Do You Adore Vintage Style? Get to Know More About Old European Cut Diamonds

Diamonds are unique, enchanting, and coveted gemstones on the Earth. According to the 2020 Wedding Report by WeddingWire, 87% of responders called the diamond the most important feature of the engagement ring. Based on your preferences and taste you can choose certain diamond shapes for your engagement ring in an online jewelry store.

If you adore vintage style the old European cut diamond will look great in your engagement ring. From this article, you will discover more about old European cut diamonds and their distinctive characteristics. Also, you’ll be able to trace the historical evolution of the diamonds: from the time when an Indian guy was sitting near the river and found a rough gemstone to the emergence of the modern brilliant cut. Let’s dive into the interesting world of charming vintage cut diamonds.

The First Appearance of Old European Cut Diamond

The precursors of the old European cut diamonds were old mine cut diamonds. Their name comes from the origin of rough gemstones commonly mined in India and Brazil. They appeared in the early 18th century and were particularly popular in the Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian periods. 

Diamonds were cut and polished by hand and cutters focused on the shape of rough stones. The process was based on the cutter's perception because it wasn’t enough understanding about the best performance of the diamonds. 

Every old mine cut diamond had its own unique beauty. Since houses and workplaces were illuminated by candlelight, diamonds were cut to dazzle under candlelight and emit a warm, soft glow.

Old mine cut diamonds had a squarish form with curved edges like modern cushion-shaped diamonds. They had 58 triangle facets that displayed striking light. Their culets were larger, but pavilion facets were shorter in comparison with the old European cut diamonds.

How did the Diamond Cut Styles Evolve Since the 1900s?

Between 1900 - 1930

From 1900 through the 1930 Old European cut diamonds gained popularity. Marcel Tolkowsky, an engineer, understood the play of light and created the original set of rules on how to make diamonds even more beautiful than they really are. 

First of all, they differed from old mine cut diamonds by shape: they were round and with a small table. They contained 58 long bottom facets. Also, they had a large, visible culet, a frosted girdle, and a high crown.  GIA specifies that a table size of the old European cut diamond should be less than or equal to 53% of its total diameter. 

In that period, cutting technology was improved and cutters started using first bruting machines. However, diamonds were still cut very deep and had free forms without understanding light performance. 

Transition time (1930 - 1940)

People took more interest in incandescent lighting. Furthermore, cutters began to understand how to fashion diamonds for better lighting performance. They lengthened the lower girdle facets and enhanced the scintillation of the diamonds under electric light. 

The diamonds cut during this period are often called “transitional cut” diamonds. It means they were crafted between old European cut diamonds and modern round ones. They had low crowns and medium tables. Also, they had shorter pavilions and smaller culets than old European cut diamonds. “Transitional cut” diamonds were very proportioned and gorgeous. 

Beginning of modern brilliant cut (1940-1950s)

Today most of the jewelry is set with brilliant cut diamonds. They were evolved from old European cut diamonds in the 1940s. With progressing technology and improving equipment, cutters started cutting diamonds in a more precise manner. They found out that a round brilliant cut was the ideal cut for diamonds.

The brilliant cut diamonds contained 56 to 58 facets with a culet. Their table facets were large and star facets were long. So, reflected light was maximized by the facets. Also, fire, sparkle, and brilliance of the diamonds were improved.

Moreover, in 1953 Gemological Institute of America developed the 4Cs of Diamond Quality for evaluating characteristics of the diamonds. There are 4 basic identifiers of diamonds: cut, color, carat, clarity. It is considered an international standard to describe the value and appearance of diamonds.

Engage has something special for you. There are a lot of various diamond rings for those who prefer retro style. In the Engage app, you will be able to tailor your engagement ring according to your preferences.

How Old European Cut Diamonds Are Different From Others

Old European cut diamonds are one of the most appealing cuts of diamonds. People like their unique beauty and brilliance. You can see a fascinating mosaic of light and dark patterns on their tables. They are considered as free form diamonds and completely made by hand. 

These diamonds look organic and beautiful with their imperfections. Since these diamonds are hand-crafted, they have different proportions. So each gemstone has its distinctive appearance.

They exhibit a lot of spectrum color in the gemstone because they are cut in different fashions. Despite some similarities with round brilliant cut diamonds, old European cut diamonds look softer and have an impressive inner fire. 


Jewelry with antique cut diamonds attracts vintage collectors around the world. Among all diamonds, Old European cut diamonds are recognizable by their unique charm and sparkle. If you like the aesthetic of free form gemstones, old European cut diamonds will be a perfect choice for your engagement ring.

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