Need help with an Old European

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Feb 3, 2003
I have been researching diamonds via the "net" and have visited a couple of Jewelry stores that have been recomended to me. I had a good grasp of what I wanted until I went and visited my mother this weekend. She took me by her neighborhood jeweler, that she trusts very much, and I asked him to look for some round diamonds for me in the 1.25-1.50 carat range, IF-VS2, D-G, up to $8000. He did have one in on hand that was close to what I was looking for. I decided to have a looksee. To get to my question...the diamond is an Old European Cut. Which I had never heard of. The diamond looked good but did not have any certification with it. They had it graded and appraised at 1.33ct., VVS2, E, with a table of 59%, and a depth of 55%. The grading report reads measurements of 7.3-7.36mm(I am not sure what that means). The diamond is beautiful but I am being quoted $9000.00. I am not sure if I should by a stone without certification and am not sure what the ring is worth. If anyone can give me any advice I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you in advance for your help,



Oct 30, 2002
An Old European cut means that this stone was cut probably around the early 1900's and is an antique stone. There are not that many of them left in circulation, as by now many of the old stones such as this have been taken and re-cut to modern standards, maximizing brilliance, fire, and scintillation with the new cutting methods.

Old stones normally have more character to them than a regular modern round brilliant, as it was hand-cut and therefore is not as precise as today's stones, but many people like them because they are romantic types of stones, or they like that someone else owned it many many years before them, or they like the fact that their stone was not laser cut but rather hand-cut ...the list goes on etc.

The differences between the old stones and today's rounds is really in the table and the culet from what I have read. Normally the tables are smaller, around 54% whereas todays stones can have tables of 53/54% but it is more likely that they will have tables of around 57%. What is interesting about your stone is that it has a table of 59% and a depth of 55%, which sounds a little odd to me..but if you consider it as a modern round, that would mean that your stone may look larger than it really is. The dimensions you posted seem to be more inline with a 1.40c stone or similar so that means your stone may look more like a 1.4c even though its a 1.33. Also OEC's normally have a slightly larger culet than modern stones. Ask about this as well from the jeweler. Modern culets are maybe around 1% as a typical number (very small or none), I wouldn't be surprised if this is a true OEC it may have a slightly larger culet. Did you see round hole in the bottom of the table at all when you viewed the stone face down? That may have been the culet! It's not a bad thing, just different. Flatter bottoms in the old days, not a point as we have now.

Also it's also surprising to find OEC's with such high clarity and color! I would wonder who used to own this stone, as stones back in the early 1900s were normally much smaller than whoever could afford to own a 1.33c E VVS2 stone probably had some major bucks.

Anyway that said, compare this stone to some at as they have a great selection of old stones at competitive pricing. I ran a quick search and found only one that could not even compare to your specs..this one is a 1.23 F VS1 OEC for $8500. So taking into consideration that your stone is a 1.33 and an E and a VVS2 for $9000 that sounds like a competitive amount.

In the end the decision is really yours to make, but I would suggest if you do go with this old stone, to be sure to get a return policy in writing (at least 15 days), and then take the stone to an independent appraiser or have it sent to one (there is a listing under Appraisers here on Pricescope who will mostly take mailed stones), and have them run their reports on the stone. The fact that the stone does not have a GIA cert or similar is not surprising as many of these older stones don't....the vendors CAN get them done, but for whatever reason it seems as though they are not always certified. But if you get your own thorough appraisal done and are satisfied with what they tell you, I would not worry about the lack of 'official' certification on the stone . In the end if the stone checks out and you want to have it certified, send it to GIA and they will do it for a fee.

Anyway hope this helps somewhat--as well as the chart. It will help to show you a bit about the old cuts and how they differ slightly from today's cuts. Pretty interesting stuff!
Good luck!

diagram old cuts.jpg

Richard Sherwood

Sep 25, 2002
Jerry, with the measurements given, I suspect this diamond does not have a good "make" (proportions).

The price also seems high for an Old European Cut. With a little bit of shopping, you could probably find a fine make modern cut stone for close to the same price. OEC's generally sell for approximately 35% less, as a rough rule-of-thumb.

This is a stone you would definitely want to have checked out by an independent appraiser before purchasing. Especially with such high grading.
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