With so many different rings to select from, the task of choosing the perfect ring  seems daunting. Ring designs may display modern elegance, contemporary trends, or ornate visions of the past. Which ring style will say something personal about you?

Have you considered vintage gemstone rings as a choice for your next keepsake purchase? Vintage gemstone rings feature unique style elements and stone cuts, setting them apart from current jewelry trends.

Wear a token of the good old days with a vintage gemstone ring–a wealth of history and style details waiting to be uncovered, enjoyed, and cherished as your next heirloom is chosen and passed down through family generations.

1History of vintage cuts

Vintage Gemstone Rings - old gemcutting

During the 1940s, step cuts such as emerald cuts were first introduced.  Emerald cuts feature rectangular shapes with recessed shoulders.

During the 16th century, jewelry tools were developed to cut stones. These tools were used to create the shapes of the stones and also the facets on the stones.  

Facets refers to the reflective cuts on the exterior of the stone. 

Please Note: Shape refers to the actual shape of the stone, for example round, square, or marquise, not to be confused with cut, which refers to the overall symmetry, dimensions (measurements), reflectivity, and facets.

2Vintage Cuts

Vintage cuts exude pure romance, reminiscent of a time faraway filled with castles and beautiful meadows. Vintage cuts feature a “hands-on” almost rugged style, with carefully hand cut facets distinctive of the beginning stages of stone cutting.

Vintage cuts feature significantly fewer facets than today’s modern cuts, such as round brilliant or specialty cuts like Asscher cut gemstones, for example. Understated and simplistic, vintage cuts offer an effortlessly elegant look that is noticeable and unique.


This traditional step-cut is elongated and rectangular, with two longer sides and two shorter sides. Emerald cuts have significantly fewer facets and cannot hide larger inclusions. 

They were introduced into the market in the 1500s. There is also the square emerald cut. Emerald cuts can be modified to contain several facets.

Vintage Gemstone Rings - oldmine cuts


During the 1700s, the Old Mine cut was introduced into the market. This square shape has a high crown, deep pavilion, and large culet. This cut was a way to retain as much diamond weight as possible and cut costs.

The Old Mine cut is now the modern-day cushion cut with kite-shaped facets on the culet. Cushion cuts can be modified with more facets but still retain the square-ish cut (GIA).

Vintage Gemstone Rings - rosecut gems


The rose cut was one of the very first faceted cuts to be introduced into the market, during the 18-19th century. The wondrous rose cut was cut by hand, inspired by rose petals with a flat bottom and no pavilion.

These various cut stones can be set into a three prong, four prong, six prong, double prong, or multi-prong setting adding to the antique look. Claw settings are also commonly used, a type of prong that clamps over the stone.

3What Makes a Vintage Gemstone Ring So Unique?

Vintage gemstone rings feature design details on the mounting, giving them an inviting elegance filled with textures and patterns. The mounting refers to the ring itself without the gemstones or diamonds and contains several parts. 

  • FILIGREE – Filigree is sometimes referred to as openwork and features an airy, open pattern set on top of the ring. Filigree can be highly detailed or simplistic.
  • ENGRAVED – An engraved shank is the part of the ring where a pattern is cut out on the metal. The engraved pattern can be intricate or simplistic.
  • MILGRAIN – Milgrain features a hand-designed, repeating pattern of dimensional beads. Milgrain is often around the stone’s setting and on the band. Milgrain can be very small or large, depending on the piece. Milgrain is still very popular today, providing a rustic quality.
  • DIAMOND-CUT – Diamond-cut refers to indented cuts on the metal in the shape of the marquise. Filigree adds extra shine and intrigue, amplifying the ring to a new level of luxury with added brilliance on the metal. 
Vintage Gemstone Rings - ring