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Vintage Diamonds Shine Bright in Modern Designs September 27, 2023 (0 comments)


London, UK--Just as a vintage Hermès Kelly bag or Cartier watch boasts a distinct character, so does an old diamond, the Natural Diamond Council reports. 

[Image via Natural Diamonds]

With their softer glimmer, vintage diamonds showcase imperfections owing to their handcrafted nature, often under candlelight. 

These imperfections resonate a unique authenticity, distinguishing them from their modern, man-made counterparts.

“Old diamonds have a sense of emotion with their imperfections, and because they already lived another life,” said French designer Elie Top, according to the "Only Natural Diamonds" article. “I like the stardust from the past on a modern design.”

Upon discovering a 1940s ring adorned with a 5.85-carat cushion cut diamond, Top expertly positioned the gem on an 18k gold snake ring. Like Top, many designers gravitate towards vintage diamonds to infuse uniqueness.

The article noted that these diamonds offer a cost-effective alternative apart from their historical charm. Typically, their price tags don't match those of precision-cut contemporary gems.

Vintage diamonds originated in the early 18th century and were characterized by their old mine cut – a square-ish design with 58 facets promoting brilliant sparkles. These gems graced Georgian and Victorian jewelry.

The bruting machines in 1874 heralded a new era for diamond cuts, introducing the old European cut, also featuring 58 facets, favored during the Edwardian and Art Deco periods.

The article noted that Jade Lustig of Jade Trau celebrates the asymmetrical aesthetics of vintage diamonds and appreciates their handcrafted nature. 

However, she recognizes the importance of a modern ‘ideal’ cut gem. Contrary to expectations, vintage diamonds don’t confine designs to yesteryears. They find their way into modern necklaces, eclectic rings, and stacked bracelets.

Even brands like William Goldberg, renowned for their modern diamond expertise, get captivated by the singularity of vintage stones. Such diamonds present exciting design challenges, leading to breathtaking cocktail rings and elaborate diamond chains. Interestingly, men are increasingly adorning themselves with these subtle gems, reflecting a shift in contemporary jewelry trends.

Due to their unique features, vintage diamonds defy the conventional 4C's (Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat) grading system. Instead, their value emerges from the tales they whisper and the eras they've seen.

“Pricing is a bit easier on vintage diamonds, so it allows me to take some design risks that I might not take with a modern stone,” said designer Jamie Books of Mason and Books, per the article. “The color also tends to be slightly warmer, which I adore next to the buttery yellow gold that has become our signature color.”

The charm of old diamonds extends beyond their technical specifications. Mindi Mond, a New York-based designer, sees each vintage diamond piece as a historical treasure waiting to be reinvented for modern lovers.

Learn more in the entire Natural Diamonds article.

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