Centuries of Sparkle: Old Mine Cut vs. Old European Cut Diamonds

Centuries of Sparkle: Old Mine Cut vs. Old European Cut Diamonds

There's a lot of confusion over antique diamond cutting...

While both Old European and Old Mine cuts are precursors to today's round brilliant cut diamond, their hand-cut facets are larger, slightly imperfect, and offer a visual experience, unlike anything modern machinery can offer.

Difference between an Old European cut and an Old Mine cut diamond

Our design specialist and GIA Diamonds Graduate, Miller Williams, offers this explanation:

What is an Old European Cut Diamond?

Old European cut refers to the diamond’s facet pattern. The Old European cut is a precursor to our modern-day round brilliant cut, and they would have typically been faceted between 1880 and 1930. As cutting technology continued to improve in the 19th and 20th centuries, diamonds became more symmetrical - and cutters were no longer limited by the octahedral shape of the rough diamond. Old Euros offer a distinct visual experience in terms of how their facets interact with light, which are wider and less symmetrical than modern round brilliant cut diamonds. This is part of their unique charm!

What is an Old Mine Cut Diamond?

Old Mine cut diamonds were most commonly faceted during the Georgian and Victorian eras (the 1700s to 1800s). Diamonds gained popularity in this period as cutting techniques improved, and diamonds were no longer relegated to the lower ranks of gem love. Like modern round brilliants, the diamond has the typical 58 facets but generally possesses a distinct cushion outline. This shape mimics the octahedral shape of a rough diamond and is exceptionally visually pleasing.

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