a close up picture of a diamond ring with an old european cut diamond
Photo: Leah Kelley

Fashions and trends come and go in cycles. We seem to have an eternal love for things old and that runs to fine jewellery, especially diamonds that were cut before we had the technology to use machines. Old European cut diamonds are unique, quite literally, as each stone was cut by hand, which was a very slow and laborious task. Vintage and antique diamond engagement rings with the old European cut are very popular, particularly with Australian brides.

Online Solutions

There isn’t much that you can’t find on the Internet these days and when a person is looking for genuine antique diamond jewellery, the best place to look is the online dealer’s website. When searching for antique engagement rings Sydney brides love, go to a leading antique dealer, who would have a great selection of diamond rings with old European cut stones, which have a unique light dispersion.

Large Facets

Old European cut diamonds have larger facets than machine-cut stones. This cut always has 58 facets, each handcrafted by a skilled diamond cutter who used a range of hand tools to carry out the work. The other tell-tale sign of an old European cut stone is the circle at the center of the diamond's table, which is very noticeable.

Lack of Symmetry

Some would say this devalues the stone, yet the majority of people appreciate the fact that the diamond was hand-crafted into a unique shape. This is a sign that the diamond was cut by hand. Let’s not forget that in those days, the stones were cut to sparkle in the candlelight.

a close up picture of a diamond ring with an old european cut diamond
Photo: ArtHouse Studio

Value of Old European Cut Diamonds

Whether cut by hand or machine, a diamond’s value is established by the 4Cs grading system that is globally recognized; namely Cut, Colour, Clarity, and Carat. If a diamond has been poorly cut, this would impact its value, although most diamond rings with Old European cut stones are of a high standard of the time they were worked.


If you put two brilliant round cut diamonds next to each other, they would look identical, as the cut is very precise, but not so with hand-cut stones. Indeed, each diamond is unique. This is what adds appeal to most people. As the facets were cut by hand, each has its own unique sparkle factor that comes together to produce a sparkle that is not found on any other stone. Romantic symbols such as diamond engagement and wedding rings are crying out to be unique, which is why so many women prefer a hand-cut diamond ring every time.

Late 19th & Early 20th Century

The period when the old European cut was popular ran from 1890-1930, any antique diamond engagement ring with a round cut from this period would almost certainly be of the old European cut. If you were to ask a diamond expert about hand-cut and machine-cut stones, they would tell you that the old European cut stones dispersed light in a random pattern. This is often called ‘fire’ dispersion. On the other hand, machine-cut diamonds are perfectly symmetrical and this maximizes the almost black and white sparkle.

Lots of love,