Old Euro Engagement Rings

Old European Cut Diamonds in Engagement Rings
The old European cut diamond is truly a classic and one of the most beautiful cuts of diamond we’ve ever encountered. Old European Cut diamonds are essentially the antique version of the modern round brilliant cut diamond so these diamonds will have a (near) perfect round outline. They are this beautiful, glimmering cut that has a different appearance than the modern round diamonds.

It’s easy to see why they’re so loved and in such high demand (even among modern jewelers) when you see old European cut diamonds. Whether you’re looking for a gorgeous solitaire, a three-stone engagement ring, or a beautiful diamond paired alongside other stones, you’re sure to find the loveliest styles here at Victor Barboné!

Gorgeous, Hand-Crafted History
While their name may sound a bit complicated, old European cut diamonds are basically the antique version of the modern round brilliant diamond. Old European cut diamonds date back to the 1800s into the early 1900s and were the go-to cut for the Edwardian Era and Art Deco Era.

By far the most impressive feature of old European cut diamonds is that they are hand-cut stones. That may evoke an image of a roughly cut stone, but these diamonds are sights to be seen. Expertly crafted and developed well before modern computer programs allowed jewelers to cut with laser precision, these diamonds were cut by hand by master artisans. Since these diamonds were cut by hand, they have varied looks and proportions which make them distinctive treasures as no two old European cut diamonds are exactly alike!

Fall In Love With Old European Cut Diamonds
There’s plenty to love about these diamonds and here is what causes their gorgeous appearance:

A high crown often which often extends above the setting, giving the stone this rounded shape and gorgeous glow.
Broader facets that create gorgeous, floral or checkerboard-like patterns with heightened contrast which allows you to easily see the flashes of light in these stones. It also creates softer colors coming off the stone- more in the pastel hues v. more primary colors of modern stones.
You can see the culet (the bottom tip of the diamond) through the surface of the table which is one of the marks of an old stone. Some culets are extra large and some are much smaller, but whatever the size, we don’t buy a diamond without one!
For these reasons, and more, old European cut engagement rings offer a truly unique quality full of vintage charm. Browse our collection, and you’re sure to find a ring you love.

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  • RIDEAU RING. CIRCA 1880$9,900
  • BERGE RING. CIRCA 1940$4,000
  • BERNEX RING. CIRCA 1925$11,600
  • DORSET RING. CIRCA 1925$3,800
  • FONTANA RING. CIRCA 1940$4,800
  • HOLBROOK RING. CIRCA 1920$35,000
  • MADRID RING$5,700
  • METZ RING. CIRCA 1940$9,500
  • MILTON RING. CIRCA 1930$6,000

Old European cut diamonds were cut for carat weight rather than brilliance. They are less sparkly than modern brilliant-cut diamonds and were cut and polished with candlelight in mind.

Old European cut diamonds have 58 facets; modern round cut diamonds have 57-58 facets depending on whether or not they have a culet.

These antique diamonds have a special charm because diamond cutters had to rely on their eyes rather than modern technology to hand-cut them, making each stone unique.

How to identify an old European cut diamond
old mine vs old european vs modern round brilliant cut diamond

Old European cut diamonds are known for their large facets, which are larger than round brilliant cuts. They are easily recognizable by the small circle at the center of the diamond’s table. This circle comes from the old European cut’s large culet. The culet is the facet at the bottom of the diamond. A large culet allows more light to escape through the bottom of the diamond, which causes the dark circle to appear. Not every diamond has a culet – lots of modern diamonds don’t. Instead, they have a sharp point at the bottom of the diamond, reflecting light and preventing circles on the stone’s table.

Old European cut diamonds also have a smaller table and a higher crown than modern round brilliant cuts. They tend to have poorer symmetry than round brilliant cuts due to antiquated cutting techniques.

Sometimes they even have an imperfect circular shape, which can be seen above, because diamond cutters didn’t have the same technology that we do today.

Are old European cut diamonds valuable?
Because old European cuts are no longer being produced, they can be more valuable. However, the value of each diamond depends on its 4 Cs. Old European cut diamonds often have poorer cut grades which can reduce their value. If you have an old European cut diamond, it is best to take it to get appraised in order to understand its worth.

  • TUSCANY RING. CIRCA 1930$4,500
  • BAYSIDE RING$63,000
  • BEDFORD RING$5,600
  • BELMONT RING. CIRCA 1945$4,000
  • BOHEMIA RING. CIRCA 1900$12,000
  • BOLOGNA RING$19,500
  • CHARLESTON RING. CIRCA 1950$11,500
  • DENTON RING$14,000
  • GLASSBORO RING. CIRCA 1925$8,800
  • 5.02CT ESTATE HALO RING$58,000
  • ARCHWAY RING$10,500

3 carat old mine cut diamond

What is an Old Mine Cut Diamond?

While shopping for authentic vintage engagement rings, you’re bound to come across old mine cut diamonds. These antique diamonds feature a squarish shape with soft, curved edges, similar to modern cushion cut diamonds. Old mine cuts were popular during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The proportions of old mine cut diamonds vary greatly from modern cut diamonds. Old mine cut diamonds have a smaller table, high crown, and larger facets than modern cut diamonds – 58 facets total. (Modern brilliant cut diamonds have 57-58 facets.) These bulkier proportions had a purpose – they were chosen so that the diamonds would sparkle under candlelight. However, old mine cut diamonds will not sparkle as brilliantly as modern cut diamonds. Because old mine cut diamonds were cut by eye and hand, each diamond carries a unique charm – they often have uneven facets and an asymmetrical shape. 

See the circle at the center of an old mine cut’s table? This is an easy way to identify an old mine cut. The circle is a result of the old mine cut’s large culet. The culet is the very bottom of a diamond’s pavilion. When a diamond has a culet, it affects the stone’s light performance and lets light escape through the bottom of the stone, creating a dark circle. Most modern cut diamonds don’t have a culet, and when they do, it’s very small. 

Where did the name “Old Mine Cut” come from?

Around the late 1800s, diamonds predominantly became sourced from newer African mines instead of the older Brazilian and Indian mines. The term “old mine cut” was originally used to indicate a diamond sourced from Brazilian or Indian mines that was cut to have a squarish shape and produce some sparkle. When African mines started to produce more diamonds of better color quality, these diamonds were cut in the same fashion and were also called old mine cuts.

Are old mine cut diamonds more valuable?

Diamonds are no longer cut in the old mine fashion, making them very rare. There are some collectors who are willing to pay a hefty sum for diamonds from different eras. However, the value of a diamond is also based on its 4 Cs (cut, color, carat, and clarity) and many old mine cut diamonds have poorer cut grades than modern diamonds, which can decrease their value. If you own an old mine cut diamond, the best way to understand its value is to take it to get appraised.

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