Collector's Guide:

Antique Stones

Our love for old cuts began when we were introducing ourselves to the antique jewelry world. After dealing in modern jewelry for ten years, I had been exposed to very few fine old cut stones as the modern jewelry trade rarely embraces these antique cuts.We had always evaluated diamonds on their obvious quality characteristics or 4 c’s as they are commonly known. As I learned about old cut diamonds, I began to see the stones as being individual. The traditional 4 c’s became certainly less important to me and I began to be exited by the unusual cuts offered in antiquity.

"Old stones have a much softer sparkle than a modern stone, and that’s why we’ve always been drawn to them, and that’s why people come to us for them. Old stones were cut more for dispersion, and that’s why they give that softer sparkle, because you’re seeing spectral colors; you’re not getting a white interface. They’re a softer sort of sparkle. Not less, just different."
–Cyrus Shennum


Many things contribute to antique diamonds distinctive nature. Old cut diamonds certainly look different. Collectors of antique cut diamonds describe the sparkle as “soft”. They can be quite calming to look at.  This gives the stones a much quieter personality. This can be explained simply with gemological properties explaining the elements of sparkle.

There are two main elements of sparkle.  Dispersion and scintillation are the two gemological terms used to describe optical effects in a diamond.  Dispersion refers to the breaking up of light into spectral colors. Scintillation is the white light omitted from a stone. Antique diamonds are awash of spectral colors while modern diamonds attempt a balance of white and spectral sparkle.

Who wore these gems? Where have they been? What jewel had they been mounted in?
These antique stones have a history, though rarely do we know the original owners. This adds to the allure of a diamond being a discreet way of storing, and disposing, of value.