What is an Old European Cut Diamond?

There are so many popular antique diamond cuts on the market today. One of the most classic (and common) antique diamond cuts is the Old European Cut. This diamond traces back to the romantic 19th century and the early 20th century.  The easiest way I help customers understand Old European Cut diamonds is by letting them compare one of these heirloom diamond to a modern Round Brilliant cut diamond since both are round cuts.

Diamond Cut : Old European Cut Diamond

Do you notice any striking differences between the two diamonds pictured above? The older diamond on the left is not as perfectly round as the modern diamond on the right. The Old European cut diamond has larger facets and a large hole slightly off center. While one is cut to optimize the amount of brilliance, the antique diamond lets off a charming, understated yet elegant glow.

Old European Cut Diamond Characteristics

The primary reason for the differences between an Old European Cut Diamond and a Modern Brilliant Cut Diamond is that the former is a more rudimentary hand-cut stone.  Characteristically, an Old European Cut diamond has a smaller table and higher crowns than their modern counterpart. Also, one of the most prominent characteristics of an Old European Cut the culet. You’ll notice that it is is open or ‘cut off’ which creates the hole you see near the center points. See diagram below for basic diamond anatomy.

Anatomy of a Diamond from Ageless Heirlooms

AKA: OEC, European-Cut, Old European

Diamond Cuts: Old European Cut Diamond

What is an Old European Cut Diamond Worth?

Up until recently, it was common practice to take all loose Old European Cut diamonds and re-cut them into modern shapes. This was because round brilliant cut diamonds commanded more money per carat than an antique cut diamond. However, due to popular demand, many jewelry dealers are salvaging old stones and incorporating them into vintage or new settings. Old European cut diamonds will always be worth more if they are still in their original setting, but the cost gap between the old and new diamond has lessened as more people appreciate the unique beauty of heirloom diamonds.


Featured Image Courtesy of Jewels by Grace

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