“Diamond,” a gem that reigns over every other gem has always fascinated us throughout time. From being one of the most ancient forms of currency to our modern days' symbol of love, diamonds have always been an integral part of human culture.
Since old times, diamonds have always been considered a girl’s best friend. But, little do we know about their cuts and the history attached to diamonds. The diamonds we see today haven’t been always the same.
With technological advancements, they evolved throughout history. The sole purpose of this article is to unveil the origin of diamonds, and their various cuts that evolved over time.
Table of Contents
- The Origin of Diamonds
- Various Diamond Cuts throughout History
- Point Cut (1300s)
- Table Cut (1400s)
- Pear Diamond Cut (1475)
- Rosetta Cut (1476)
- Brilliant Cut (1650s)
- Old European Cut (1830s)
- How the Machines Took the World by Surprise?
- Asscher Cut (1902)
- Round Brilliant Cut (1919)
- Emerald Diamond Cut (1920s)
- Oval Diamond Cut (1960s)
- Princess-Cut (1980s)
- Hearts and Arrows (1980s)
- The Bottom Line
The Origin of Diamonds
Diamonds were discovered between 2500 to 1700 BC by the Dravidians. It dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization from the Bronze Age. Other speculations contradict, that it’s been discovered somewhere around 1000 BC in India.
The first-ever recorded knowledge of diamond resides in the Sanskrit texts of Arthashastra in 400 to 300 BC. The Holy Bible also talks about diamonds, where its’ been used as a tool. The reference of diamond mining dates back to 120 BC in European History.
Various Diamond Cuts throughout History
Every diamond cut comes with its own interesting story. In fact, the first-ever diamond embedded in jewelry was uncut. Here is a comprehensive list of all the various diamond cuts, and how they were developed throughout time.
Point Cut (1300s)
One of the simplest cuts of all time, the Point Cut was first created back in 1375 CE. Made by a guild of diamond polishers, the diamonds were brute to create a pointed shape. In fact, the name has been derived from the procedure of cutting itself.
Table Cut (1400s)
It is around the 15th century when jewelers started to give a proper shape and cut to the diamonds. It was also around the same time when they discovered diamond dust can be used to polish diamonds. The table cut was achieved by simply flattening one end of a Point Cut diamond.
Pear Diamond Cut (1475)
This teardrop Diamond Cut originated in Belgium, is a combination of the two most popular diamond cuts – the brilliant round cut and the marquise. It is a perfect representation of flowing water which makes fingers look thinner, longer, and delicate. It was created by Lodewyk van Bercken using a diamond polishing wheel. Louis also developed the technique of absolute symmetry in the facet placement, which is the most important characteristic of Pear Shaped Diamond. This increased the diamond’s shine and brilliance.
Also Read: Which Diamond Cut and Shape is the most expensive?
Rosetta Cut (1476)
It was the time of invention where new tools were being created to ease the life of jewelers. In 1476, Flemish Lodewyk van Berken invented the first-ever polishing machine for diamonds. The diamonds were cut in unique designs of briolette. With triangular facets on either side, they resembled the shape of pears.
In the middle of the 16th century, the Rosetta cut gained popularity with its unique shape and design. With a symmetrical radiating pattern, the Rosetta cut also consisted of Triangular facets. The only distinguishing feature came with a flat bottom for the stones.
Brilliant Cut (1650s)
The Brilliant cut which is also commonly referred to as the Mazarin cut is a credit to Cardinal Mazarin. Used during the 1650s, the Brilliant cut had a cone shape with 17 facets. Later on, in 1681, Venetian Vincent Peruzzi doubled the total number of facets. The count increased from 17 to 33, while improving the overall brilliance of the diamond.
The famous ‘cushion cuts’ were also introduced with rounded edges. The first cut was made either in the form of squares and rectangles while changing their shapes later on.
Old European Cut (1830s)
One can say that the Old European Cut is the forefather of the Round Brilliant Cut. The Old European Cut first came to the market during the 1830s. With a very small table, it features a heavy crown. In fact, for all the connoisseurs of antique jewelry, it still remains one of the most popular cuts.
How the Machines Took the World by Surprise?
After discovering the Eureka Diamonds in South Africa, Henry D. Morse and Charles M. Field invented the steam-powered bruting machine in 1891. The machine was invented eight years after the Eureka Diamond was discovered in South Africa. Then came the modern machinery, advanced computer programs with three-dimensional images used to cut diamonds, profitably! The different methods of cutting diamonds now include cleaving, sawing, and grinding.
There began the whole new era of Diamond cuts with far better efficiency and accuracy. With technology advancements and computer-driven machines, diamond cutting and polishing have increased sales, bringing numerous growth opportunities. Let’s look at the list of motorized diamond cuts:
Asscher Cut (1902)
In 1902, Joseph Asscher coined the Asscher cut, which was possible by the modern-day Mechanization. With the help of the motorized diamond saw, the cuts were more efficient and accurate while wasting fewer materials in the process.
Read more: Why Diamonds are so Valuable?
Round Brilliant Cut (1919)
The Round Brilliant Cut is by far the most common cut accounting for almost 75% of all the diamonds sold. Developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919, the Round Diamond Cut comprises of 58 faceted cuts.
Emerald Diamond Cut (1920s)
These diamond shape cut has been around since middle age and are most unique, elegant cut. Emerald cuts, unlike others, are small rectangular or square facets that resemble step cuts. Back then, people were more attracted to its clean lines and deep symmetry, making it a popular jewelry trend. This cut looks beautiful in numerous settings, however, the two most popular settings that go with emerald cuts are – Solitaire Settings and Glistening Halo Settings.
Oval Diamond Cut (1960s)
Lazare Kaplan first created oval diamonds in the 1960s with the added advantage of an elongated shape. These diamond cuts create an illusion of bigger size, making fingers look slimmer and big. Oval diamonds come in various shapes with different bow-ties. With high brilliancy in oval diamond cuts, one cannot spot any imperfection in this shape.
The Princess Cut is as unique as its name. Betazel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz first created princess cut in the 1980s, the Princess Cut requires higher precision. It has evolved from french and table cut from the 14th century. From the top, the cut is square or rectangle and from the bottom looks like a pyramid. In the ’80s and ’90s, this was the second most popular diamond after round cut diamond.
Hearts and Arrows (1980s)
Taking almost three times longer than any other cuts, the Hearts and Arrows are the hardest to achieve. As the name suggests, the top view portrays a pattern of eight symmetrical arrows while the bottom displaying symmetry.
The Bottom Line
We believe that the quick recap of the history of various diamond cuts was a fascinating one, just like the stone itself. With the advancement of technology, we can always expect some of the newer cuts in the coming future. Diamonds On Call provides its customers with eccentric diamonds, available in every cut and shape. We have banked more than five years of delivering quality diamonds to our customers by striving for perfection in creating a perfect diamond cut.
Diamonds on Call has a whooping inventory of 4000+ diamonds bought from the best and at pocket-friendly rates! Our customers can search and select from our live inventory images and videos. The diamonds are received overnight, passed through quality checks by our in-house expert gemologists. We consolidate all the diamonds in a single invoice and deliver them in a hassle-free manner to your doorsteps. Our 24*7 assistance and order tracking facility always takes our customers by surprise!
You can also read: What are lab-created (lab-grown) diamonds?