What you see when you look at a diamond might be its elegance and beauty. Nonetheless, there is a lot more to a diamond than its appearance. Each diamond has a history of millions of years and is the result of ages of technological evolution. A diamond extracted from the earth is perfectly shaped into sparkling ornaments using various cuts and polishing techniques. These techniques were learned over time after experimenting with it. Do you know how the diamonds evolved from rough stones to smooth and elegant parts of jewelry worth millions now? What are the different cuts of diamonds? This article will take you on a journey through the initial centuries of diamonds and its cutting.
800 BC To 1499
Diamonds are believed to have been found initially in India where it was considered magical and spiritual. They were owned by the elite population including the powerful members of the royal family. These diamonds were worn in their unpolished and uncut form. Towards the end of the 14th century, the octahedral sides of the diamonds were simply polished to create unblemished and smooth facets. This was called point cut even though it was not a cut.
During the 15 century, the point cut had evolved into something that can be called a square cut. It includes a square shape with four step-down edges which was later developed into the famous emerald cut. Around one half of an octahedral diamond would be sawn off in this cut. The Archduke Maximilian of Austria, in 1477, bought his fiancé, Mary of Burgundy, a point cut diamond engagement ring arranged in the shape M. The tradition of wearing diamond ornament was common among the Romans. It is believed that they passed this culture to the Europeans.
After the table cut, the heart cut was much appreciated. Its romantic nature was famous among the wealthy and the royals. In 1562, a heart cut diamond was gifted to Queen Elizabeth I by Mary, the Queen of Scotts.
The pear cut is famous for a variety of reasons and is still in trend. It was invented by the brilliant and skilled Flemish diamond polisher, Lodewyk Van Bercken. He is also known for another invention – the scaife. Have you heard of the scaife? It is the polishing wheel which allowed Lodewyk Van Bercken to cut facets into diamonds accurately with precision and acted as a base to different diamond cuts in the future. The scaife also brought major changes in the diamond trade.