Miners Diamond

Feb 25, 2019

What is Miners Diamond

Since writing our “Old Mine Cut Diamonds – a complete informative guide”, quite a few people have asked me, “…then what is a “miners diamond” In this short article, I am going to try to delve a bit deeper into the world of “old mine[r] diamond descriptions.

As we are talking about a history topic spanning over numerous centuries, one can only imagine the many different identification, naming and descriptions which were used throughout its rich history and in so many different parts of the world. A huge basket of different names.

As of present time, the descriptive name “Old Mine Cut” diamond managed to lead and extent some significantly strong roots in a relatively short period (considering the long cut history) thanks to the information highway we call Internet.

It wasn’t so long ago (about two, three decades) that antique cut diamond appellation was a non-issue. Their identification names were more depended on where geographically and in what extent such cuts were mentioned and for which reasons.

Only in the past two decades when antique cuts started to pick people’s curiosity did such a confusion arise. Today, when such cuts are becoming more popular, their naming conventions are essential in the identification of the various cutting periods and styles. My previous articles on these topics attempt to bring some sense into the mix.

In the diamond industry world (circa 19th-20th centuries), dealers and cutters used to call antique or old cut diamonds “Alt Schleif” or “Altschliff” (old grinding) in Yiddish or Flemish – Dutch – German, the sectorial dialect mix of the period.

For a few good years now, confusion surrounded the term “Old Mine Cut” started clearing up and took the appellation leadership as a consensus. Today, “miners diamond” cut or miners cut is barely used anymore in general, but sometimes when new potential clients discover these unique cuts, the miners name might still come up.

Miners diamond

Miners diamonds also called Old mine cuts surrounding an antique Colombian emerald gemstone

Miners Diamonds and their potential origins

The “miners cut” or any adjective added came into use around the end of the 19th. or early 20th. century. The former, is about the same period when the South African diamond mines were discovered and their production began to eclipse production from the, then recognized “old mines” of Brazil and/or India (Indian “old” mines were already pretty much depleted at that time).

In this context, the meaning of old-miners diamonds meant specific diamond materials originating from the old Indian or Brazilian mines and were less about their individual cuts. The Old Mine Cuts as we know today were pretty much the standard brilliant cuts of those days.

Brilliant style old cuts in those periods carried a plurality of names which depended mostly on the different geographics and languages used. Some names used were Baroque Brilliants or Coussin (cushion) in French, etc…

Towards the end of the 19th century, a new rounder shaped brilliant was being developed and numerous cutting factories were already busy research & developing this newer cut both in Europe and America.

These early round brilliant versions eventually became known as the new European cuts subdivided in names by their geographical cutting center locations such as the Amsterdam and Antwerp cuts and the such, or as the American cuts for the ones being developed and cut in the Americas, mainly by Henry Morse from Boston, Massachusetts.

When these Old European Cuts became the norm and exclusively mass produced to the norm, the older wonky brilliant cuts of yesteryears became to be known or called the (old) miners cut or “altshliff” in industry dialect as mentioned above.


The name (old) miner for either the diamond cut or material depended on a lot of different factors like the time-period, their geographical location or by whom used (cutters, dealers, jewelers or by the general public) and in which context.

Nowadays, the various names used are more related to specific details like the correct matching between the different periods with their relevant shapes and cutting styles.

Clear-cut standards thankfully do not exist in the world of old cut diamonds. That is just the wonderful beauty of this segment and why such old cuts belong in the art world. Old cuts will always be judged on their individual beauty to its beholder.

Today, since most can freely enjoy the information available online, old cuts and their identifications are still considered very confusing at first. There are plenty of great resources to read through which will with no doubt point one in the right direction.

As an active participator on pricescope.com, I can warmly recommend this site as a wonderful platform to get any diamond information in a correct and efficient manner.

Participants on pricescope.com are passionate professionals and consumers (prosumers) and will gladly share their knowledge which is irreplaceable.

About Yoram Finkelstein

About Yoram Finkelstein

Mr. Finkelstein a proud second generation Diamond cutter. In 2010 He founded GemConcepts Ltd. which specializes in designing and cutting unique Diamonds using a new approach, a new philosophy. GemConcepts design Diamonds that mix the “old world” approach with the newest cutting-edge technologies.


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