Art Deco (1915-1935) received its moniker from the Exposition International des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, which was largely dedicated to the jewelry arts. Emphasis was placed on the association of art and modern industry. Inspiration for this style was as far reaching as Oriental, African and South American Art and as varied as Cubism and Fauvism, both popular movements at the time. The term "Cubism" was often used to describe jewelry of this era because of the angles, geometric lines and figurative representations used in its execution. A desire to eliminate the flowing lines of Art Nouveau and distill designs to their rudimentary geometric essence, thus eliminating seemingly unnecessary ornament, resulted in the cleaner and more rigid lines employed in Art Deco jewelry. A look forward toward modernism and the machine age also featured prominently at this juncture in jewelry history.
During the Art Deco era, advancements in cutting techniques, including the advent of the modern round brilliant cut style, allowed for diamonds to become more dazzling and scintillating than ever before. Meanwhile, prosperity was permitting more people to afford diamond jewelry and engagement rings. New casting techniques further increased accessibility, as jewelers discovered more efficient ways to produce the most intricately detailed of settings.
Diamonds with this cut possess a squarish girdle with gently rounded corners. Old mine cut diamonds have a high crown, a small table, and a large, flat culet. They are similar to today's cushion cut. The old mine cut dates to the 1700s and was most prevalent during the Georgian and Victorian eras.
The element platinum derives its name from the Spanish Platina del Pinto which translates to 'little silver from the Pinto' (said to be a river near Popayan, Columbia in which alluvial platinum was first found by the Spanish Conquistadors). Its white metallic luster leaves little doubt as to why the Spanish chose the name.
Platinum belongs to a group of elements, fittingly called the platinum group of metals. Apart from platinum the group comprises Osmium, Iridium, Palladium, Rhodium and Ruthenium. Platinum is often found as natural alloys containing one or more of these other elements and it wasn't until 1804 that all but one of the elements were isolated and named.
Platinum is malleable, ductile and very strong. In addition, it does not tarnish and it doesn't corrode making it a highly prized metal and extremely suitable for the manufacture of fine jewelry.