Often times our customers ask us: What is a a European cut diamond? What is an old mine cut diamond? What is an Old European cut diamond?
Honestly, we understand the confusion as many jewelers do not even know the difference. In fact more often then not we see miss-categorized diamonds all over the interest and in person. We are here to set the record straight.
Firstly, Modern round brilliant cut diamonds are quite different from these older styles. There are a variety of antique cuts to choose from, including old mine, single, round brilliant, and European cut.
Lets start with styles:
Like the old mine cut diamond, the Old European cut has a high crown, generally a smaller table, and a larger culet (located at the bottom of the stone). A high crown and smaller table reflects light differently than that of a modern stone. In fact technically speaking less white light return is produced. However, larger flashes of spectral hues can be observed particularly in candle light or sunlight which make older cut stones particularly attractive. That being said this all comes down to personal preferences!
The major difference, and key thing to remember between an old mine cut and old European cut is that the shape of the stone is more round when you look from the top down. So should you ask yourself is this an old mine cut diamond or an old European cut diamond this little trick will answer the question for you.
A bit of the history:
The old European cut began to surface in the 1800s and became the preferred cut for diamonds from approximately the 1910s to the 1930s. This was propelled by the fact that cutting techniques improved dramatically particularly girdling, making round cuts an easier possibility. Since diamonds of the time were still cut by hand it until the 1940's (without mechanical machinery) this advancement in cutting style was a phenomenal feat. Then the age of the machine took about (still cut by hand yet with powered equipment). This is when precision and truly uniform cuts began to take shape. As a result the modern round brilliant cut was born after years of perfecting the faceting style tracing the progression from single cut to old mine cut. Then old mine cut to Old European cut. Then transitional cuts to modern which virtually replaced the old European cut style. The main difference between a transitional and modern round brilliant cut is the culet, which is now cut to a point rather than faceted as a flat surface at the bottom.
While diamonds of every cutting style have the place, we are happy to help select the proper makings of a nice, well cut, excellent formed diamond. Whether you are on the hunt for a loose old mine cut diamond or an old European cut diamond, or even a modern round brilliant cut always consider what is offered at velvetboxsociety.com. Additionally, since just about 1/30th of our products are listed on our site, should you not see something you are looking for, always ask us as we are happy to send you items that have not been processed for out site quite yet!
PHOTO CREDIT GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA