Vintage vs. Modern Cut Diamonds

It is rather difficult to describe in words the difference between vintage and modern stones although it is very obvious to observe their differences visually. 

Vintage stones were cut with larger facets, smaller tables, larger culets and higher crowns.  These differences are representative in the different brilliance between a vintage and modern stone.  The facets in a vintage stone appear larger while the facets in a modern stone may appear smaller and busier.  Due to their added depth, vintage stones generally appear smaller in diameter than a modern stone of the same weight. This is especially true with old mine and cushion cuts. All cuts of older stones appear whiter than a modern stone of equal color. 

It is very rare to find vintage stones of colors D through H.  First of all, there were far fewer diamond mines during the late1800's and early 1900's. Secondly, many of the vintage stones with high colors were re-cut into modern cut diamonds for higher profits in the late 70's and 80's (big mistake). Lastly, many high colored vintage stones are held in private collections.

Most vintage stones are pretty clean, SI 1 to VVS 1. They are commonly in the range of I to N colors.

A vintage stone of J color still appears white to most people.

There is a taboo of colors below H in the modern diamond market. This is not true with the vintage diamond market. We have many clients that like the light hue of color that is possessed by the lower colors such as L or M.

There are several different types of vintage cut diamonds. Here are the most sought after cuts:

Old Mine Cuts - These are stones that were cut in the late 1800's to the early 1900's. These stones have a soft roundish appearance with a small table and a large culet. They have high crowns with large facets. They were cut during the same period as cushion cuts.

Cushion Cuts - These are stones that were cut in the late 1800's to the early 1900's.
These stones have a pillowish shape and can either be rectangular or squarish. They have a small table with large culets. They have high crowns with large facets. These were cut during the same period as the Old Mine cuts. There are stones being sold as Cushion cuts that are being cut today. These are completely a different cut. They are more like a modern round cut with a rectangular shape.

European Cuts - These are stones that were cut in the early 1900's to the late 1920's and are the closest to the modern round brilliant cut of today. Although they were cut without the scientific knowledge we now possess they are very similar to the “ideal” round brilliant cut of today. This cut has large distinct facets which give it a very unique brilliance. The culets of these stones vary from small to medium in size. These stones have a round shape.

Price Differences Between Vintage and Modern stones
Vintage stones are priced very similar to modern stones although higher quality vintage stones command a premium which may be higher than a modern stone of equal quality. When someone is looking for a G VS diamond it will be very easy to find many modern stones in this quality however, to find this quality of a stone in a vintage diamond will be a more difficult task and a long search may yield only a couple of options at best. Many people realize that a vintage stone of I or J color is still very white in appearance.  Once they realize this, most people will start looking at larger stones within their budget.

Custom Design
We take pride in our knowledge of vintage pieces and therefore can reproduce or restore any piece. We have an extensive library of images that we can use for inspiration. We offer either vintage or modern diamonds in all of our custom work. Our pieces are offered in Platinum or Gold. We offer gold in different colors (pink, yellow) and karats (14-18-22).

Vintage Inspired Hand Crafted Reproductions
We make vintage style reproductions using the old techniques of constructing a piece of jewelry. We generally use vintage stones in all of our reproduction pieces for the center stones as well as the small accent diamonds. We offer many different finishes on our pieces - from a high polish to a weathered vintage look.  .

Diamond Certification
A diamond needs to be loose and out of a jewelry piece in order to be certified. Since many older pieces of jewelry are acquired through estates, they come to us as finished jewelry rather than loose stones. In order to certify the stones we would need to disturb the originality of the piece.

We do not disassemble a jewelry piece to certify a stone. However, if a piece needs restoration which requires the center stone to be removed then, we will certify the stone and re-set it upon the completion of restoration. Most of our clients do not want us to disturb original pieces for certification. We do have many certified, loose vintage stones available in many sizes and qualities as well as a large selection of certified, original vintage jewelry.

We want you to be happy with your purchase.  For our out of state customers that are unable to visit our showroom we offer a 100% money back guarantee . We will send you images and describe the piece you are interested in to the best of our abilities. Once you choose a piece, you will need to pay for the piece in full. At this time, we will ship you the piece for your approval. Once you receive the piece you will decide on whether the piece you received is the perfect one for you. If it is not, then you will return the piece insured and registered at your expense. Once we receive the piece in the same condition as it was sent, we will refund you the purchase price less the shipping cost. The shipping cost will vary based on the value of the piece. Generally the shipping cost is between $40 to $150. We will notify you of the shipping charges before shipping the piece to you. We send the piece to you either FED EX or UPS insured overnight. Some one will need to be at the location to sign for the package.

We provide an appraisal for the piece you purchase which can be used for your insurance company. You are welcome to get an independent appraisal. We advise and recommend  you to use a certified appraiser that has knowledge of vintage pieces. The appraiser should not be a jeweler. This is to insure that there isn't a conflict of interest while appraising your piece. Many jeweler/appraisers will degrade a piece of jewelry in order to gain the clients trust and sell them their own piece.