Princely equipped

Impressive lapel pin with old cut diamonds of the 18th century, around 1890

In the 18th century, splendid jewellery was part of every noble household. Not only rings, necklaces, bracelets and brooches were equipped with precious gems, but the splendor extended to ornaments that belonged to the clothing, such as shoe buckles and especially buttons. What for us today are little noticed everyday objects, was used to decorate the festive robes of princes, princes and kings and served the representation. For example, a set of over 100 precious diamond buttons, which the princes of Thurn and Taxis wore on their festive robes when the occasion demanded it, has been preserved in Emmeram Palace in Regensburg. Diamond studded buttons belonging to Augustus the Strong can also be found in the Green Vault in Dresden and those belonging to the Habsburg kings in the Treasury of the Hofburg in Vienna. Diamonds from the second half of the 18th century can also be seen here. For the magnificent lapel pin made of gold and platinum shows centrally a magnificent cushion-cut diamond weighing about 1.60 carats and of very good clarity. Due to its specific cut, we can date this diamond relatively precisely - it probably originally came from a piece of jewellery from the late 18th century, just like the other diamonds set into the showpiece of the lapel pin. Six smaller, also cushion-shaped old cuts and six rose-cut diamonds are set as a sparkling wreath around the large stone. The pin itself is made of gold and platinum. Since platinum has been used for jewelry relatively late, since the last decade of the 19th century, the antique diamonds from the Ancien Regime must have apparently found a new use in the years of the Belle Époque. Presumably in the years around 1890, they were newly set - and can thus today be worn effectively by gentlemen on their lapels.

In ancient times, diamonds were valued primarily for their incomparable hardness. As symbols of invincible strength, their beauty was secondary at best. In fact, early diamonds do not appear at all attractive to the modern eye. Medieval cutting techniques also did not allow for spectacular light reflections, and the widespread table cuts only brought out the brightness and color of the stones. All this changed in the course of the 17th century. The nobility of the Baroque period developed a taste for glittering gemstones. Rose-cut diamonds, whose many facets reflected candlelight beautifully, were particularly popular. In the middle of the century, a first, early brilliant cut developed, called the Mazarin cut after the influential Cardinal Jules Mazarin, characterized by a crown of 17 facets. By the end of the century, these diamonds were then replaced by a new shape, named the Peruzzi cut after its inventor. Vincenzo Peruzzi was a gem cutter from Venice, who increased the crown of the diamonds by additional facets to a total of 33, thus increasing the fire of the stones enormously. However, these early brilliant diamonds were not standardized in terms of the number and shape of the facets. Each stone was cut in such a way that as much substance as possible could be preserved. New diamond deposits in Brazil in the second half of the 18th century then led to a cut shape that became known as the Old Mine Cut. These diamonds are already very similar to today's full-cut diamonds, but several generations of continuous improvement of the cutting technique were necessary before the Old Mine Cut became the Old European Cut, and finally the modern full cut in the 1940s.

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.


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.