Fire and brilliance

Antique ring with old cut diamond in rose gold, around 1900

The shape of the diamond has evolved over many centuries. For a long time it was technically impossible to change the raw crystal more than rudimentary, because the diamond is so extraordinarily hard. In the 17th and 18th century it was then possible to extract more and more facets from the crystal and in the course of the 19th century the cuts came closer and closer to the shape we know today as a brilliant. Initially, these early brilliants were cushion-shaped, even rectangular, because to cut a diamond round meant losing a lot of precious mass from the rough diamond found angular. It was only with the sudden discovery of large diamond deposits in South Africa towards the end of the 19th century that it seemed possible to accept this loss of mass - and thus produce even more sparkling stones. The center stone of the present ring is such a round diamond in the old cut of the years around 1900, now known as the "Old European Cut". It weighs about 0.70 ct and shows unusual clarity and purity for an old cut, with only the tiniest inclusions visible under a loupe. Delicate claws hold it in a crown setting, allowing plenty of light to reach it, igniting its fire and brilliance. To the left and right of this old-cut diamond, smaller rose-cut diamonds are set into each, making the ring look like a single, sparkling band of diamonds when worn. The band and setting are forged from a reddish gold, so the design retains a beautiful warmth. The design is classic, almost timeless, and so the ring can also be combined with a modern (jewellery) wardrobe. Only at second glance does the ring's long history reveal itself in its individually proportioned old-cut diamonds, the small rose cuts and the warm gold colour typical of the time - a little secret on the finger that quietly tells of a distant time.

The shape of the diamond has evolved over many centuries. For a long time it was technically impossible to change the raw crystal more than rudimentary, because the diamond is so extraordinarily hard. In the 17th and 18th century it was then possible to extract more and more facets from the crystal and in the course of the 19th century the cuts came closer and closer to the shape we know today as a brilliant. It was not until 1919, however, that Marcel Tolkowsky calculated the ideal shape of the brilliant on an optical-physical basis; the exact shape, which is the standard in Germany today, the so-called fine cut of the practice, was not even determined until 1938. The shape of the modern brilliant-cut diamond really became established after the war. The brilliant is therefore actually a fairly recent invention - and this also means that with a diamond cut in the 19th century or at the beginning of the 20th century, a so-called "old cut", the proportions of the stone do not follow the standard of today's brilliant. Old cuts were always cut individually in those days: One wanted to find the optimal way between the best brilliance on the one hand and the least loss of material during cutting on the other. We find that it is precisely this individuality that makes old diamonds so particularly interesting. They are less easy to compare, and their value cannot simply be determined by means of a table: Because you have to look at each stone individually to really be able to say whether it has the fire and brilliance that you expect from a diamond.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


OUR PROMISE

We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.

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