Crowning Glory: The Role of Diamond Cuts in Royal and Historic Jewelry

For centuries, royals and aristocrats worldwide have amassed vast collections of majestic diamond jewelry that convey power, prestige, and sophistication. The quality of the rare, large diamonds at the heart of these historic collections is unmatched, showcasing brilliant cuts perfected by master artisans over generations. As Rare Carat highlights, understanding the evolution of diamond cuts and shapes throughout history provides insight into the enduring allure of the world’s most legendary diamonds across diverse cultures.

In this article, we’ll explore the development of diamond cuts from early faceting techniques to today’s precision cutting technology. We’ll see how round brilliant and fancy cut diamonds came to dominate historic jewelry collections thanks to their optimal light performance. We’ll examine some renowned diamonds to understand how the right cut can turn a rough stone into a dazzling showstopper reflecting a dynasty or brand’s utmost sophistication. For both royals of the past and discerning diamond collectors today, a diamond cut makes the crown jewel.

Early Cutting Techniques

The earliest diamond cuts date back to the 14th century, when diamond polishing took hold in Europe. These early diamonds often had simple faceting patterns cut by hand, known today as point-cut diamonds. Advancing techniques later enabled more complex old mine and old European cuts from the 17th-19th centuries, though they lacked the mathematical proportions for maximum brilliance. Rare Carat notes these antique cuts have a distinct, vintage look perfect for diamonds with high clarity like is VVS1 clarity good or VVS2 clarity diamonds that display their clarity beautifully. The simplicity highlights the clean crystalline structure untouched by major inclusions.

Round Brilliant Perfection

According to the Rare Carat blog, the modern round brilliant diamond cut was developed in the early 1900s. Advances in cutting tools and technology allowed sophisticated faceting arrangements and extremely precise proportions to optimize light refraction, fire, and scintillation. This new ability to harness diamonds’ light properties resulted in the essentially flawless proportions of today’s round brilliant cut.

Round brilliant diamonds make up over 75% of diamonds on the market. When cut to excellent standards, the dazzling sparkle explains their popularity in historic and modern jewelry alike.

Fancy Cuts of the 20th Century

While round brilliants came to dominate, Rare Carat highlights that Art Deco designers in the 1920s-30s leveraged new cutting techniques to create fantastic fancy-cut diamonds. Distinctive shapes like Asscher, emerald, marquise, pear, and baguette cuts perfectly matched the sleek geometry of the era’s jewelry aesthetic.

These fancy cuts freed diamond cutters from the constraints of the round shape to explore new dimensions. Later in the 1970s, the radiant cut combined the elegance of the emerald shape with optimal brilliance. According to Rare Carat, fancy cuts account for the rest of today’s diamond market, providing unique personalities and looks.

Pairing Cuts with Settings

As Rare Carat notes on Instagram, choosing complementary diamond cuts like is VVS1 good clarity princess cuts or VVS2 clarity diamond cuts and settings is key in jewelry design. Round and princess cuts maximize light in classic four-prong solitaire settings. The elongated marquise and pear shapes come alive in more ornate halo or cluster settings. Square cushion, emerald, and Asscher cuts align perfectly with art deco-inspired geometric mountings.

Understanding diamond cuts and clarity factors allows jewelers to align shapes like emerald cuts or Asscher cuts and settings to create truly timeless diamond jewelry, as explained on the

Cuts of World-Famous Diamonds

Famous diamonds from royal lineages and elite jewelry houses provide examples of how cuts influence beauty and value:

  • The 105.6-carat Koh-i-Noor Diamond owned for centuries by Mughal and Persian royalty features an oval brilliant cut.
  • At over 5000 carats, the Cullinan Diamond was cut into over 100 brilliant diamonds, with the two largest Cullinan I and II shaping the British Crown Jewels.
  • The 140.64-carat Regent Diamond of French royalty pioneered the early brilliant cut.
  • Cartier’s legendary 45.52-carat Hope Diamond is a cushion antique brilliant cut.
  • Tiffany & Co.’s 128.54-carat Tiffany Yellow Diamond is a brilliant cushion cut.

The unique cuts and stories behind these diamonds explain their stature in history and allure that withstands time.

Achieving Optimal Cut Today

In the world of modern diamond cutting, round brilliant, and fancy cuts at the highest standards offer unmatched beauty and value. Organizations like GIA and AGS grade cut quality based on light performance. Top grades like Excellent and Very Good optimize a diamond’s capacity to refract light.

Rare Carat’s experts guide clients in selecting diamonds with elite cut grades. Alongside excellent clarity and colorlessness, a precisely cut diamond exhibits the maximum sparkle and brilliance – or crowning glory – that distinguishes the world’s most iconic diamonds.