Engagement rings with pave diamonds are named for pavement- as in, pave diamonds are clustered so closely together they appear akin to glittery-shimmering cobblestone pavement. So you don’t look like a fool when you go to buy one of these bad boys, pave is pronounced … pah-vay. Pave diamond bands look expensive because all you see are rows of diamonds, but surprisingly, they don’t have to be. Pave diamonds are just small diamond chips and thus they typically maximize a ring’s beauty, but not the cost. An even cheaper alternative is to use a non-diamond gemstone.
Pave settings are constructed by drilling small holes into the ring shank, which the stones are inserted into. The diamond chips used are all approximately the same size and luster. After the stones are placed into the band, minute amounts of metal are molded over the edge of each diamond chip, holding them in place. Pave bands typically use tiny prongs to hold diamond chips in place. This helps to make the row of diamonds stand out while minimizing the appearance of the metal. The most popular metals for pave bands are platinum and white gold, as the pave setting in general, has a very contemporary look.
There are two different kinds of pave settings. The first type is a single band with a row of diamonds. The band can be thin or wide. The thin band accomodates small chips while the wide band is suited for larger diamond chips, and will cost more. The other pave design has a wide band with several clustered rows of diamonds set at slightly different angles to each other. Pave diamond bands without a center stone are referred to as eternity rings or anniversary bands.
Old miner cut diamond engagement rings preceded the invention of the light bulb. Hence, the diamonds were designed to be seen under candlelight rather than electric light. These stones would sparkle even in a dim candlelit atmosphere. Many find the soft glow of antique diamonds to be quite appealing.
Miner cut diamond engagement rings, as with other early gemstones in the 18th and 19th century, were cut and polished by hand. As a result, no two diamonds were alike, each having variations in shape and facet size. Today, thanks to technological advances, machines do all the work, sacrificing the character derived from old methods of cutting for perfection. However, antique diamonds often possess incomparable life and uniqueness. This has resulted in the price of old cut diamonds skyrocketing in recent years.
Old mine cut diamonds are often seen in Georgian and Victorian jewelry. Miner cut diamonds date back to the 1830’s and maintained their popularity till the end of the century. The cut has a round shape, high crown, and faceted culet. Often the facets come together at the bottom of the diamond and leave a small flat surface.
When evaluating antique diamonds such as the miner cut, they cannot be judged by modern standards. Antique diamonds were cut to maximize carat weight, not brilliance. Often times the proportions of antique diamonds vary dramatically from modern diamonds.
The old mine cut diamond is the earliest form of the modern brilliant cut. The modern cushion cut diamond resembles the old mine cut, but the cushion cut gemstone is more rectanglur shaped.