If the 4 Cs of Diamond Quality are Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight, then antique diamonds offer a 5th C: Character. With a unique play of light due to their hand-cut nature, each antique diamond is truly one-of-a-kind. The appeal of these rare diamonds lies in their broad facet patterns, their unique silhouettes, and their ability to dazzle in low and modern lighting conditions. Unlike their modern counterparts, which are cut with modern machinery and to exacting specifications, there are only a finite number of antique diamonds available, making them scarce and highly sought after. Repurposing antique diamonds also reduces environmental impact, which is something we feel very strongly about.
antique diamond cuts
Single Stone was originally established as an antique diamond specialist, supplying loose, old cut diamonds to the antique jewelry industry. Today, sourcing unique and sought-after vintage stones remains an integral part of our business and what makes Single Stone jewelry unique. Most of our designs feature antique diamonds, all of which are hand-selected by our vintage stone experts, Single Stone owners Ari and Corina Madilian. Our antique diamond jewelry pieces are then designed around these beautiful, unique stones, conceptualized to enhance the natural beauty of each stone and embrace perceived imperfections as opposed to masking them. And to further our passion for the preservation of tradition and family heirlooms, we offer our bespoke design service which allows us to work with clients to create the perfect piece for their stones.
About Antique Diamonds
cuts commonly included
in single stone jewelry
the french cut
With their geometric lines, French cut diamonds reached their height of popularity in the Art Deco period. Square or rectangular in shape, French cuts feature a mix of step and triangular faceting, resulting in mirror-like flashes of brilliance. Our French cut diamonds are painstakingly hand-cut to order so that they fit seamlessly into our French cut diamond bands, or any of our other bespoke jewelry designs.
The rose cut
Originating in India in the 18th century, rose cut diamonds dazzled in the candle-lit courts of the Mughals. Flat bottomed with a domed, faceted top, rose cut diamonds can have any silhouette; it is the triangular “rose-like” facet pattern on the top of the diamond that distinguishes a rose cut from any other diamond shape. The beauty of a rose cut diamond is in the subtlety of its shine – much like light reflecting off the surface of water. Our designs incorporate both antique and mindfully sourced modern rose cut diamonds.
the old european cut
The 19th century brought about techniques that advanced the diamond cutting industry and thus, the old European cut diamond was born. With 58 facets, a small table, high crown angle, circular shape, and open culet, the old European cut diamond became the precursor to the modern round diamonds that we see today. Our vintage old European cut diamonds, cut primarily in the 1920s and 1930s, are used in many of our designs, from larger center stones to small, pave set diamonds.
ANTIQUE CUSHION & OLD MINE CUTS
Antique cushion cut diamonds are so named because of their soft, rounded square or elongated shape. The antique cushion and old mine cuts were made popular in the 19th century after the discovery of South African diamond mines, when diamonds, once a stone reserved for nobility, were made more readily available. Sometimes referred to as an “old mine cut diamond” in reference to stones that came from India and Brazil, antique cushion cut diamonds remain in high demand today. We work almost exclusively with antique cushion cut and old mine cut diamonds from the 19th century, preferring the romantic quality of their faceting.
the asscher cut
The epitome of Art Deco style, the Asscher cut diamond is a square, step cut diamond with an octagonal shape. Developed by Joseph Asscher in 1902, vintage Asscher cut diamonds have even more dramatic angles and an open culet. Vintage Asscher cut diamonds are exceedingly rare, but with our keen sense of proportion, we can mindfully source modern square emerald cut diamonds that resemble vintage Asscher cut diamonds.
the emerald cut
Though its origins can be traced centuries before, the emerald cut diamond gained popularity during the 1920s Art Deco period when clean lines and symmetry were the cornerstone of design. With a sleek parallel facet pattern and rectangular or square shape, emerald cut diamonds offer an understated “hall of mirrors” effect which is unlike any other diamond cut. Antique emerald cut diamonds, with their dramatic, clipped corners and open culets, were often recut into modern shapes and are exceedingly rare to source.
ANTIQUE OVALS, MARQUISE & PEAR SHAPES
Antique oval, marquise, and pear-shaped diamonds are not too dissimilar to their modern counterparts, but what makes them unique is their broad facet patterns and open culets. Additionally, antique pear shape diamonds and marquise (or movals) have a softness to their shape where the diamond does not come to a perfect point – a direct result of the hand-cutting techniques of the 19th century.