While diamonds could not be polished in ancient times, the idea that hitting a diamond at a very precise point could break the stone was known all the way back in Ancient Rome.

This process called “cleaving” was a precursor to “sawing” diamonds. These long, straight stone fragments were not able to be fashioned into a substantial table cut or rose cut, but the slender design allowed jewelers to create a unique, new look. One of the most famous examples of hogback diamonds comes from Mary of Burgundy's engagement ring in the 1470s (the first recorded use of diamonds in an engagement ring in modern history).

The term “hogback” was first coined in 1980 by jewelry historian Anna Somers Cocks as the English equivalent of the much older French name “dos d'âne”, which translates to “donkey back”. The first recorded mention of “dos d'âne” being used to describe this style of diamond cut dates back to an elaborate staff included in Mary of Burgundy’s 1469 inventory.

Fast forward a few hundred years, and these long diamond fragments would capture the public’s attention once again with some slight changes made possible by technological advancements. Take a hogback cut, remove the top portion and add some additional facets to the crown and pavilion, and you have a modern baguette cut diamond.

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