Old European cut diamond, what does it look like? Have you ever seen one? What are the most important characteristics? Let’s go into details and find out what you need to know about this antique cut.
What is an Old European Cut?
The old European cut, also known as European cut, round old mine or old Euro, is a diamond cut that was very popular until the early twentieth century. It was the standard round diamond cut of the time.
The old Europen cut diamonds were handcrafted from 1890 – 1930s. The rounded diamonds that were cut before 1890 are called old mine cuts (OMC).
In fact, the old Europen cut is the direct predecessor to the modern round brilliant cut.
The old European cut (OEC) diamonds were used in almost all rings made at the beginning of the 1900s. Most antique jewellery from that Era featured OEC diamonds, old mine cut diamonds, rose cut diamonds and single cut diamonds.
Characteristics of the Old European Cut
Until the mid-1900s, diamonds were cut and measured by hand. The diamond cutters used only their eyes to measure the precision of the cut. They cut and polished the diamonds to maximise sparkle against candlelight. At the same time, they followed the outline of the rough material to minimize the waste.
Below are the most distinctive characteristics of old European cut diamonds:
Culet: OEC diamonds have a large open culet.
The number of facets: OEC diamonds have 58 facets – the same number the modern round brilliant cut has.
Symmetry: As a general rule, old European cut diamonds are not very symmetrical. If you take a closer look at such stones you will see their facets are not shaped and alined with the same precision as those of modern cut diamonds. The reason for this is that the cutting technology used to shape OEC diamonds was not that developed as it is today.
Old European Cut vs Modern Round Brilliant Cut
The old European cut and the modern round brilliant cut have some common features that make them look similar. For example, both have a round shape and 58 facets.
Table size: OEC diamonds have a smaller table compared with round brilliants. This is most noticeable when comparing stones of the same size.
Crown height: OEC diamonds have a higher crown compared with round brilliants of the same carat weight.
Pavilion depth: OEC diamonds tend to have a greater crown height, meaning they have deeper pavilion than similar size round brilliant cut diamonds.
The Fire of Old European Cut Diamonds
Diamond collectors around the world always mention the “inner fire” of OEC diamonds. The way they react to light is a bit different.
Round brilliant cut diamonds exhibit more sparkle but modern angles and proportions caused to lose the inner fire.
OEC diamonds typically show larger face-up patterns of light and dark while modern brilliant diamonds display a tighter mosaic of light and dark patches.
Cover image credit: Pebble & Polish