Vintage Diamond Engagement Rings

Vintage Diamond Engagement Rings

The Most Rare, Romantic and Responsible Diamonds

I love Vintage Diamonds and their growing popularity is well deserved.  As the Vintage Diamond’s popularity grows so does their rarity.  They are the perfect choice for a responsibly sourced engagement rings.

Vintage Diamonds are visibly different than modern diamonds, they have a broad top surface randomly facetted specifically to reflect candlelight and shimmer in the sun.  They are white and clear but somehow the facets are much more colorful than modern diamonds.  


Antique diamond


Vintage Diamonds were hand cut and this gives each one an unique design of facets on the top, that is simply not duplicated in modern diamonds.  Not one of these is ever exactly like another.  I do offer all GIA ratings and certificates on the my diamonds, but you will end up choosing your diamond because you fall in love with that one that speaks to you, with it’s beauty.

In my jewelry, which is made from clay models then sun baked to bring out natural organic surfaces in gold or platinum, the Vintage Diamond is a perfect design pairing.  The scattered facetted surface coupled with organic reflections that are found solely in Susan Wheeler Design’s are modern and classic at once.  The gold I use is Fair Mined and since these Diamonds were mined before many of our concerns with the current diamond industry issues you are assured to have a totally ethical and responsible engagement ring.

My Old Mine Collection is completely customizable.

Prices for rings range from $1500-$50,000

I can set in bezels or prongs and can use antique single cut accent stones for pave work or antique style burnished settings, so that your engagement ring retains it’s romance and it’s ethical sourcing without compromising on design.

I use Fair Mined Gold to help support artisanal mining around the world if you would like a platinum ring we can use recycled platinum.  See the blog here about Fair Mined Gold.

Please contact me to begin work on your  diamond jewelry or engagement ring today. and see my website at

Botswana are digging up as many diamonds per month as were dug up in the year 1900? Those that were discovered prior to 1866 (the same year that South Africa’s Kimberly mine was discovered) are very, very rare. They were most likely to have been discovered in alluvial deposits found in Bolivia, Brazil or even India.

These diamonds were found before the conflict issues and environmental denigration that plagues the modern diamond industry.  

Estimated dates of diamond discoveries

Here are more details about these older antique diamonds using estimated dates. When it comes to cutting styles, there were overlaps between cutting styles:

Transitional Round Brilliant – Mostly cut between the years of 1920 and 1950. This cut was the transition between the Old European and the Modern Round brilliants, so you’ll find some variance in the cut. However, they will usually feature a shorter star which delivers a beautiful flowery, facet across a broad top surface.

Old European Brilliant - Cut between the years from mid 1700s to the 1930s, with the bulk being done around 1870s. it has a facet count and arrangement in line with the Modern Round Brilliant and is round in outline. It delivers excellent pops of light that were produced for more dimly lit conditions. You’ll find a tall crown, small table, shorter star and open culet.

Old Mine Cut / Old Mine Brilliant (often referred to as an ‘old miner’) - Cut from the 1700s through to closure of the 1800s, the old miner has the same number of facets as a modern round brilliant, but has a broader charm than the modern symmetry.  The majority are round or rounded square so will usually be used as a cushion cut.  They have small tables, large open culets and tall crowns.

Rose Cut - Originating in 1600s in India, flat pieces of rough style were popular during England’s Georgian and Victorian eras. They have a flat bottom with triangular facets on the dome, which will vary in height. Rose cut experienced a return to favor during the 21st century.

Odd shapes - Marquise, pears, step cuts, Asshers etc that were cut before 1940 have similar features to older cuts. Often displaying an open culet, a blocky pavilion and sometimes a smaller table and smaller crown.

Diamond Sources Through the Ages

~400 B. C. - 1700s: India, alluvial

1700s- present: Brazil, alluvial

~1000 AD- present: Borneo/ Indonesia, alluvial

1866 - present: South Africa

1909 - present: Namibia

1917 - present: DRC

1921 - present: Angola

1932 - present: Sierra Leone

1940 - present: Tanzania

1960 - present: Russia

1970 - present: Botswana

1985 - present: Australia

2000 - present: Canada

2004 - present: Zimbabwe

Other small producers include Venezuela, Swaziland, Lesotho, Gabon, CAR, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guyana, and China

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