French cut diamonds are square or rectangular in shape with a high crown and a criss-cross pattern of triangular shaped facets.
The origins of the French cut can be traced back to the 15th Century however it wasn’t until much later, during the 17th Century that it really became fashionable. The shape of the stone follows that of the rough diamond crystal and the style was a natural development and progression of the earliest table cut diamonds which saw a flat table put on a rough crystal and the natural crystal faces polished smooth. As diamond cutting techniques progressed, stones with a greater number of facets had become increasingly sought after because they displayed more brilliance than the earlier, simpler cuts. The addition of extra facets to old table cut diamonds thereby altered them into much more lively stones. Having found favour with European Royalty, this style became particularly popular in France and it is likely that this is where the name originated.
This style of cut changed very little over the centuries and it enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity during the Art Deco period when its geometric shape and proportions lent itself to the aesthetic of the day. From drop earrings and line bracelets to pendants and rings these stones took centre stage as well as acting as support stones in shoulders and settings. Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, black onyx – all these stones were cut into French-cuts and used with style and elegance in Deco jewels.
Over the last few years this style of cut has once again begun to grow in popularity. We think it is a beautiful and sophisticated cut and we’ve used it as a centre stone in our engagement rings and also find it perfect for an elegant eternity or band ring. It’s square or rectangular shape lends itself perfectly to a smooth channel setting and we use emeralds and sapphires set with diamonds in a range of patterns and styles. We set our rectangular French-cut diamonds in both vertical and horizontal orientations within platinum, gold and rose gold eternity rings, in different widths.
This cut manages to look both antique and contemporary at the same time and today its evolution still marks one of the most significant milestones in the development of diamond cutting.