Antique vs. Modern Diamonds

When designing your dream engagement ring, there are many options to consider. One major consideration is whether you want an antique or modern diamond. Antique diamonds are known for their more understated, flowery brilliance and have a softer sparkle thanks to larger facets arranged differently than a modern round or cushion cut diamond. On the other hand, modern diamonds feature a sleeker, more geometric quality than their antique counterparts. Most of the decision comes down to aesthetic appeal and your personal preference. Head below to learn more about the differences between antique and modern diamonds.

Antique

Old Cut Rounds

Old European cut diamonds are the precursors to today’s modern round brilliants. They were the primary diamond cuts made in the Art Deco period. Circular Brilliant diamonds, another antique round cut, have the same romance and character.

Modern

Modern Round Cut

Round brilliant diamonds sparkle most brilliantly of any diamond. They're precision cut with perfection in mind and give off a crisp, splintering brilliance. Round brilliant diamonds result in the largest amount of rough lost due to their shape. For this reason, there is a premium on this stone shape.

Modern round brilliant diamonds and antique cut rounds are a classic shape that complements a variety of ring styles. For a unique way to combine antique with modern, try an Old Cut Round in a bezel setting. If you want to emphasize your diamond’s antique look, we recommend The Park setting.

Antique

Old Cut Cushions

Old Mine cut diamonds are the precursors to today’s cushion cut stones and describe rounded diamonds that were cut before 1890. Also called the "Miner Cut," this was the primary shape used in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Though old mines vary in shape from stone to stone (some being elongated), they can generally be best described as squares with rounded corners.

Modern

Modern Cushion Cut

Modern Cushion cut diamonds are today's take on the Old Mine cut. Resembling a pillow, they have a soft square or rectangular shape with curved angles. It boasts a similar crisp sparkle to a round brilliant and the shape serves up old world charm.

To really show off the soft corner square shape, we recommend an Old Cut Cushion in The Madison setting or The Lexington for more sparkle.

To learn more, check out our 101 on diamond shapes.