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A Lost Craft: The Beauty Of Hand Cut Gemstones

Originally done here at the workshop in Berganza

The collection at Berganza is comprised of a myriad of vintage and antique jewellery pieces which have all been crafted by hand. Not only has each piece of jewellery been hand crafted around the centre gemstone, but the diamonds themselves have been faceted by hand. In order to polish a surface of a diamond one must use a rotating disc known as a Scaife which is pictured in the photograph, this was originally done here at the workshop in Berganza. One could view diamonds being repaired here until 1996, after this the workshop had to be relocated due to our need for more retail space for our ever increasing stock.

These beautiful vintage and antique hand cut diamonds are instantly recognisable by their deep proportions, small table (flat surface on the top), large irregular facets (flat surfaces at different angles around the edge) and a large flat culet (flat surface at the very bottom). These distinctive characteristics of the cut give a shape and dimension that captures the essence of an era, drawing your eye into the heart of the stone, allowing for a superior scintillation in daylight and other low light settings. These distinctive diamonds have become a favourite of discerning collectors and lovers of jewellery from a bygone time, due to their scarcity, originality and old-world charm.

From the mid twentieth century advances in computer-imaging programmes, precision measurement systems and lasers all combined to improve the ability to cleave, saw and polish diamond rough. In today’s market, the aim of manufacturers is to maximize the yield and thus the market value from one piece of rough. This new technology has created the modern brilliant cut as the most cost effective of cuts. In this time of mass production, the value of modern diamonds is based on the 4 Cs: Carat, Colour, Clarity, and Cut as these characteristics alone differentiate one from the next.

Hand cut diamonds are an incredibly rare find nowadays and are extremely sought after both for their unique history, individuality and their exquisite beauty. This is why many still prefer diamonds which have been faceted by hand using the first pioneering techniques as they are drawn to the idea of a craftsman at his workbench hand-cutting their stone over a century ago. Each diamond is completely unique to the next and therefore each stone has its own recognisable sparkle.

Interested in owning your own wonderful piece of wearable history? Visit Berganza to discover the beauty of hand cut diamonds for yourself.

A Lost Craft: The Beauty Of Hand Cut Gemstones
Art Deco diamond cluster ring, circa 1930. Hatton Garden
Art Deco diamond cluster ring, French, circa 1930.
Ref: 25896
A Lost Craft: The Beauty Of Hand Cut Gemstones
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Updated 29/05/2024 at 2:48PM

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