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. Most of the decision comes down to aesthetic appeal and your personal preference. If you're still deciding which look you prefer, we've described some of the major points of note when considering antique versus modern diamonds.

Head below to learn more about the differences between antique and modern diamonds.

Old European Cut

Old Mine Cut

Modern Round Cut

Modern Cushion Cut


Antique diamonds are known for their more understated, flowery brilliance and have a certain romance and character to them that has to do with how much each stone varies in overall make or look. From the 1700-1900s, diamond cutters assessed diamond rough and made decisions independently of one another about how to go about cutting it to produce the most beautiful looking diamond. This is why each stone looks so unique and different.

Bridal Engagement Rings The 'Signature Antique' Engagement Ring

Our Signature Antique™ engagement ring can be designed with either an Old European Cut or Old Mine Cut diamond. Old European cut diamonds are the precursors to today’s modern round brilliants. They are perfect circles and were the primary diamond cuts made in the Art Deco period. Old Euros feature larger facets than modern diamonds, yet the same number of them: 58. Since every Old Euro diamond is hand-cut, it's inherently unique and increases in rarity with time as fewer Old Euro cut diamonds are available for sale.

Bridal Engagement Rings Old Mine Cut with Bullet Side Stones Engagement Ring

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 rounded squares.


Modern diamonds feature a sleeker, more geometric quality than their antique counterparts.

Bridal Engagement Rings Round Brilliant with Pave Engagement Ring

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 are the hardest diamonds to cut (they have to be absolutely perfect!) and result in the largest amount of rough lost. For this reason, there is a premium on this stone shape.

Cushion Cut Micro Pave Engagement Ring - Ring Concierge

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 sparkle to a round brilliant but serves up old world charm.

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