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Nancy Buzza brings a personal approach to the jewelry business. Nancy says, "I don't so much feel like a jeweler as a Foster Mom.  I'm want to find a good home for the special pieces that I've found."  I am  very careful to buy only pieces that I, myself, would be proud to wear.  "We want people to look down at their rings 20 years from now and still catch their breath like they do the first time they see them." 

The Look What I Found shop has relocated due to the upcoming closing of Olivia Morgan Antiques Mall.  Please call 404-583-8330 for a appointment at the new location!!

 

About Our Diamonds

The Old Mine Cut or Peruzzi Cut Also Old Cushion Cut

Old Mine CutsMost diamonds cut in this style were from the Brazilian mines, which were discovered in the early 1700s.  When new mines were discovered in South Africa in 1867, the mines in Brazil became known as the old mines and the characteristic shape and cut of those stones as the old-mine cut.

The basic shape of the old-mine cut is square with gently rounded corners.  It is much deeper than the modern round brilliant cut, with a higher crown, a smaller table, and an open culet.  The old cushion cut has the same style of faceting, but is oblong in shape, also called the pillow cut.

To put these wonderful old-cut diamonds into a historical perspective, consider the following:

They are very yellow compared to todays popular whiter diamonds.  I even see quite a few gorgeous cinnamon and chocolate colored old-mine cut diamonds around because, in todays market, they are not considered worth re-cutting to a modern round brilliant stone. There was no middle class anywhere in the world and these diamonds were competing with huge rubies, spinels, emeralds, peridots, amethysts, and all the other colored gemstones for a place with royal families and American robber barons!  They considered a colorless gemstone boring, and it was much easier to use white quartz or crystal to achieve a neutral color.

 There was no electricity, so these diamonds were not only cut by hand, but they were also POLISHED without electrical power to turn their polishing wheels.  Diamond is the hardest material on earth, so it must have taken years to achieve a beautiful gemstone.  Naturally, with so much time involved in production and a very elite market awaiting these diamonds, they only started with the very best quality rough crystals.  Any sign of carbon inclusions would cause a diamond to be discarded.  (I have my own theory about some of the smaller poorly-cut old mine diamonds that show up now and then.  The apprentice cutters had to spend years learning their craft and these are probably some of their first diamonds!)

These old-mine-cut diamonds were cut for candlelight and lamplight, (remember--no electricity.)  They are much deeper and actually trap the light inside the stone, separating the white light into all the colors of the rainbow.  Todays round brilliant cut diamonds look best in bright light, but the old-mine-cut diamonds and old-European cut diamonds are at their best in low light.  (Imagine a dimly lit restaurant with candles on the tables.  Your diamond will look like a headlight!).

The Old European Cut

Old European CutLoading animationAfter the electric bruting machine was invented in 1891, the girdle of a diamond was able to be round instead of square.  The style of cut remained deep, with a high crown, small table, and open culet.  These round shaped diamonds came onto the market at the same time as the new South African diamonds.  It didn't take long for the DeBeers company to buy up most of the South African mines, establish the diamond cutting (with electric polishing wheels) centers in Amsterdam and Belgium, and to begin marketing diamonds to the emerging middle classes in American and Europe.  I examine these diamonds very carefully for flaws and inclusions.  Its much harder to find clean European cuts.   When found, they are every bit as gorgeous as the old-mine cut diamonds because they retain the same depth and faceting style.

The Modern Round Brilliant Cut

Modern Round Brilliant CutThe theory of the shape and facet placement of the modern round brilliant cut diamond was discovered by mathematical formula in 1919.  Since diamonds were still hand cut by master cutters with many years of experience, it took awhile for this new-fangled idea to catch on!  We call the diamonds cut between 1920 and 1940 transition cuts, because they combine the old and new styles in many, many different ways.  Many of the old cut diamonds were also re-cut to more modern proportions.  Sometimes the crown was lowered and the table widened, sometimes the top of the stone was left alone and the bottom was re-cut to close the culet.

Since 1940, all round brilliant diamonds have been cut to the same formula--in more recent years with the help of lasers and computers.

...So What's Important?

The first and main thing to look for in any diamond is beauty.  Does it make you catch your breath?  Despite the marketing hype, diamonds are not an investment.  They are an emotional experience in the search, the purchase, and the wearing. 

Because of the age of most of our diamonds, their original brooch, pendant or ring is long since gone. I have my master jeweler take the diamond out of whatever its last home has been and he weighs it and grades it for clarity and color.  Then I spend whatever time it takes to find just the right new home for it. Each antique-cut diamond is a unique work of art by a master artisan.  I have discovered that one mounting might just suck all the life out of a diamond while another mounting will make it sing and dance!  You may assume that most of my old-mine cut diamonds are in high-quality new reproduction mountings.  I do have a few that were remounted in their current rings back in the early 1900s, so the ring may truly be an antique--and the central diamond is even older!