What’s It Worth? Beautiful Old Diamonds In Their Original Form

Victorian jewelry is known for originality and the beauty of its original mountings, making it a cherished and preferred choice for many collectors; however, caution should be exercised when considering recutting old diamonds as it can result in significant weight loss, diminishing the charm (and value) of their unique, often lumpy cuts.

An Arizona jeweler bought a ring from an estate last month and sent it to us for purchase. The original seller had been told that the lumpy, asymmetrical old miner-cut diamond should be recut to modern
standards to enhance its beauty. While it is true that a recut would likely increase the light refraction and scintillation, the overall value would for sure go down.

mine cut diamond

We negotiated a price of $17,000 “as is” for this ring from the Arizona jeweler. If recut, this lumpy
misshapen stone would likely result in a beautiful 1.75 carat stone. While it would have much more sparkle and the fancy yellow color might become even more intense, the I-1 (imperfect) clarity would not have improved. Also, the original mounting would become useless as the stone would no longer fit.

The debate between history-oriented purists like us and jewelers who disdain the old stuff continues, but without a doubt, the market for old-cut diamonds in original mountings is much stronger than for loose, much smaller, perfectly cut diamonds. Keep in mind: with white, clean modern cuts, an IDEAL cut is indeed better than a simple good cut, and if minimal cutting results in a 5%-or-less weight loss, it is indeed OK.

We have put this beautiful (to us) 2.99 carat fancy intense yellow, I-1 clarity diamond ring (surrounded by another 3ct of white, clean old miner cut) into our monthly international auction with an estimate of $20,000 to $25,000. As always, this ring is available for your viewing at one of our stores by appointment only.

We buy diamonds!

Go ahead. Google us. Three former sothebys.com associates and two art
historians on staff. You read about us in the Wall Street Journal, The New York
Times and Fortune magazine. Do you have diamond jewelry for sale? Contact us!
We have sold the contents of museums and collections for USF.

Share Article
We use cookies to improve our site and your browsing experience. By clicking the “Accept All” button, you accept the use of cookies on our website.
Take 10% off your first purchase
Sign up to our email list to stay up to date on our latest deals, news, and events.
Exclusions apply. By signing up, you agree to receive email marketing from us.