Mughal Cut

Around the same time diamond cutting began in Europe the Indians started fashioning diamonds. Who influenced who here isn't clear but it is a fact that the designs produced differ a lot from each other. The best known Indian cut is the Mughal cut, accurately described by J.B. Tavernier in his book 'Six Voyages'.

The name indicates a native Indian cut which followed the shape of the rough and often exhibits a large flat base and a reasonably large table facet seperated by a sloping array of smaller facets but these features are by no means a requirement for the name Mughal Cut. The best known example of a Mughal Cut was the fabled Koh-I-Noor (pictured on the right), which was re-cut into an oval brilliant in 1852 and currently resides in the Tower of London.

Tavernier has left us with a fair few sketches of Indian native cuts, which illustrate the rather wide variety of possibilities. The term Mughal Cut is better understood to be describing a diamond cut in India in the 16th, 17th or 18th century rather than a certain shape or arrangements of facets:

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One famous Mughal Cut diamond which is still to be admired today is the Orlov diamond:

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The Orlov diamond in the Russian Imperial Sceptre
Image courtesy of Elkan Weinberg
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