Antique Diamond History Quiz
Test your Jewelry Genius!
As antique diamond experts and enthusiasts, we know that learning about the history of these beautiful gems can be just as exciting as owning them. So, we thought it would be fun to test your knowledge with a quick quiz on antique diamond history. The quiz is designed to help you learn more about the evolution of antique diamonds and the factors that make them so unique. Take the quiz, challenge yourself, and see how well you do!
When looking for an antique diamond, it's critical to understand this key distinction...
Many modern jewelry ateliers will recommend looking at the 4Cs to guide your diamond choice; they are color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. But those rules don't necessarily apply to antique stones in the same way because they didn't exist yet!
While a piece of jewelry must be at least 100 years old to be considered an antique, the first mention of the 4Cs didn't occur until 1949 in course materials of the Gemological Institute of America. But just because the 4Cs aren't the diamond standard of antique pieces, doesn't mean they can't tell us a great deal about the stones in question if you know how to put your knowledge to the test...
How did early gemologists grade clarity without advanced tools?
Using little more than a magnifying lens, stones were given broad descriptions of their clarity rather than exact measurements. A diamond might be “eye clean” if it appears to be free of blemishes whereas a ruby may be described as having “feathery” inclusions. Queen Victoria’s engagement ring famously featured both along with one other colored gemstone known for its gorgeous “jardin”. Do you know the third stone?
Which type of antique diamond cut is characterized by a flat base and a pointed top?
Dating back to the 16th century, this diamond cut is characterized by a flat bottom and a dome-shaped top, with triangular facets that resemble the petals of a rose. The cut was particularly popular during the Georgian and Victorian eras, before being replaced by more brilliant cuts in the early 20th century.
Which cuts were most popular during the 1800s and early 1900s?
Before the Industrial Revolution and the advances it brought along in stone cutting and metal smithing, each gem needed to be shaped and set by hand to optimize its play of light. Two cuts, in particular, were exceptionally common for diamonds of the time – can you name them?
How were carat weights determined during this era?
This one is a bit of a trick question… The international carat was introduced in the 1870s, so many stones would have been measured in the same weight standard they would be today!
The challenge is that once the stones are set into jewelry, it takes an expert to give an accurate estimate. This is why all of our diamond bridal pieces come with an appraisal done by our GIA Graduate Gemologists for your piece of mind and record keeping.
Whether you're a certified antique jewelry lover with some diamond trivia of your own or you learned something new, let us know how you did!
Here's to your brilliance!
Julie and the Walton's Team