What is a European Cut Diamond? | The Diamond Reserve

What is a European Cut Diamond?

Evolved from the old mine diamond cut which was popular in the late 18th century, the old European diamond cut was common during the Art Deco period in the 1920’s and 1930’s. European cuts are round, unlike the old mine cuts which are square, but both shapes were cut and polished by hand and have vintage charm and unique beauty.

European Cut Diamonds

Successor to the old mine cut and predecessor to the modern brilliant, European cut diamonds were popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, primarily in Europe. Sometimes called an “old European cut” or simply a “Euro cut” these diamonds were cut by hand before modern diamond cutting technology was developed, so each stone is unique and varies in its shape and proportions. Euro cut diamonds have a beautiful organic look to them, with imperfections and character that only something made by hand can have. 

Old European cut diamonds were originally made using the cutter’s eye, rather than modern technology, to measure for accuracy and symmetry. A European has a round shape with a small table and a large culet, and is easy to identify because of a small spot at the table’s center. This spot, which is actually an open cutlet, comes from the large cutlet that doesn’t have pointy edges like modern round brilliant cuts and creates a unique pattern of light reflection.

Aesthetically, the old European cut is similar to the modern round brilliant cut. Both diamond cuts are round and have 58 facets, although the Euro cut’s facets are typically much larger than round brilliants, and they have a higher crown than other cuts. An old Euro cut diamond could be described as a softer, vintage version of the modern round brilliant cut. 

Do European Cut Diamonds Sparkle?

Old Euro cut diamonds were cut and polished by hand to maximize their sparkle under candlelight which was the main source of lighting at the time. Like the modern brilliant and the old mine cut, the old European cut has 58 facets that are larger than its modern day counterpart which are cut with modern technology to maximize a diamond’s brilliance. Although they sparkle less than a modern brilliant diamond, an Old European Cut stone with its larger facets will have more intense flashes of fire than modern cuts.

Old Euro cut diamonds shimmer differently than their modern successor, the brilliant cut. Brilliant cut diamonds are known for their fire and sparkle, and are designed so that light goes into the stone and then gets pushed right out, giving it lots of shine and sparkle. Conversely in an old Euro cut diamond, light is drawn into the stone instead of getting pushed out, creating a sparkle that  is warmer, deeper and romantic.

The biggest visual difference between an old European cut and a modern round brilliant is that the old cut favors dispersion or fire, the multi-colored flashes of light from within the stone. A modern round brilliant is cut to maximize sparkle and brilliance, which creates the signature black-and-white pattern you see play across the surface. Old Euros also tend to “face up whiter” even though they may be lower on the color scale, when they’re set into a ring and facing up they appear white.

Old European cut diamonds are meant to glow and exude warmth and charm, making them perfectly charming and very unique. Whether you’re working with an heirloom stone or want to source an old European cut, The Diamond Reserve can help. Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment!