George Frederick Straus: The Innovator of the Modern cut Diamond

It was George Frederick Stras, a jeweler from Paris, who deserves a fair amount of credit for introducing the best time of influence for cutting diamonds that the world has seen. In the early 1800s, back before electricity was commonplace, Mr. Stras found a way for setting metal backings to glass fake stones. The sparkle of these fake gems brought forth a need among society’s girls for more bling. For the first time ever, ‘girls best friend’ found a rival.
The Rose Cut was developed in the 16th century. A Rose-cut diamond might have between three and 24 facets, with a flat bottom as well as a dome-shaped crown. Named for its resemblance to a budding rose, the Rose Cut was the first diamond cut which allowed light to pass in to the stone and refract in a flash of brilliance.

The Table Cut was developed in the work of the 14th century. This cut featured facet, a slice right across the top. This octahedronal cut emphasized a diamond’s clarity and luster, but failed to release any of the stone’s brilliance.

As the glittering light of thousands of tiny glass stones tantalized the eyes of beholding females, diamond merchants scrambled for a way to maintain their competitive edge. Cutters began to experiment beyond the Rose and Table cuts so prominent in that day. These cuts suddenly appeared dull and drab in comparison with the sparkling faceted glass being sold for a fraction of the cost of diamond jewels.
The lathe made bruting feasible, a exact system for making a narrow, round girdle on a diamond. The precision of this machine made symmetrical faceting feasible. The resulting new cut, named the Elderly European Cut, maintained the tiny table, high crown, and bigger culet characteristic of the Elderly Mine Cut, while simultaneously presenting a symmetrically round outline.

Amid the flurry of activity following Mr. Stras’s invention, diamond cutters soon developed the Elderly Mine Cut. This cutting style features a high crown, a tiny table, as well as a large culet. This style was developed in the early 1800s and maintained its popularity until the late 1870s, when the steam-powered diamond lathe was introduced by Henry D. Morse’s company.

These early diamond cuts represent the large majority of diamonds present in antique engagement rings. If your gal loves romance by candlelight, any of these dazzling antique cuts will thrill her to bits. They invite you to make an appointment with us soon to view our choice in person.

These attractive diamonds remained popular through the 1930s, tapering out in favor of the modern Transitional Cuts which soon gave way to the Modern Round Amazing Cuts which stay the most popular cuts today.