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european cut diamond

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DGer

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I'm curious, Is a European cut diamond just as pretty as a round cut? In a 1.5 carat or larger?
:read:
 

oldminer

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A European cut is generally an Old European Cut. These were cut into the early 20th Century before modern cutting became commonplace. The facet arrangement and proportions differ a bit from modern cuts. They look differently as light is refracted and dispersed differently in modern and old cut diamonds. They can be very attractive.
 

DGer

Rough_Rock
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thanks, what I really want to know is it as showy as a round brilliant cut???
 

Richard Sherwood

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That depends on your definition of "showy" DG.

The Old European cuts tend to have a lesser white light return (brilliance) but a greater colored light return (fire- the refracted rainbow colors) than modern cuts.

Additionally, because of their greater depths a 1ct OEC will generally have a smaller diameter than a 1ct RBC. This is kind of balanced out though by the fact that you can buy an OEC at a discount compared to a RBC.

There's a lot of people who absolutely adore OEC's. I happen to be one of them. I'm a nut about "fire", and some of those OEC's are positively "on fire".

It's definitely a stone-by-stone search.

Rich, GG
Sarasota Gemological Laboratory
 

fire&ice

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----------------
On 12/21/2002 10:53:56 PM


Additionally, because of their greater depths a 1ct OEC will generally have a smaller diameter than a 1ct RBC. This is kind of balanced out though by the fact that you can buy an OEC at a discount compared to a RBC.

There's a lot of people who absolutely adore OEC's. I happen to be one of them. I'm a nut about "fire", and some of those OEC's are positively "on fire".

It's definitely a stone-by-stone search.

Rich, GG
Sarasota Gemological Laboratory
----------------


I love them also. Of late though, I don't know if the discount will continue as the demand seems to be on the rise. What I have found - and you all would know better than I - is that the large stones (2-3c) are difficult to find in the whiter colors. Was this just my experience? Or are they out there readily available?
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
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That's a correct assessment, Fire.

Over the decades dealers have been taking the finer OEC's and recutting them to RBC's. The RBC's were more liquid, and brought more money.

It's a shame, really. It reminds me of the early 80's, when people were melting down magnificent silver sets because of the high return from the rise in silver prices. So much history tossed into furnaces...

This trend seems to be slowing down now though, and in fact there are companies which are now beginning to specialize in reproduction "old" cuts.

Rich, GG
Sarasota Gemological Laboratory
 

IndyGem

Rough_Rock
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Feb 6, 2002
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Hi!

What is the average diameter of a 1 carat OEC? Is 5.6mm about right? What are the average Crown Angle, Table Size and Pavilion depth? What is the best way to determine these figures in a mounted stone? Also, is it common for these stones to exhibit a slight greenish hue? Is it possible to find out where a particular stone came from based on approximate age and colour? What years were these stones cut? Are the higer grades, VVS1, drastically more expensive? How does one determine price?

Also, what years were the Mine Cut diamonds cut?

Thank you very much for your help, I appreciate it!
 

Richard Sherwood

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Whew! That's a whole lot of questions in one breath, Indy.

-----------
What is the average diameter of a 1 carat OEC? Is 5.6mm about
right? What are the average Crown Angle, Table Size and Pavilion
depth?
-----------

5.6mm seems a little small for the average 1ct OEC. I would estimate more in the 6.2-6.3mm range.

I just appraised (3) OEC's today. (1) was a 1.79, and the other two were 0.87 & 0.89 ct. The measurements were as follows:

1.79.....7.34-7.41 x 4.91 mm
0.87.....5.89-5.96 x 3.91 mm
0.89.....5.92-6.02 x 3.97 mm

The stones ranged from:
66.0 to 66.6% depths
38.5 to 48.6% tables
16.7 to 20.3% crown heights
34.1 to 38.6' crown angles
41.0 to 42.8% pavilion depths
41.9 to 43.2' pavilion angles
Extremely thin to medium girdles
Large to very large culets
Fair polish and symmetry

-----------
What is the best way to determine these figures in a mounted stone?
-----------

On a mounted stones I use a combination of direct measurement coupled with the DiamCalc software to determine these figures.

-----------
Also, is it common for these stones to exhibit a slight greenish hue?
-----------

No, it's not common. I have heard it said that some Brazilian diamonds have a very, very faint green tint to them, but I've not verified it myself.

Be careful if you're seeing a greenish tint in a "diamond", because the imitation moissanite often has a greenish tint to it.

-----------
Is it possible to find out where a particular stone came from based
on approximate age and colour?
-----------

No one can positively ID diamond origin using age and color, but sometimes there are indicators which can suggest origin. At certain times in history certain mines were the predominant producers, and some of them had characteristic tints to them, like the light cape stones common to the South African Kimberly mine and the ice white tint of diamonds from the Indian Golconda region.

Possibly if the cutting era, color and provenance of a stone all lined up you might be able to make an educated guess as to the origin of the stone. A spectroanalysis also will sometimes offer clues as to origin, but again positive ID is almost impossible in most cases.

-----------
What years were these stones cut?
-----------

The machine which made it possible to brute a round diameter on a diamond was invented around 1900, so that can be used as a demarcation point in the dating of these old cut stones.

Old Mine Cut stones (cushion shaped) are typically circa 1840-1890.

Old European Cut stones (round, with small table, high crowns, and large to very large culets) are typically circa 1900-1920.

European Cuts (larger tables, lower crowns, medium to large culets) are typically circa 1920-1940.

Transitional Cuts (transitioning between the european cuts and the modern round brilliant cuts) are typically circa 1940-1950.

-----------
Are the higer grades, VVS1, drastically more expensive?
-----------

Quality has the same relative impact on the price of an OEC as it would on the price of a modern cut. A VVS1 for example, will be "drastically" more expensive than an SI1. A "D" color will be "drastically" more expensive than an "I" color.

-----------
How does one determine price?
-----------

With a good appraiser experienced in the old cuts. I mention experienced, because many appraisers not familiar with the old cuts tend to downgrade their value more than they deserve. There is a definite market for these stones among antique jewelry dealers and discriminating antique consumers.

Dave Atlas deals in old cut stones, and would be very helpful in helping you buy, sell or appraise an old cut. Michael Goldstein in Manhattan is also a well known dealer of old cuts. I don't buy or sell, but can appraise the old cuts.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Here is an eg of a Sarin scanned Old cut seen through a virtual Ideal-Scope (via diamCalc2).
Note the smaller spread and the low light return etc.
They show more fire because they return less light


BTW you got an amazing free diamond lecture from Rich – you are a really nice guy Rich


Old cut diamond.JPG
 

IndyGem

Rough_Rock
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Feb 6, 2002
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Hi!! Thank you so much for all the great info.

My reason for such specific questions is that I am trying to determine the fair market value and weight estimate of a bezel set OEC. The avg. dia., as far as I can determine, is around 5.7mm. The Moe gauge is of little help really. It has an extremely steep crown angle, very small table, extremely large culet, a deep pavilion and appears to have a very thick girdle. Getting the girdle reflection is difficult because of the bezel. As for the body color, being in yellow gold, it is difficult to accurately judge. It was previously mounted in a traditional white gold wedding set and exhibited a very slight greenish hue. The stone was bought new in the mid to late 1800s and was part of a suite of diamonds that were set in a very large starburst pin/pendant, this being the largest. Legend has it that this suite came from South America during a holiday. There is another OEC in the suite that is estimated to be over 0.50ct or so with numerous smaller mine cut and single cut stones. A good deal of the smaller stones also exhibit the greenish hue as currently mounted in a large white gold art deco pave mounting.

Back to the stone in question, however, it has always been appraised as a full carat (1.03ct or so)tho a more recent appraisal, as mounted in the bezel, estimated the weight to be far less. This being done by one not particularly experienced in such stones. As I mentioned, the stone is very deep, has a very high clarity grade (VVS1-VVS2) and exhibits amazing amounts of fire that can be seen from across a room. Except for the ever so slight greenish hue the color is excellent. There are some minor issues with Ptg., Alg., and Fac., but considering the stones were hand finished I can only assume this is not such a big issue with such cuts. The girdle appears to be rough but I cannot see any bearding.

Thanks again for all the help!! I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions
 

Richard Sherwood

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-----------
The stone was bought new in the mid to late 1800s
-----------

If the stone has a round outline, the dating would have to be post-1900 and the dating on the "legend" incorrect. If the legend is true, then the stone should have a cushion shaped outline, and would be an old mine cut.
 

IndyGem

Rough_Rock
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Feb 6, 2002
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Hi!

Thank you all, very much, for all the great info. I really appreciate it. I am in the midst of my GG courses (completing Diamond Grading now) and am trying to learn as much as I can. My main interest in is "antique" pieces, especially from the Art Deco period. I think the OECs are wonderful and have so much more character than the modern brilliant. I am extremely interested in offering appraisals (I have my certificate) and am attempting to get my foot in the door at one of our local jewelers. The market is not so good here at the moment and the rare openings are even more rare now. So, in the meantime, I am just trying to further my education.

Thanks again!
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
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-----------
I am extremely interested in offering appraisals (I
have my certificate)
-----------

Hi Indy. If you're "in the midst of my GG courses (completing Diamond Grading now)", I was just curious what certificate it is you have.

My recommendation would be to accrue at least five years experience in the business along with a GG before attempting to appraise.
 

IndyGem

Rough_Rock
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Feb 6, 2002
Messages
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Hi!

Thanks for replying. I completed the GIA Diamonds and Insurance Replacement Appraisal courses in 2002 and just completed the Diamond Grading extension class in Chicago. I am waiting to take my final exam for Diamond Grading now. I then move on to Gemstone Identification and Gem Grading. I may also take the Pearl course and one in Design, though not required for the GG.

I worked in an upscale antique store for 3 years that specialized in antique/estate jewelry so I have experience in that regard, sales. Also, I am always reading books and articles on the subject. Unfortunately, there haven't been a lot of sources for me regarding OEC diamonds and thus my questions. Even my instructor in the grading class has a preference for the OEC because of the fire they exhibit.

Thanks again for all the information. I appreciate it.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
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Sounds like you're on the right track Indy.

The OEC's do have great fire, don't they? The long, inclined prism angles of the crown facets combined with the small table create a pyrotechnics playground.

Garry, do you have an idea when the DiamCalc program will be able to assess "fire"?
 

TheDiamondangel

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Mar 12, 2003
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I happen to love the look of the OMC and the OEC. The chunky flashes of colored light is just mezmerizing, and the look distinctive. They perform the best in soft, romantic lighting such as candle light, sunset, and the wonderful twinkling of Christmas lights. They have a charm all their own, and are currently enjoying a rush of popularity since some stars have been showing off their antique engagement rings, such as Ashley Judd (who I believe has a rather large old mine cushion cut).
 

IndyGem

Rough_Rock
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Hi!

Hollywood definitely has gone gaga over the older cut stones and who can blame them? They look great in most any light but I agree they look amazing in soft light. Tho they can be outstanding in bright sunlight too! The fact that so many have been recut appears to make them ever more rare and I read that the price for them has leveled out with that of the modern brilliant. Some people haven't seen one in person and actually think it's a new cut. Funny how things come around again in popularity. Art Deco seems to be popular again, as well, and you see a lot of OEC and OMC stones in those pieces. Has anyone begun to recut the OEC? Of course, part of the charm is the provenance, but for those who must have one of a certain size and clarity, perhaps having one cut would be worth the expense. Didn't I once read some are being cut in India?

Take care!
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
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They're cutting rose cuts in India--I"ve been seeing them a lot--but I didn't think they were doing OEC equivalents. Are they?
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
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The rose cut and briolette cut has been revived, but I don't know of anyone cutting the old european cut style.

With the intense interest in antique cuts and antique jewelry it will probably happen sooner or later though. If so, it will be like the repro jewelry that's out now. A reasonable facsimilie to the eye, but easily detected when examined under the loupe.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
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4,924
-----------
The fact that so many have been recut appears to
make them ever more rare and I read that the price
for them has leveled out with that of the modern
brilliant.
-----------

Although the market for european cuts is strong, and the price for them has risen, they still are far from reaching that of a comparable round brilliant.

With other factors being equal, the discount for the older cut stones in comparison to a modern round brilliant runs somewhat along these lines:

European Cuts (circa 1920-1940).........-20 to -30%
Old European Cuts (circa 1900-1920).....-30 to -40%
Old Mine Cuts (circa 1840-1890).........-45 to -55%
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
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----------------
On 8/16/2003 8
1:31 PM Richard Sherwood wrote:


European Cuts (circa 1920-1940).........-20 to -30%

Old European Cuts (circa 1900-1920).....-30 to -40%

Old Mine Cuts (circa 1840-1890).........-45 to -55%


----------------
Hey, Richard--what did they cut between 1890 and 1900?
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
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Can you show us a virtual ideal scope diamcalc image of an Old Vacation Cut?
 

winyan

Brilliant_Rock
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I'm another old cut lover, and am so happy to report a friend with an OMC around 2.2 cts is *not* having it recut. His father-in-law has decided to have it set into a man's ring for himself!

Yah, for the old cut lovers!

win
 

oldminer

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Both old Euro and Old mine cuts are being made today in India and even in New York City. The supply of large ones is somewhat limited and truly the demand for them is not as great as for modern cuts anyway. The small stones are only cut in India as far as I know. They are readily available and look resonably authentic. Mounted in an old mounting, I doubt many could tell the difference reliably. I can tell sometimes, but certainly not all the time.

New, old cuts, are not inexpensive like used, truly old, second hand ones are. There are modern labor costs involved. They are very useful to have when you need to complete a rebuilding job or replace a missing stone, but they are not going to take the place of modern cut diamonds.

Because old cuts weigh so much more than modern cuts, any apparent bargain in the price per carat is eaten up by the substantial added extra weight needed for any mm size stone. You can't fool the free market, but you can trick yourself if you don't realize what is going on.

There are rose cuts being cut also along with briolettes. They have special markets for them. Some can be quite pretty, but generally one does not see a lot of these in US jewelry. A few designers have adopted them recently, but fashion is very fickle. We will see how if it continues.
 

Hest88

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Thanks for the info, Dave. I'm amazed that they'd be trying to duplicate OMCs and OECs.

I really like briolettes, though, and wouldn't mind seeing them more widely available.
 

minko23

Rough_Rock
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Mar 30, 2005
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Hello,
I just had a few questions about European cut diamonds and round brillants. My grandmother''s ring was recently verbally appraised at an F color, either VS or VVS and European cut at 5.2mm so about .75 cts. I want to have her stone reset in a 3 stone engagement ring setting. Several jewelers that I have talked to have told me that European cuts are more expensive now and also that putting two round brillant stones next to it will look fine. I haven''t brought the ring in to compare yet, but I am just concerned reading the posts about the different types of light refractions as I want this to be the center stone. In fact, one of the jeweler also told me to consider going down a color grade in order to make the European cut diamond stand out more. I was wondering if you had any suggestions.

Thanks!
 
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