Diamonds were hand cut and hand polished well into the 19th century. Technology capable of precision cut is fairly recent. For this reason, while specific cut styles existed long before the technology to make them perfect, no two diamonds of the same cut ever looked alike. They varied in shape, facet size and regularity.
Below is a 22 carat diamond set in a Fleur-de-lys design gold ring Silvio made years ago, while living in New Mexico. It is one of a few pieces that have traveled north with him.
“It is an old mine cut diamond, probably from the late 1800’s,” suggests Silvio. “At that time, it would have come from India. When I made he ring, I recycled the diamond from another piece of jewelry.”
Old mine cut diamonds are often seen in 18th and 19th century jewelry. Key features include an open culet and a small table. “Culet” refers to the bottom portion of the diamond, parallel to the table. The “table” is the flat surface at the very top. An open culet is one that was not closed into a point. It appears as a small facet, at the very bottom of the diamond.
Silvio spent 25 years in New Mexico. This has greatly influenced his style, though in truth there is never a point where the jeweler arrives at a definitive style. His art is in constant transformation, adapting to the desires and inspiration of clients and expanding as one’s skills are refined. However, it is true that over time something of the jeweler emerges in every piece. It cannot be described. It is a presence, a vibration… a facet, so to speak.