Antique Diamonds

  • Antique Diamonds
  • True Antique Cushion
  • Famous Diamonds

Most people are attracted to antique cuts intuitively because of their characteristic retro vibe.  Except for cushion cuts, labs do not differentiate cuts on modern and antique diamonds. Today, the majority of antique cut diamonds on the market are modern replicas. However, this does not diminish their beauty and value. Antique cuts are scarce, so modern standards are not applicable in their evaluation.

Antique diamond cuts you should know about:

        • Assher cut
        • Antique cushion
        • Old European cut
        • French cut
        • Single cut

Antique cuts are like orphans looking for a new home. They are steeped in fascinating history and charming traditions. Antique diamonds bring us closer to our roots, filling us with a sense of belonging to a bygone era.
Every antique diamond is unique. Their artisanal individuality makes up for mechanical precision. Antique diamonds were designed when candlelight was the primary source of indoor illumination, making them burst with intense fire.

Carrie Bradshaw getting asscher cut diamondIn popular culture, Carrie of “Sex in the city” ends up saying yes to Aidan’s proposal with a stunning Asscher-cut diamond ring after rejecting a pear shape diamond in a gold mounting. 

When you compare a vintage diamond to a modern diamond, it’s easy to see the difference. Should the charming past radiating from every facet of an heirloom diamond be destroyed to increase the perceived value?
The answer is: No. Old cut stones are genuinely scarce and only get rarer with every passing day.
A recut diamond is identical to a diamond produced from rough yesterday. With the absence of a historical record, it’s impossible to tell when the stone has been cut.

Unfortunately, many of the world’s most famous and historic diamonds have been recut over the centuries of their lifetimes. Sometimes it was done to improve the appearance of stones, but more often to conceal their identity for criminal gain.

Antique diamonds offer timeless romantic appeal and dazzling fire. Unlike modern cuts, there are very few antique diamonds to choose from. An antique Asscher cut is undeniably the most beautiful of all antique diamonds. It is closely trailed by Antique Cushions and Old European cuts. The classic French cut is the absolute classic among accent stones.

The Asscher cut is a trade term describing a square emerald-cut diamond with 58 facets. The branded Royal Asscher has 74 facets. It is a step-cut. There are three varieties of Asscher cuts: antique, classic, and modern. Authentic Asschers are extremely rare because rough yields are meager when these stones are cut.

An Asscher cut diamond seems to draw your eye to the center of the stone, to its magical depth, and the source of its incredible fire.
It is an octagonal cut with corners almost as wide as the sides, a small table, a high crown, and a deep pavilion. The table of an antique Asscher is typically less than 50%, with a total depth exceeding 70%, and with evenly spaced facet steps.
Antique Asschers come from estate jewelry and are hard to find. The True Antique Asschers are modern replicas of the antique cut. Both the antique Aschers and their replicas command premium prices due to their scarcity.

The Classic Asscher is a contemporary take on the antique Asscher cut. It mixes the wide-corner, small-table, uniform-facet concept with the low-crown, shallow-pavilion proportions of a contemporary emerald cut.
The Classic Asscher cut produced today is not as deep as the Antique cut. Its table hovers at around 60%, its depth is between 65% to 72%, its crown is lower, and the corners are not as wide.
Classic Asschers are reasonably priced, but they are in a limited supply and require a trained eye and lots of time and patience to distinguish them from modern Asschers.

The Royal Asscher Diamond Company was established in Amsterdam in 1854. Royal Asscher® is a patented brand owned by the company. The Royal Asscher® is a modern classic Asscher cut modified with two additional rows of pavilion facets. They are laser-inscribed with the brand’s logo and an identification number.

The Royal Asscher® is the only diamond that the GIA identifies as an Asscher cut on its certificates. All other Asscher cuts, including vintage and antique stones, are called a “square emerald cut” on GIA reports. Sold at a premium price, the beautiful Royal Asscher® is not superior to a well-executed Classic Asscher, which can rival the Royal cut in brilliance and fire.

A common square emerald cut is often called a modern Asscher. Using the term Asscher is misleading and deceptive since this modern cut lacks the mysterious elegance and finesse associated with the Asscher. A modern Asscher has tiny corners, a large table, and shallow depth. A typical depth is 60% to 70% and the table is 60% to 65%.

The Asscher cut is a step cut and requires superior clarity due to the higher visibility of even minor inclusions. Brilliant cuts are better at hiding inclusions with their brilliance. The recommended minimum clarity for an Asscher cut is VS1. Lower grades are acceptable for rare antique stones, such as the True Asscher cut.
Asscher cuts, just like other antique diamond cuts, tend to mask the diamond color and make it less noticeable. Therefore, warmer stones look more natural and face up whiter than expected.

The traditional classic Asscher is a square cut with a length-to-width ratio of approximately 1.00 to 1.06. An elongated Asscher with a ratio that’s longer than 1.1 is called the Krupp cut. The name comes from the emerald-cut diamond given to Liz Taylor by Richard Burton. He purchased it at the Krupp estate auction for $300k – it’s currently worth millions.

Joseph Asscher, the founder of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company, is famous for working with two of the largest diamonds in history: the 995-carat Excelsior and the 3,107-carat Cullinan.
King Edward VII contracted Joseph Asscher to cut the Cullinan. Joseph studied the enormous piece of rough for six months. He finally notched a groove at a carefully calculated spot in preparation for the big moment. At precisely 3:05 pm, he took a shot of Jägermeister, mumbled something in Yiddish and hit the cleaver, and immediately passed out. After regaining consciousness, he learned that the stone split into three pieces, all according to plan. Was it stress or too much Jäger responsible for his fainting? We’ll never know.
Joseph fashioned the Cullinan into 21 gems, ranging from less than a carat to 70+ carats rock. The stones cut from the Cullinan diamond, all flawless, are exhibited at the Crown Jewels collection at the Tower of London.

The Asscher cut was created by the diamond cutter Joseph Asscher. His Royal Asscher Diamond Company Ltd. was established in Amsterdam in 1854.

The extended Asscher family has a reputation for being excellent diamond cutters and polishers. They work with hard-to-cut odd-shaped rough and are known to produce beautiful gems.

At one time, the Asscher factory employed 500 people. In the old days, the polishing wheels powered by steam engines were attached to long shafts with leather belts. The driving shafts ran the entire length of the building. Even after the introduction of electricity, the original shafts were retained.

Classic (Antique) Cushions are rare, timeless, and sophisticated jewels. In the trade, they are known as Old Miners. The Antique Cushion’s high-contrast faceting mutes color perception, so they look whiter than their modern counterparts. The Antique Cushion’s prized mix of fragmented brilliance and extreme dispersion is also unmatched.

Cushion Brilliants are essentially round brilliants with a pillow-like shape. Their pavilion facets originate at the culet and extend to the girdle in a star-like fashion. A stone loses its spot on the top of cushion’s Mount Olympus and becomes Cushion Brilliant when it matches at least three of the following criteria:
– the table is over 53%
– the crown angle is over 40°
– lower halves are 60% or less
– the culet is slightly large

Cushion Modified combines radiant-cut facets with a cushion-shaped outline and soft, rounded corners. Modified Cushions have excessive brilliance without contrast, giving them a “crushed ice” look. Some facets terminate below the girdle. In places where the facets meet, they form bulges that complicate the ring’s construction and carry dead weight.

The traditional Antique Cushion cut diamond is a beautiful jewel. It has a pillow-shaped outline, soft, rounded corners, an open culet or a keel, a small table, and a high crown. The Classic Cushion comes with Old World flair and romantic appeal. Antique cushions are not necessarily old. Most Antique Cushions sold today are recently cut.

The Antique Cushion was the dominant diamond cut for centuries until the advent of the modern Round Brilliant, which is uniform, scalable, easy to make, sort, and use. By going back to Antique Cushion, we are able to revive and recapture the magic of the Golden Era.

Antique Cushion diamonds have superior dispersion, radiating an abundance of fire when lit by flickering candlelight. An Antique Cushion has an open culet, a high crown, and large facets – a perfect combination of sophisticated elements for a connoisseur seeking a diamond with character and pedigree.

Antique Cushions are closer to Step-Cut diamonds in the way they transform light. They don’t have the dreaded “crushed ice” look of Modern Cushions.
Antique Cushions are classified as Old Mine Brilliants on GIA lab reports.


The Old European (or simply European) Cut is a vintage Round Brilliant Cut. It became popular in the late 19th century when its predecessor, the Old Mine Cut, lost its Cushion shape and became round thanks to the invention of the bruting machine. The Old European Cut retained the rest of the Old Miner’s charms – the high crown, small table, and open culet.
The Modern Round Brilliant is a direct descendant of the European Cut. Both have the same round shape and 57 facets, not counting the culet. The proportions and angles have, however, changed drastically.
The current proportions of the Modern Brilliant inspired Marcel Tolkowsky, Henry Morse, and others to experiment with angles and facets searching for the ideal round cut.
Today, Old European Cut diamonds are found in vintage jewelry. They usually have poor symmetry and low color, and they are sometimes mistaken for antique cushions.

Like its predecessor, the Old Miner, the Old European Cut features spectacular “inner fire” by design.
Back when warm, flickering candlelight illuminated the 19th-century ballrooms, the Old European’s dramatic inner fire was a diamond’s most desired property. In later decades, when wearing diamonds outdoors became common, the emphasis shifted to cuts that maximize brilliance rather than fire.

  • Old European Cut diamonds have small tables and relatively high crowns.
  • There is always an open, often a large culet. The culet size may vary, but it is usually large enough to be seen with a naked eye.
  • The Old European diamonds are not perfectly round. Cutting diamonds by hand often resulted in an off-round shape.
  • The girdle of the old-euro is usually bruted. Its frost-like appearance is different from the clear faceted girdle of a modern diamond.

A Round diamond has to meet 3 out of 4 benchmarks to be certified as an Old European Cut by the GIA:
-A table size of less than or equal to 53%,
-A crown angle of 40 degrees or more,
-A lower half facet length of 60% or less,
-An open culet.
GIA treats an Old European diamond as a fancy shape and does not evaluate its cut. However, Old Europeans are considered to be Round Brilliants in the diamond trade. The round shape is significantly more expensive than any fancy shape.

The first Brilliants, known as “Mazarins,” were introduced in the 17th century. Uniform diamond cuts did not exist until then, so each diamond had highly irregular shapes and a jumble of facets.
Before the invention of the diamond saw, a single piece of rough yielded just one stone. The European Cut was given a high crown, a small table, and an open culet to maximize the yield. Skill and experience, rather than machinery and automation, give the Old European Cut a beautiful organic, artisan look. The imperfections add character and timeless charm that only one-of-a-kind diamonds possess.
Old European Cuts are no longer produced. They are a prized find by collectors and history buffs.

The Transition Cut also called the “American cut,” is a short-lived bridge between the Old European Cut and the Modern Brilliant. The experimental cut hosted a mix of modern and antique features in the same stone. The cut was invented in the 1870s by a Boston cutter and possibly a Red Sox fan. His name was Henry Morse, not to be confused with Samuel Morse, the inventor of the Morse code systems. Henry told everyone that a diamond’s beauty is more valuable than the rough yield. His goal was to find the most flattering proportions that return maximum light from inside a diamond. The diamantaires before him always strived to waste as little rough as possible during cutting. Henry, however, decided to go against the grain and waste as much rough as necessary to achieve the most sparkle.

The Jubilee diamond cut is usually reserved for large diamonds. It empowers a diamond to shine spectacularly. Compared to the round brilliant’s 58 facets, the Jubilee cut features 88 (sometimes 80) facets. Because it’s not deep and has no culet, the Jubilee has a glittering effect second to none. It is one of the brightest cuts you can find and also extremely rare.

A French cut diamond can be easily recognized by a rhomboid table that is turned 90 degrees to the diamond’s outline. The shape is usually square, but can be rectangular or even trapezoid. The pavilion of a French cut diamond is split into four plain facets, sometimes divided in half. The edges have smaller facets added for extra brilliance. A French cut has a small table created by slicing one end of a well-formed octahedral crystal. The Scissors cut is a variety of French cut with a bit more elaborate faceting.

The French cut is a marvel of elegance. The French cut came into fashion in the 17th century and has been used in high-end jewelry ever since. The name reflects the fact that these diamonds were favored by French jewelers. The French cut is a result of the evolution of the primitive Table cut diamond.

Antique-style French cut diamonds are produced using a well-formed octahedron rough. The modern French cuts are often produced by recutting baguettes and princess cuts and thus have a low crown and a large table.


These two obscure diamond cuts are interesting only because they gave birth to the French cut through gradual transformations and improvements.
The early brilliant-cut created in 1650 was named after Cardinal Mazarin, who apparently was fond of diamonds.


The Rose Cut is one of the oldest diamond cuts. It became widespread in the 1500s and remained popular until the early 1900s when more complicated and precise cuts were developed.
Picture a flat round diamond with a bulging pavilion and a giant table. Flip it upside down, and you’ve got yourself a Rose Cut diamond. It’s an equivalent of a cabochon in diamonds.
Owing to its shape, carat-for-carat Rose Cut diamonds face up larger than any other diamond cut. This makes the Rose Cut an attractive purchase for those harboring a beer budget and a taste for vintage wine.
The crown of a Rose Cut is dome-shaped, formed by the facets meeting at the center. The Rose Cut reacts very differently to light than other diamonds because of its flat bottom and shallow depth. The absence of a pavilion results in washed-out luster and dull brilliance.

A Rose Cut diamond crown has six triangular facets that resemble the petals of an unfolding rosebud. Perhaps having a drink can help you make the same connection. A conventional Rose Cut diamond crown has six triangular facets arranged in a hexagon and small triangular facets completing the second row. Large stones have as many as seven or eight rows of facets.
Rose Cuts come in many shapes, although the majority are round.
Variations include the Briolette, a hexagonal Antwerp Rose, and a Double Dutch Rose, which resembles two Rose cuts united back-to-back. A Rose with a large table is called a portrait diamond.

Rose Cut diamonds are timeless – it’s a pretty cut that gives any jewel a unique vintage feel. They can be used in any piece of jewelry and are exceptionally graceful in earrings, pendants, and necklaces.
The Rose Cut enjoyed a resurgence in popularity when Jennifer Anniston was proposed to with an 8-carat Rose Cut solitaire which sparked a short-lived renaissance. It’s still trendy and widely used in inexpensive fashion jewelry.

Rose-cut diamonds share proportion and faceting but come in many different shapes. Most common are round rose cuts, but there are pears, cushions, and ovals.
Leon Mege single cut diamonds illustration Single Cut diamonds are not for single people, just as Full Cut diamonds are not for those full of, well.., you know what. Single cuts, aka Eight Cuts, are small round diamonds, usually less than 10 points, with octagon-shaped tables. There are eight crown facets and eight pavilion facets. Altogether there are a total of 17 facets, or 18 facets if you count the culet. Early single cuts were octagonal. They became round in the 19th century, thanks to the invention of diamond bruting lathes. In the 1980s, automated cutting made it possible to scale a full-cut diamond to a minuscule size. This automation made Single Cuts obsolete, and the Full Cut Brilliants replaced them. However, modern precision-cut single cuts are still used in ultra-high-end jewelry and luxury watches, thanks to their superior brilliance.

The Single Cut is one of the oldest diamond cuts. It is a very simple cut, essentially an upgrade from the Table Cut, which the Point Cut preceded. The Point Cut diamond is a naturally formed octahedron crystal polished but not faceted. With the advancement of diamond cutting techniques, the square Table cut gave way to the octagonal Single Cut.
Single Cuts rose to prominence in the 1920s. They were common accent stones in Art Deco pieces that saw extensive use of antique cut diamonds.


They are easy to tell apart – the Modern Single Cuts do not have open culets.
Antique diamonds were cut by hand under dim light, so they were malformed, ill-proportioned stones with uneven facets and poor symmetry. Some think this was the secret of their charm, but others disagree. Today, Antique Single Cuts are found filling up tight spots in vintage jewelry.
Modern Single Cuts are fashioned using high-precision technology. They have perfect symmetry and command a premium price.

It depends. If stones smaller than 1.2 mm are used, Single Cut diamonds look better. Single Cut diamonds match well with Antique Cut center stones. Antique replicas and bespoke jewelry can all benefit from using Single Cut stones. Using a Single Cut in modern bridal jewelry is usually an unnecessary expense because they are premium stones. Single Cut diamonds are more expensive than Full Cuts and are in limited supply.

The diamonds used in modern jewelry are typically Full Cut diamonds. Each tiny stone is the replica of a large round brilliant. As the diamond’s size gets smaller, its facets shrink so much that its reflections blend into a single point of light. In other words, they lose their brilliance which is the diamond’s ability to blink.
On the other hand, the facets of a similar-sized Single Cut are three times larger. This gives a Single Cut superior brilliance when they are tiny.
Today, Single Cuts are used exclusively in ultra-high-end jewelry pieces and hands and dials of luxury watches. Single Cuts burst with brilliance and fire – they form a repeating pattern of facet reflections giving pavés a fabric-like texture.

Antique Pear

The first Pear Shaped Briolette was invented in the mid-15th century by a Flemish cutter, Lodewyk van Bercken. The cut was a variation of a Rose Cut but with a point.
The True Antique Pears are not Briolettes or Rose Cuts. They have tables, crowns, and pavilions. Their point is usually blunted or even rounded, and they have large open culets.
They are extremely rare, and if you ever come across an Antique Pear, do not let it get away from you. These diamonds are marvelous and unique stones.

The most beautiful pillow-shaped diamond with large, stout facets, hypnotizing open culet, and regal pedigree.

The antique cushion cut diamond is a classic and timeless jewel. Its pillow-shaped outline, soft rounded corners, small table, high crown, and large open culet are easily distinguished from other diamond cuts. The GIA classifies the diamond cut as “Old Mine” cut or “Old Miner.” Their traditional pillow-shaped outline conveys the beauty and romantic appeal of a bygone era. In addition, antique cushions were designed to burst alive with intense fire at times when candlelight was still the primary source of indoor illumination.

No other diamond cut can replicate the Antique Cushion’s prized mix of checkered brilliance and extreme dispersion. In addition, antique cushions’ high-contrast faceting mutes the color perception, expanding the number of stones perceived as white.

Antique cushions are extremely rare. At any given moment, there are only a few antique cushions on the market for every thousand modern cushions. Therefore, at any given time there is only a small number of antique cushions available. An antique cushion is the most desirable diamond cut to be used in high-end jewelry.

antique cushion illustration

Our True Antique™ cushions are a contemporary version of the Old Mine diamonds with perfect symmetry and excellent polish. It is the classic cushion cut that ruled the world until the round brilliant-cut was developed.
The world’s most famous diamonds, including the Hope Diamond, feature the same Old Mine cut as our antique cushions.

An antique cushion diamond always has an open culet.
Most antique cushions have a high crown and a small table.
An antique cushion has large facets, not as thin and stretched as the facets of a modern cushion.

True Antique cushion diamonds and other premium cuts like an Asscher are slightly more expensive than the rest of the fancy shapes but still significantly less expensive than round diamonds.
Cutting antique cushion diamonds requires specialized knowledge, tools, equipment, and techniques because of their extreme difficulty. It takes on average 30% longer to cut an antique cushion diamond. The same piece of rough yields about a 10-15% smaller antique cushion than a modified cushion. Our True Antique cushions are premium stones that command higher prices due to their exceptional beauty, higher production cost, and scarce inventory.

Leon Mege True Antique™ cushion diamonds are newly minted diamonds, not recycled vintage stones or old stones taken out of period jewelry.

True Antique™ cushions are currently produced in New York by an extended family of artisan diamantaires who has preserved the secrets of the antique faceting style through many generations.
Although not blood-related, we are honored to be a part of the family and closely collaborate for several decades to produce and popularize these rare gems.
Our True Antique™ cushions are cut entirely by hand and eye, using the same techniques diamonds were cut hundred of years ago.

Pillow shaped diamonds antique cushionsThey can be both. Our True Antique™ Cushion diamonds are cut in various grades, sizes, and proportions. The type of rough predetermines the shape and the ratio finished stones have.

GIA classifies the great majority of our antique cushions as the Old Mine cut. Some antique cushions cut from a flat rough and, therefore, with depth lower than 60% are certified by the GIA as Cushion brilliants.
According to GIA unfortunate guidelines, the antique cushion is classified as a cushion brilliant when all except one is true:

  • The table is over 53%
  • Slightly large culet
  • Crown angle is over 40°
  • The lower half is 60% or less

This outdated guideline is misleading because antique cushions look dramatically different than cushion brilliants.

Cushion cut comparison modern vs antiqueA proper balance between brilliance and dispersion is the hallmark of every True Antique™ cushion diamond. It is the authentic cushion cut that fits rigorous geometric and optical requirements. Not every antique cushion can pass the rigorous requirements we bestow upon our stones. Antique cushions do not have the dreaded “Crushed Ice” splintered brilliance found in modern cushions.

True Antique™ Cushion Diamonds’ proportions seem to be a perfect match for a halo. The antique cushion’s high crown braced by a micro pave skirt is stunningly beautiful.

True Antique™ cushions are an excellent choice for solitaires or three-stone rings, especially those where the basket is set with pave.
Unlike modern cushion cuts, Antique cushions do not have a bulging pavilion providing ample space for metal to be concealed underneath.
In addition, the shorter prongs block less of the stone’s side view because the girdle they grip is lower.

Leon Mege is the only place to find a complete selection of True Antique™ Cushions.
To see the complete and exclusive inventory of antique cushions, please check the stock list using our dedicated portal at

Leon Mege modern cushion diamond variationsCushion brilliants are round brilliants reshaped into pillow-like cushions. Their faceting arrangement is the same as a round brilliant.

The pavilion facets originate at the culet and extend to the girdle in a star-like fashion. The great majority of cushion brilliants are modern cushions, but they rarely have a “crushed ice” appearance, unlike modified cushions. Cushion brilliant cut is less common and sold at a premium.
The cushion modified cut is essentially a radiant cut with rounded corners: same outline, different faceting.

All modified cushions are grouped as modern cushions known for their excessive brilliance without a contrast that results in a “crushed ice” look. The majority of modified cushions have four protruding bulges on the pavilion that make concealing the metalwork difficult.

Famous diamonds illustration

Until the modern round cut appeared in the early 1900s, most diamonds were cut as cushion-cut called “Old Miner”.  It was also called by other names, i.e. Peruzzi cut, Triple cut, etc. The Old Mine cut was the earliest form of a brilliant cut – The diamond cut of its era. It is characterized by a high crown, small table, shallow pavilion, large facets, and open culet.

The beauty of these stones is not in their perfect symmetry or the amount of light they return when measured through a multi-colored plastic cone. Antique diamonds cannot be judged by modern standards. They were cut to perform in a world of natural, not artificial, light by transforming it into a rainbow of explosive flashes with its every move.

They project a certain flair that most people find astonishing, enigmatic, and electrifying. Leon Mege is famous for bringing the Old Mine cut (as all historic diamonds on this page)back to the spotlight. Our True Antique cushion diamonds are cut in our New York diamond cutting factory.


This magnificent diamond of Indian origin was originally known as the Pitt Diamond, after Thomas Pitt, who acquired it under murky circumstances. He claimed to pay 10 archers for it, and it took 2 years to cut. It was sold in France for 1.35 plums in installments. It was renamed the Regent at this point. 140.64 carats.

regent diamond, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond legendary diamond

After being stolen in 1792 along with the Hope and the Sancy Diamonds, it was recovered a year later and became The National Diamond of France. When Napoleon Bonaparte came to power, it was mounted in the hilt of his sword. After his downfall in 1814, it was worn in 1824 at the coronation of Charles X. The stone is now on display at the Louvre.

Cullinan II

The best illustration of the Antique Cushion cut, the Cullinan II Diamond, was discovered in 1905. It is the largest rough diamond ever to be discovered, weighing 3106 carats in its rough form.

cullinan II diamond, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond legendary diamond

Initially, it was thrown out of the window, perceived as far too big to be a diamond.
It was recovered by Fred Wells, a manager of the Premier Mine in South Africa. The stone yielded 9 faceted diamonds and plenty of smaller ones. The Cullinan II is an antique cushion cut of 317.4 carats. It is now set into the British Imperial State Crown.


Initially, the stone does not look like a cushion, but you can trace a poorly shaped cushion outline if you look closer. The name stands for “Mountain of Light.” A 105 carat (21.6 g) diamond was once the largest known diamond in the world.

Koh I Noor diamond, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond legendary diamond

Captured in 1526 by Humayun, it was stated to be valued at half the daily expense of the whole world.

In 1850, it was presented to Queen Victoria. It originally weighed 186 carats and took 38 days to cut to its present form of 108.93 carats at the cost of 8000 pounds. The stone is currently set into the Maltese Cross in the crown made for the Queen’s mother in 1937.


The Wittelsbach weighed 35.56 metric carats and measured 24.40 by 24.46 millimeters, with a depth of and 8.29 millimeters.

Wittelbach diamond, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond legendary diamond

Minor surface scratches were caused by the butcher of a setter who removed the stone from its setting. It has 82 facets arranged in an unusual pattern. The star facets on the crown are vertically split, and the pavilion has eight pairs of extremely narrow facets. Typical of any antique cut stone, The Wittelsbach has a giant culet.

Archduke Joseph

The flawless diamond mined in the Golconda region of India some 300 years ago gets its name from Archduke Joseph August (1872-1962), the prince of the Hungarian line of the Hapsburg dynasty and the first known owner of the gem.

Archduke Joseph Diamond, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond legendary diamond

The 78.54-carat D-internally Flawless diamond was sold in 1993 at Christie’s Geneva auction for $6.5 mil. The diamond’s owner, a chairman of Black, Starr & Frost, apparently re-cut the stone. On November 13, the 76.02-carat stone fetched $21,506,914 at Christie’s Geneva.


This stone was found either in 1877 or 1878. It went to France to be cut, yielding an antique cushion cut brilliant of 125.51 carats. Tiffany purchased the diamond in 1879.

Tiffany diamond, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond legendary diamond

It is one of the largest rare Deep Canary Yellow Diamonds on display since 1896 at Tiffany’s in New York. In 1983 the stone was valued at $12,000,000.

Dresden Green

At first sight, Dresden Green appears to have a shape of a chubby pear, but under close examination, it becomes obvious that it is an antique cushion with one truncated corner. The diamond weighs approximately 41 carats.

Dresden Green diamond presented by leon mege, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond legendary diamond

The earliest known reference to its existence occurs in October 25th – 27th, 1722 issue of The Post Boy, a London newspaper. The diamond probably originated in the Golconda region of India; its Type IIa chemical composition in conjunction with the extremely unusual green color makes the Dresden Green one of the greatest diamonds in the world.

The Red Cross Diamond

The cushion-shaped, 205.07 carats fancy yellow stone emanated from the Kimberly mine in South Africa. The diamond was sold for a measly £35,575 by Christie’s London in 1918 to benefit the British Red Cross Society.

Red Cross diamond presented by leon mege, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond legendary diamond

The stone is notable for its Maltese Cross shadow pattern making it attractive to zealous European royal families. In 1973 an anonymous American businessman was trying to sell it for £2,000,000 but failed. It was put up for auction again in 1977, but it is not known whether it sold. The identity of its present owner is unknown.


Agra is the site of the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The Ashberg diamond is one of the world’s famous yellow diamonds. This amber-colored diamond that once was part of the Russian Crown Jewels weighs 102.48 carats.

Ashberg diamond, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond legendary diamond

The diamond was purchased and named in 1934 by Olof Ashberg, a Swedish banker and businessman. In 1959 it was sold to a private anonymous buyer but resurfaced again in 1981 when it came up for sale at Christie’s auction in Geneva.


The triangular shape cannot mask the distinctly cushion-like faceting. The shape of the Hope Diamond could be described as a cushion with two poorly formed shoulders. The unusual blue diamond appeared in Europe in 1669 and is believed to be from the Golconda mine in India.

hope diamond by Leon Mege, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond legendary diamond

The term “Golconda” diamond has come to define diamonds of the finest white color, clarity, and transparency, as well as type II stones lacking nitrogen in their crystal structure. Its original weight was 110.5 carats. Eventually, it made its way into the hands of Harry Winston, who donated the stone to the Smithsonian in 1958.

Brooklyn Twins

Matching pair of diamonds faceted by legendary Leon Mege diamond cutters. The stones are GIA-certified 30.01 and 30.08 carats, I/VS1 and J/VS2, respectively.

True antiqe diamond presented by leon mege, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond, legendary diamond

Both stones are born out of a single 100-plus carat piece of rough. They are cut as classic cushion brilliant exhibiting vast amounts of brilliance (scintillation) and dispersion (fire); they were set into a pair of bespoke platinum drops and are available for inspection at Leon Mege showroom in Manhattan.

Idol’s Eye

The colorless 70.21-carat diamond was discovered in the mid 16th century with a faintly bluish tint, typical for diamonds Golconda diamond. The Idol’s Eye was found in the XVII century in the Golconda region of India. Around 1607, the stone was owned by a Persian warlord Rahab (not Rehab).

idols eye diamond by Leon Mege, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond, legendary diamond

After heavy partying, Rahab ran out of money and gave the stone to the East India Company as a portion of his debt. The stone was not seen for the next 300 years. When it reappeared, it went through some serious commotion, such as being given as a ransom for Princess Rasheetah’s release from a Turkish Sultan. 


Discovered in March 1888 in the De Beers mine, weighing 439.86 carats in the rough and 228.5 carats after cutting, it was exhibited at the Paris Exhibition of 1889. It is the 7th largest cut diamond in the world.

debeers diamond, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond, legendary diamond

Cartier set it in 1925 when it was first purchased, and it was sold again in the 1930s when its present owners acquired it. In 1982 it came up for auction but was withdrawn at $1,750,000, which was below its (undisclosed) reserve price.


Certified by the GIA as Fancy Vivid Yellow/VS2, the stone is named after its former owner, Alfred Ernest Allnatt who commissioned Cartier to set it into a brooch with a floral design. In 1996 the Allnatt was auctioned by Christie’s for $3,043,496.

 allnat diamond, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond, legendary diamond

The original weight of 102.07 carats was reduced to 101.29 carats when it was re-cut to improve its color from Fancy Intense to Fancy Vivid Yellow.

Beau Sancy

The 34.98-carat modified “pear double rose cut” diamond of the Prussian crown jewels was in the hands of the House of Hohenzollern for three long centuries, then was passed to the ruling dynasty of Prussia and, after all that time to the German Emperor.

beau sancy diamond by Leon Mege, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond, legendary diamond

The stone was stolen from India by French ambassador Nicolas de Harlay, Lord of Sancy, and given to Queen of France Marie de Medicis. She regifted the stone to the Dutch King William, and finally, in 1701, the Germans got a hold of it.


Agra is the site of the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. In 1990, the Agra and two other diamonds from the collection were auctioned at Christie’s.

agra diamond by Leon Mege, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond, legendary diamond

The Agra was certified as a fancy light pink natural color and sold for £4,070,000, briefly making it the most expensive pink diamond in the world. Since then, the Agra has again been re-cut to 28.15 carats. The Agra was certified as a fancy light pink natural color and sold for £4,070,000, briefly making it the most expensive pink diamond in the world. Since then, the Agra has again been re-cut to 28.15 carats.

Le Grand Mazarin

mazarin diamond, famous diamond, antique cushion diamond, legendary diamond

The 19-carat diamond sold for 14.4 million Swiss francs (€12.35 million, $14.6 million). Diamond of Louis XIV is the pale pink diamond, dubbed Le Grand Mazarin, a “timeless symbol of beauty” and a “witness to 350 years of European history.”

The diamond comes from the Golconda mine and bears the name of Cardinal Mazarin, who served as a chief minister under Louis XIII and Louis XIV in France. The Cardinal left the stone to Louis XIV in his will, and it was passed to several other kings and queens. It was set into Louis XVI’s crown and remained there until he was beheaded during the French revolution in 1792.

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