Historically, the two most popular diamond cuts have had very similar characteristics to one another. However, there are some differences between the two cuts that you should be aware of before deciding which to purchase. Old European cut diamonds were the most popular diamond cuts during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and they were also the most expensive. In the 1940s, the Transitional Cut became increasingly prevalent. However, as diamond cutting technology progressed, the traditional old European cut gave way to the modern round brilliant cut, which replaced it. Many heirloom diamonds have been transformed from their original shape into a modern round brilliant as a result of this.
When viewed from above, both the old and new diamond cuts are nearly perfect circles. Because the old European cut used an entire faceting structure to bring out the best color and sparkle in each diamond, it is still popular today. The development of steam and electric cutting equipment in the early 1900s made it possible to cut round diamonds on a large scale, revolutionizing the diamond industry. On the other hand, the brilliant round cut continues to be the most popular today.
Old European Cut Diamond Vs. Round Brilliant Diamond
The old-European cut was popular among men from the late nineteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century. The old-European cut retained the large table and culet but had a flatter shape than the modern-European cut. In contrast to modern diamonds, Old-European diamonds are tough to come by. Moreover, if you decide to purchase one, you may be forced to make some concessions regarding the four Cs. The beauty of an old-fashioned diamond, on the other hand, makes the price worthwhile.
Because of its consistency, the modern round brilliant diamond has become significantly more popular. Compared to older-style round diamonds, modern round diamonds have fewer flaws and narrower and smaller facets. Traditional old European cut diamonds, on the other hand, have chunkier patterns that collectors of antique diamond cuts often admire. The contrast between the two is startlingly obvious! The choice between round brilliants and old-fashioned diamonds will be determined by your personal preference for either type of diamond.
At first glance, old European cut diamonds can appear very similar to modern round brilliant cut diamonds, and this isn’t a random occurrence. After all, older diamond cuts, such as the old European cut, influenced the brilliant modern cut.
However, there are a few significant differences between the old European cut and the brilliant round cut that you’ll notice when you compare the two:
Dimensions of the Table
The small tables of old European cut diamonds, usually 53 percent of the diamond’s diameter or less, are well-known. It’s not uncommon to see old European cut diamonds with tables as small as 38% of their total diameter.
Round diamonds have larger tables, with excellent or perfect table sizes ranging from 52 to 60%. (Usually between 55 and 60 percent).
The Shape of a Facet
Although round diamonds and old European cut diamonds have the same number of facets (58 or 57 if the culet isn’t counted), the facets of each diamond cut are different shapes.
The facets of an old European cut diamond are triangular, whereas the facets of a round diamond are thinner. The lower-half facets of the old European cut are also very long, accounting for at least 60% of the diamond’s total depth.
The size of the culet of an old European cut diamond is usually visible from the diamond’s table. The culet of a round brilliant cut diamond can vary in size, but we generally recommend choosing one without one.
Finishing the Girdle
Like other antique cut diamonds, the girdle of old European cut diamonds is usually bruited or frosted. A faceted girdle is found on most round brilliant cut diamonds and other modern diamonds.
Precision and Symmetry are Important
An old European cut diamond will not be as symmetrical or precisely cut as a brilliant round diamond. This is the case because the diamond was cut by hand before the advent of modern imaging and laser cutting technology.
Color is Prioritized Over Brilliance in this Cut
As its name suggests, the modern round brilliant cut is designed for maximum brilliance. On the other hand, the old European cut is primarily intended to highlight a diamond’s color.
You’ve probably done some research if you’re buying a diamond for the first time. You may have your heart set on a specific diamond shape or be aware of which settings will look best with it. If you’ve done your research, you’re probably aware that gemologists grade diamonds using the four C’s (clarity, color, cut, and carat).
Color is the absence of color, whereas clarity is the absence of imperfections. The carat refers to the diamond’s weight and size, while the cut determines its brilliance. When determining the value (and thus the price) of a diamond, each of these grades is taken into account. But which of the four C’s is the most crucial?
Old European Cut Diamond
The old European cut was a famous diamond cut from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. It replaced the old mine-cut diamond, which had a rounder shape but retained the large culet and small table. A quick history lesson on how diamonds have been cut, measured, and polished over the centuries is required to understand how the old European cut differs from most modern diamonds.
Diamonds are now cut using a complex, technologically advanced process. They’re first scanned with a laser scanner to figure out how to turn a rough diamond into a finished diamond as quickly as possible.
The rough diamonds are then cleaved, girdled, polished, and inspected to ensure that they are properly cut. The process relies on the diamond cutter’s skill and a variety of modern, highly specialized diamond cutting and polishing machines. Diamonds were cut and measured by hand before introducing modern technology in the diamond cutting process. Old European cut diamonds were initially cut using the cutter’s eye rather than modern technology to measure accuracy and symmetry.
Because old European cut diamonds rely on human skill and intuition rather than technology, they have a lovely organic, hand-cut look, with all of the imperfections and character that only something made by hand can have.
The old European cut resembles the brilliant round cut in terms of appearance, and both diamond cuts have 58 facets and are round. An old European cut diamond resembles a softer version of the modern round brilliant cut in appearance. On the other hand, the old European cut has several characteristics that aren’t typically found in modern diamond shapes. It also has a unique appearance, softness, and “inner fire” rare in modern brilliant-cut diamonds.
Old European cut diamonds can cost anywhere from $1,500 for a sub-0.70 carat SI1 or SI2 stone with a low color grade to $30,000 or more for a high-quality, nicely cut diamond in the 5+ carat range. Like modern cut diamond prices, old European cut diamond prices vary depending on each diamond’s carat weight, color, and clarity grades.
The price of a diamond tends to increase exponentially with carat weight, as we explained in our guide to diamond prices. Put, the higher the carat weight of a diamond, the higher the price per carat you can expect to pay. A typical price per carat for VS2 clarity, K-L color Old European cut diamond (GIA and AGS certified only) at a range of popular carat weights is listed below:
Weight in Carats
$2,000 to $2,300 0.5 to 0.69 ct
$3,000 to $3,750 for 1 to 1.4 ct
$3,700 to $4,600 for 1.5 to 1.99 ct
$5,000 to $6,500 2 to 2.99 ct
There is more price variation because old euros are less commoditized than modern round cut diamonds.
Also, as always, a diamond’s price can fluctuate depending on various factors other than its color, clarity, or carat weight. It’s also important to remember that. Must factor in the cost of a diamond setting.
Round Brilliant Diamond
The Round Cut Diamond is the most popular diamond shape, accounting for more than two-thirds of diamonds sold. The Round Brilliant Cut has 58 facets (including the culet) and is known for its exceptional white light reflection. Round Brilliant Cuts are commonly used in engagement rings, necklaces, and other fine jeweler pieces because of their classic, timeless appearance. . You can find a stunning example of a Round Brilliant Cut in this 1 carat stone from James Allen.
Marcel Tolko sky’s work “Diamond Design: A Study of the Reflection and Refraction of Light in Diamond,” published in 1919, sparked a surge of interest in the Round Cut Diamond by highlighting the ideal cut aspects of a Round Brilliant. The Round Cut has remained the most popular diamond cut since Tolko sky’s influence. The Old European cut was a popular diamond choice during the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco periods. Diamond cutting techniques became more refined as knowledge and technology advanced. As the cut design progressed, more extensive tables, smaller culets, and longer, leaner facets became the norm. The Round Brilliant is cut for brilliance rather than color, as with Old Europeans.
The main difference between the Old European and the Round Cut is that the Old European has thicker facets while the Round Brilliant has thinner facets. Some customers prefer the Old European’s vintage style and personality, but most prefer the Round Cut’s brilliance.
The term “round cut” is used in the diamond industry, but this refers to the diamond’s shape. There is no distinction between a Round Cut diamond and a Round Shaped diamond, so if you hear someone say Round Cut, Round Brilliant Cut, or Round Shaped diamond, they all refer to the same thing.
For a good reason, round-cut diamonds are the most expensive diamond shape.
First, a large portion of the rough stone must be removed when round diamonds are cut. At the end of the cut and polish process, only about 40% of the original stone is left. Princess cut diamonds; on the other hand, use about 80% of the stone’s original weight. Because more rough stone is required, a round cut’s lower yield means a higher price.
Second, the price of round-cut diamonds rises due to their popularity. A round-cut diamond is used in approximately 60% of all engagement rings. The higher the demand for this item, as with other goods and commodities, the higher the price.
Third, a round-cut diamond’s unrivaled brilliance and beauty justify a higher price. It’s a sophisticated choice thanks to its classic appeal and versatile shape.
Price of a Carat of Diamond (Per Carat, Round Brilliant Cut)
$1,220 – $5,800 for a 0.50 carat diamond from $610 to $2,900
$2,500 – $18,000 for a 1.0 carat diamond ranging from $2,500 to $18,000
$3,300 – $24,000 for a 1.50 carat diamond $32,000 – $4,400
$4,200 – $29,000 for a 2.0 carat diamond ranging from $8,400 to $58,000
Are Old Cut Diamonds Worth More and Less?
Are Old European Cut Diamonds Worth More? Old European cut diamonds and other antique diamonds cost slightly less than new ones. This is because they’re already mined and cut and, as such, don’t require all of the other costs that go into a newly cut, modern diamond. As with other diamond shapes, the value and price of an old mine cut diamond can vary based on its carat weight, color, clarity, and the quality and beauty of the diamond are cut. Old mine cut diamonds are generally 10 to 15 percent less expensive than the old European cuts.
Is a Round Cut Diamond the Same as a Brilliant Cut?
A brilliant-cut is defined as one resembling two pyramids placed base to base, intended to enhance the gem’s sparkle with the least possible sacrifice in carat weight. The Round Brilliant diamond shape has 57 facets comprising 33 facets on the crown and 25 on the pavilion.
The term “Round Cut” is used in the diamond industry, but understood this refers to the shape of the diamond. There is no difference between a Round Cut diamond and a Round Shape – so if someone mentions a Round Cut, Round Brilliant Cut, or Round Shaped diamond, this all means the same thing.
Is Round Brilliant Cut the Best?
The most popular cut is the Round Brilliant; with its fifty-seven perfectly aligned facets, its brilliance outshines the others. Total internal reflection is the key here; light travels through the stone, giving optimum sparkle and scintillation. The Round Cut Diamond is the most popular diamond shape, accounting for more than two-thirds of all diamonds sold. The Round Brilliant Cut has 58 facets (including the culet) and is known for its exceptional white light reflection.
Do Old Cut Diamonds Sparkle?
The sparkle of old cut diamonds is more profound and warmer, almost glowing in a way that draws the eye into the stone instead of bouncing the light back out. This makes old cut diamonds star performers in candlelight and other low light settings.
Why are Round Diamonds so Expensive?
Round Diamonds Lose the Most Rough
To achieve the fire and brilliance of the round shape, a large amount of the rough stone must be cut away. In short, that is the main reason round diamonds are more expensive than other fancy shape diamonds. It would help if you had much time and skill to cut the perfect round diamond.
Is Color Or Clarity More Important in a Round Diamond?
A diamond’s cut is ultimately more important than its clarity or color, particularly when it comes to brilliance. Before looking at color or clarity, limit your search to excellent or ideal cut diamonds only. You shouldn’t notice any color if you choose a round diamond with a color grade of J or higher. Princess-cut diamonds can also hide inclusions well, but clarity is more important than color because inclusions in the corners can make the diamond more susceptible to chipping.
Can you Clean a Cloudy Diamond?
How do you fix a cloudy diamond? If a diamond has inclusions that make it cloudy, there isn’t a way to fix the internal structure. If the diamond is hazy because it is covered with residue and grime, you can clean it to remove the cloudiness. Because of microscopic inclusions within the stone, a cloudy diamond appears hazy. A concentration of small inclusions clustered together can make a diamond appear foggy, lifeless, and dull in some cases.
The round-brilliant diamond has fewer facets than the old-European cut. In the old-European cut, the crown is more prominent, and the lower-half facets cover 60% of the distance between the girdle edge and the culet. The old-Europe cut is more rounded than the round-brilliant, and its facets are thinner. Round-brilliant diamonds are often more expensive than old-Europe diamonds, and the proportions are another significant distinction between the two cuts. Old European diamonds are often less symmetrical than the more expensive round-brilliant diamonds. However, stones that have an exact resemblance to a diamond that was cut recently can be found. Because light plays such an essential role in a diamond’s sparkle, the proportion of the stone is an essential factor in determining the ideal shape.