry. However, there are several factors to consider when choosing one:


  • Each diamond’s hand-cut nature ensures a unique charm with potentially uneven facets or asymmetrical shapes.
  • They exude a timeless appeal and warmth.
  • Their versatility allows them to look stunning in various settings and styles.
  • These one-of-a-kind stones can be easily reset into different settings if desired.


  • High-quality old mine cut diamonds are rare.
  • They lack the same sparkle, fire, and brilliance as modern diamonds.
  • Finding an old mine diamond that meets your personal preferences can be time-consuming.
  • Uneven or misaligned edges are common, though not easily noticeable without close inspection.

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Evaluating an Old Mine Cut Diamond: The 4Cs


Old mine cut diamonds are identifiable by their table, which features a visible circle due to the large culet. The culet affects light performance, allowing light to escape through the bottom, creating a dark circle in the stone’s center. These diamonds have high crowns, deep pavilions, and broad facets, resulting in significant variations in symmetry due to their hand-cut nature.


Antique diamonds often have a warm color, designed to enhance their appearance under candlelight. Most old mine cut diamonds available today have colors in the K range or lower, as many colorless antique diamonds have been recut into modern shapes.


Eye-clean clarity is essential for old mine cut diamonds, just as with modern diamonds. However, the open table of an old mine diamond can make inclusions more noticeable. Therefore, examining the diamond in person is crucial.

Carat Weight

Old mine cut diamonds are typically larger than the average modern engagement ring diamond. They were cut to retain carat weight, similar to modern princess cuts, but with more variability in weight distribution due to their hand-cut nature.

Choosing an Ideal Old Mine Cut Diamond

Shopping for an old mine cut diamond is different from shopping for modern diamonds. These antiques are no longer produced, making them rare. Work with a jeweler to find a diamond that appeals to you, as the modern grading system doesn’t fully capture their unique beauty.

When choosing an old mine diamond, focus on good symmetry with a length-to-width ratio below 1.1 for a pleasing shape. Examine the diamond from various angles to ensure no noticeable bulges indicate a compromise in cut quality.

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Old Mine Cut Diamond vs. Old European Cut Diamond

Image Source: Loose Grown Diamond

Often confused with the old European cut diamond, the old mine cut diamond is older, dating back to the early 18th century. While both cuts have 58 facets, the old mine cut has a squarish outline, similar to a cushion cut, and a larger culet. The old European cut, from the late 19th century, has a rounder outline and a smaller culet, offering better symmetry and a balance between antique and modern aesthetics.

Old Mine Cut Diamond Prices

The value of an old mine cut diamond depends on its carat weight, color, clarity, and cut quality. Historically, these diamonds were less expensive than modern cuts, but their unique appeal and history have increased their value. Today, old mine cut diamonds often command prices similar to or higher than modern diamonds.

Price per carat for old mine cut diamonds

**Price per Carat for Lab-Grown Diamonds**

Image Source: Loose Grown Diamond

Designing a Ring with an Old Mine Cut Diamond

Old mine cut diamonds pair beautifully with yellow or rose gold settings, enhancing their warm color. However, they also look stunning in white gold or platinum, which complements their vintage appeal. The versatility of old mine cut diamonds makes them suitable for various ring styles, offering a timeless elegance that speaks to their rich history.

Wearing an old mine cut diamond is like carrying a piece of history. If the idea of an antique diamond with a unique story appeals to you, an old mine cut diamond might be your perfect match.

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