A special thanks to Andrea Robinson, who had provided us with this article on The Story of Diamonds, which was originally written and published at
The next metamorphosis in diamond cutting proved even more brilliant than the last. By tripling the number of facets, diamond cutters released more brilliance and fire from the depths of their diamonds than ever before. It also preserved a good deal of the weight of the original crystal.
The girdle profile still mimics the squared shape of the crystals these were fashioned from. You can see, also, the form of the single-cut before it was embellished with extra facets. In the diagram below, I have colored the new facets pink.
The proportions are different, but this cut possesses all of the facets of the modern round brilliant as shown in this diagram:
The Old Mine cut is deep with a small table and often squarish in shape. The depth allows light to leak out of the gem, so they are less bright than modern stones. The facet arrangement and small table, however, encourages a good deal of dispersion which is the breaking up of light into spectral colors. You might call this fire.
A couple more things worth noting about antique diamonds: because these were fashioned from well formed octahedrons, the clarity is often quite good. The Old Mine is also the precursor to modern cushion cuts.
The Starving Jewelry Artists do not endorse the Three Graces in any way, the website just happen to have a lovely collection of fascinating specimens. You may click on the images to visit their website for more information on these antique jewels.
Edwardian earrings set with blue moonstone and old mine cut diamonds:
Edwardian pendant set with old mine and old European cut diamonds and a pearl:
A very unusual piece - portrait diamond surrounded by old mine cut diamonds and emeralds: