When you buy a diamond, or other gemstone, as part of an item of fine jewellery, they have been cut in a specific way. This cut helps to bring out the attractive properties of a diamond. However, the popularity of certain diamond cuts has tended to vary over the years.
The first type of diamond cut was known as a 'point cut', and can be seen to date back as far as the 14th century. This was a basic octahedron shape, any one which you would be unlikely to find at modern day jewellers such as 77 Diamonds. By the 15th century, another design, know as the 'table cut' had already become more popular. This cut was very similar to the original point cut, but had one end taken off to provide a flat surface on one side. However, this cut often meant that the diamond would appear black when looked at - meaning that coloured gemstones were still a far more popular choice at this time.
This gradually evolved into the 'rose' or 'rosette' cut, which tended to be unsymmetrical designs, which prioritised carat weight above the design itself. However, 'brilliant' cuts, which are designed to have many facets, giving the impression of exceptional brilliance, did not come into production until the mid-17th century. The early 'mazarin cut' diamonds (or gemstones) has a total of 17 facets on the upper half of the stone.
In time, this increased to a total off 33 facets, and was known as the 'Peruzzi cut'. At the time, these cuts were seen as particularly brilliant, but they would still be considered rather dull in comparison to today's standards. The 'Old European Cut' which became popular during the 19th century is the closest to what we would expect to see on many diamonds nowadays, although it is the advances in cutting and polishing techniques which help most modern jewellers to achieve the look of most modern jewellery.
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