Details on Our Vintage Diamond!

Silver-Grey Diamond in 14kt Yellow Gold

None of the rings above have anything to do with my diamond ring, which is going through a bit of a process these days — look for details in future posts! I’m posting a photo of unusual diamonds (the ones above are silver-gray) because our jewelry appraisal revealed our diamond is pretty unusual itself.

The details:

  • The cut of our round diamond is somewhat controversial. It’s officially appraised as a transition cut, which means it was cut when European cuts were going out of style but before the current modern cut became standard — so between 1918 through the mid to late 1920s. However, most jewelers who have looked at our diamond think it more resembles a European cut, which was developed around 1875. One jeweler went so far as to say she thought it was cut at the turn of the century. As it turns out, gemologists can prioritize various characteristics to determine a diamond’s cut, which means different gemologists could classify the same diamond differently. (If you’re interested in cuts, I found this article on the history of the round cut very helpful.)
  • The color of our diamond is a J. For modern cuts, cuts H and above are considered colorless or nearly colorless and are most desirable, but because of the way a vintage diamond is cut, a J will appear white to most people. We later learned that many vintage diamonds above an H were recut in the modern style and are now a market rarity. So most vintage stones that still retain their original cut are in the range of I to N. (Check out this very helpful article on the differences between a modern diamond and a vintage one and this fun diamond color grades tool from the Gemological Institute of America.)
  • And here’s the weirdest part of our diamond, which has made our situation tricky: The diamond was chipped when mounted back in late 1930s or early 1940s, and evidently, that jeweler glued the chip back into place. The glue yellowed over the years — that color was reflecting around the diamond, making it look yellower than it was. (However, our color grade is the color of the diamond without the yellowness of the glue.)

There’s also a mythology of sorts that goes along with this diamond. Robert’s grandfather had a large diamond that he divided into fours and had set in rings for the four sons in the family. The dates when all this supposedly happened don’t line up with when the ring was forged, so we have our doubts about this tale. Still, I like that my diamond comes with a story.

The ring we have belonged to Robert’s father, who passed away more than 20 years ago. It has been tucked away in a shoebox in Robert’s bedroom ever since — until he offered it to me.

Follow our story; photo courtesy LexLuxe.

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