What Is a Miners Cut Diamond

Learn more diamond facts.
Learn more diamond facts.

What is a miners cut diamond? A miners cut is a type of diamond cut common in antique jewelry dating back to the 1830s. Many Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian style engagement rings feature this type of cut because it was a popular 19th century jewelry design. The original old mine cut diamonds have a rich history that reflects the history of the diamond jewelry trade.

What Is a Miners Cut Diamond?

Diamond structure is comprised of five parts:

  • Table - The top of the diamond and the largest facet
  • Crown - The upper section of the diamond between the girdle and the table
  • Girdle - The area between the crown and pavilion, which is generally thicker in antique diamond cuts than in modern cuts
  • Pavilion - The bottom section of the diamond and the deepest part of the diamond in antique cuts
  • Culet aka cutlet - The small facet at the bottom end of the diamond

The miner cut diamond is shaped into a high crown with a small table, a round to somewhat rectangular girdle, a deep pavilion and a large faceted culet. The cut was the earliest form of the brilliant cut, which means that the diamond was cut to allow the stone to sparkle under even the dimmest candlelight of the era.

The diamond cut is also known by the following names:

  • Old mine cut (original name)
  • Old miner cut
  • Triple brilliant cut
  • Peruzzi cut

The miner cut resembles both the modern cushion cut. In fact, some jewelry experts consider the cushion cut the modern version of the miner cut. However, the miner cut diamonds are slightly more rounded and do not have such an obvious rectangular or cushion shape.

History of the Miner Cut Diamond

The proper name of the miner cut is old mine cut. The original old mine cut diamonds of the 19th century were referred to by this name because the jewels came from the old diamond mines in India rather than South Africa, which dominates the diamond industry today.

In the 19th century, artisans shaped each miners cut diamond by hand. All diamonds remained hand-cut until the early 1900's. Due to the handcraftsmanship, each diamond was unique and no two cuts were identical, unlike today's diamonds which undergo machine-assisted cutting processes.

Anyone seeking an original handcrafted old mine cut antique ring should inquire if the stone has been recut. Some restored antique rings have been recut with modern cutting techniques.

Miner cut diamonds, like all antique diamonds, differ from modern diamonds in appearance because of the hand-cutting process and the cut emphasis. Craftsman cut antique diamonds to maximize the stone's carat weight. Modern diamonds are cut to maximize the gem's fire.

Difference Between the Old European and Miner Cuts

The old European cut was also popular in the 19th century and resembles the old mine cut. The two cuts share a similar shape in terms of high crowns, small tables, deep pavilions and large culets. However, the old European cut diamond has a heavier crown, smaller table than the miner cut. The modern brilliant cut is based on the old European cut. An old European cut diamond has a circular girdle like modern round brilliant cut diamonds.

Celebrities with Antique Style Diamond Rings

Antique style diamond engagements rings are a classic choice but are also popular among many celebrity brides. The following brides have chosen either miner cut or old European cut engagement rings:

  • Ashley Simpson - Miner cut diamond ring
  • Katie Holmes - Old European cut diamond
  • Anna Paquin - Old European cut diamond ring

Where to Find Miner Cut Diamond Rings

Once you know what is a miners cut diamond, you should be able to recognize it on sight when ring shopping. Antique dealers and estate sales are the best way to find original old mine cut diamond rings. Since the original handcrafted miner cut rings are no longer manufactured, you have to purchase an antique ring or loose stone to get a true miner cut diamond. However, there are some modern antique inspired rings with cuts that resemble the miner cut look. Antique style diamond ring may be available at local jewelers that feature a larger selection of ring types.

The Internet is a good source for antique miner cut diamond rings. The following online retailers sell antique old mine cut diamond rings:

  • Fay Cullen: Fay Cullen generally has a number of antique old mine cut diamond rings for sale.
  • Lang Antiques: Lang Estate and Antique Jewelry also often has antique miner cut rings for sale.
  • Ruby Lane: Ruby Lane often offers an old mine cut antique diamond ring for sale.

If you are searching for an antique style diamond ring, a miner cut diamond is worth considering. An antique old mine cut diamond may have special meaning to a couple that wants a one-of-a-kind ring with a fascinating history. You will certainly enjoy the beautiful unique way that that miner cut diamonds sparkle in the light.

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