Old Cut Diamond Engagement Rings


You’re getting ready to propose, no idea where to start with the ring but you’ve been given your Grandma’s antique engagement ring, which is set with an Old Cut Diamond. Let me tell you how lucky you are. Old Cut Diamonds are beautiful for their unique facets and their character. No two ‘old cut’ diamonds are the same for many more reasons than the modern day round brilliant cut.


What is an Old Cut Diamond?

Diamonds are just diamonds, right? Well, yes, but the techniques we have used for cutting diamonds over the years has changed drastically. Today, for instance, we use lasers to cut diamonds perfectly (round brilliant cut) but up until the 1960’s they were cut by hand.


So, an Old Cut Diamond (also known as ‘old mine cut’) has been hand cut with a high crown and a small table (I know, I may as well be talking Swahili here) a large faceted culet and the profile is much rounder than the modern-day brilliant cut.


They were cut like this to try and get the best sparkle under the dimmest candlelight of the era; diamonds don’t need much help to sparkle but how they are cut has a huge impact.


Why Should I Propose with an Old Cut Diamond Engagement Ring?

You may have inherited one or you may be looking to find the perfect diamond but let me tell you why old cuts are good option.


  • They’re ‘recycled’ so we’re not mining them as new and have more than likely been in another piece of jewellery before you’re about to propose with it. This means they’re great for the environment – winner.
  • An Old Cut Diamond is bound to have a magical history, we may not know it, but imagine the romance of knowing the part it had to play in someone else’s love story. Never mind walls talking, imagine the tales of love and lust an antique diamond could tell us.
  • The character in them makes them beautiful. Because they aren’t ‘perfect’ and cut with laser precision, they have so much uniqueness.
  • Following on from that last point, it also means that ‘Jane, your girlfriend’s cousin’ won’t have a similar diamond in her engagement ring. Completely one of a kind.


Okay, I’m Sold on Old Cut Diamonds!

Great news. Now you’ve decided to use Nan’s old cut diamond, or you’ve opted to let me (or another jewellery designer!) source one for you, you’re probably going to need a ring to go with it. This is where we get magical. You can either set it in a modern design (bringing old and new together) or set it in an antique design, maybe with some tapered baguette diamonds or some sapphires. If you have inherited a ring with a diamond in it, you have a couple of options. You could use the current ring as her engagement ring, if this is the case, get it checked over by a jeweller to see if it needs any maintenance work – the likelihood is, it will. It may also need resizing. You could use the ring to propose then both of you together, have it redesigned. This makes for a wonderful experience for both of you. Or, you could redesign it before you give it to her.


So many options! I hope this has given you a little more understanding on the pros of Old Cut Diamonds, I love them and would love to see more being used in engagement rings these days.


To design your perfect engagement ring (using an old cut diamond or not) please click the link below and I will be in touch to help you design the perfect ring.


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