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 jewelry, 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 jewelry, 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 uses 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.

Speaking of clarity, a critical component in the 4Cs grading system, it's fascinating to consider how clarity grades like VVS1 and VVS2 play into the allure of Old European cut diamonds. While modern stones are often cut to maximize clarity and brilliance, Old European cut diamonds tell a different story. These hand-cut gems may not always reach near-perfect clarity grades like VVS1 or VVS2, but they exude a unique charm that transcends traditional grading scales. Their larger facets and less symmetric cuts often disguise inclusions, making them appear more flawless than they technically are. This is particularly true for high-clarity diamonds like VVS2, where inclusions are so minute they're nearly impossible to detect with the naked eye. 

Exploring the range of clarity in these antique stones, especially those of exceptional grades like VVS1 diamonds, offers a glimpse into a bygone era of diamond crafting, where the focus was on character and handcrafted beauty rather than technical perfection.

  • Uniqueness

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 appeals 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.

Wrapping Up...

In conclusion, purchasing jewelry featuring Old European Cut Diamonds demands a comprehensive understanding of their unique characteristics, condition, authenticity, pricing, and sentimental value. By delving into these aspects, one can confidently embrace the allure and significance of these timeless treasures.

Lots of love,