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Old European Cut Diamond Vs Round Brilliant

Updated on May 20, 2010

History of the Diamond Cut

Antique diamonds, or for that matter all diamonds which where cut before the nineteenth century where much different from today's round brilliant cut diamonds. Old Mine and Old European Cut are the earliest predecessors of today's Round Cut Diamond. For almost two centuries diamonds where cut to maximize their beauty but no one knew what proportions and facet positions had the biggest impact on the brilliance of a diamond.

In the 17th century first brilliant cuts where developed. At first, they had 17 to 33 facets, which is much less then the Round Brilliant Cut which has 68. Later, in the early 18th century, the Old Mine Cut was developed. It had all of the properties of the modern cut except for proportions and face up shape, which was square. Soon after the Old European Cut came to be. It was the same Old Mine Cut but it was round and totally symmetrical. In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky, a mathematician proved by survey and mathematical equations which proportions where Ideal for a Round Brilliant Cut Diamond. These proportions are still used to this day as Ideal Standards for a Round Brilliant Cut Diamond.

Diamond Cut

Old European Cut

Like already mentioned, the Old European Cut is a predecessor of the Round Brilliant. It has all of the facet arrangements of the Round Brilliant including the round shape. The difference is in the proportions since until 1919 there where no set rules for cutting the diamond. All of the Old European Cut diamond have a very small table and are very deep by today's standards. The reason for this is that the cutters where following the natural shape of a diamond crystal, trying to maximize the total yield. Whereas today only 50% of the rough translates into a final product, with the Old European Cut up to 80% was saved.

In comparison to the Round Brilliant Cut Diamond, the Old European will look duller and less lively. This is because much of the light will pass through it and won't be returned as it is too deep. On the contrary to what many people think, the value of the diamond is not diminished by these facts. The Antique Diamond industry is booming since one can't replace an antique cut diamond with a modern one in an antique or an estate piece of jewelry. Some companies have even began to reproduce the Old Cuts because of the demand. Click here to order Antique Diamond Simulants.  Also, take a look at my hub Antique Diamonds - Old European VS Round Brilliant.

The Antique Diamond such as an Old Mine or an Old European Cut Diamond is something romantic and unique. Consider that they where all cut by hand, with much care and consideration given to each one by the cutter who had to go by his best judgment to produce the best looking stone. Today, there are machines, computers and standards to go by.

For more info, read "Antique Diamonds - Old European Cut Vs Round Brilliant"


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    • Weldon Jewellers profile image

      Weldon Jewellers 6 years ago from Ireland

      Good hub, thumbs up!

    • diamondspro profile image

      diamondspro 4 years ago

      Thank you :)

    • profile image

      Johnf415 3 years ago

      Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog! eeccgaedeade

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