Old European Cut Diamonds VS. Old Mine Cut Diamonds – What's The Difference? (2024)

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by Suzanne Sachs  5 min read



Old European cut diamonds and old mine cut diamonds both serve as stunning options to symbolize a couple's special commitment to one another. However, what sets these gemstones apart? How do they each possess distinct characteristics? Examining the unique features of each antique diamond type can help you easily identify these gemstones and select the one that best complements your fashionable style and flair.


In this guide, we will explain the following:

  • How To identify an Old Mine Cut Diamond?
  • Old Mine Cut History
  • How To Identify an Old European Cut Diamond?
  • Old European Cut History
  • Which Diamond is Best For You?
  • Vintage Charm
  • Distinctive Shape
  • Versatility
  • Handcrafted Artistry
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Choosing a Vintage Engagement Ring You Will Love

How to Identify an Old Mine Cut Diamond?

The old mine cut diamond is an antique diamond cut renowned for its distinct proportions. Unlike modern diamond cuts, old mine cut diamonds typically boast a smaller table and a higher crown, paired with a larger culet. This larger culet is frequently noticeable when viewing the stone from above, lending a distinctive characteristic to each diamond. 

Each old mine cut diamond is distinct, having been meticulously hand-cut and polished rather than machine-produced. Consequently, these stones frequently exhibit thinner, uneven girdles and may display an overall asymmetry in their facets. These characteristics serve as reliable visual indicators of the authenticity and genuineness of a mine cut diamond compared to a modern mine-style cut. With a total of 58 facets, these diamonds tend to sparkle more on the surface rather than displaying deep inner reflections due to their higher crown. The overall shape of the diamond features slightly curved edges and a squarish or rectangular perimeter, reminiscent of the modern cushion cut.


• Old Mine Cut History

The old mine cut stands as one of the earliest recognized diamond cuts of the modern era, earning its name from the geographical locations of the "old mines" in India and Brazil. Prior to the discovery of lucrative diamond mines in South Africa during the 1860s, the majority of the world's high-quality diamonds were sourced from India and Brazil.

Artisan cutters crafted these diamonds into the distinctive mine cut, also known as the miner's cut or old mine cut. Even as new mines were unearthed and diamond production expanded, stones were often fashioned in this traditional cut style. It wasn't until the Industrial Revolution introduced new precision cutting techniques that the old mine cut began to wane in popularity. The Old Mine cut predates the Old European cut and was popular during the Georgian and Victorian eras, from the early 18th century to the late 19th century.


Suzanne was amazing! I utilized the layaway service and it was a breeze. Ring made its way to Texas and was even more gorgeous in person."
 Chloe G verified buyer

How to Identify an Old European Cut Diamond?

An Old European cut diamond embodies the craftsmanship of bygone eras, originating from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries. This antique cut serves as a precursor to the contemporary round brilliant cut, reigning as the favored choice in diamond aesthetics today.

The hallmark of Old European cut diamonds lies in their fewer, yet more expansive facets in comparison to their modern counterparts. Typically boasting 58 facets and donning either a circular or cushion shape, these diamonds orchestrate a distinctive interplay of light, casting forth vibrant bursts of color and brilliance commonly referred to as "fire." A distinctive characteristic of Old European cut diamonds lies in their petite table facet (the flat top surface). This diminutive table, coupled with a lofty crown and a profound pavilion, imparts the diamond with its unique allure. Old European cut diamonds frequently feature an exposed culet, the small facet located at the diamond's base. This facet is discernible without magnification, typically presenting as large and level.


• Old European Cut History

The Old European cut is considered a precursor to the modern round brilliant cut. It emerged as a refinement of earlier diamond cuts, such as the Old Mine cut and the Rose cut. The old European cut was developed to enhance the brilliance and sparkle of diamonds by optimizing their proportions and facet arrangements.


My experience with Vintage Diamond Ring was so excellent I really had to think about it for a while. First their selection of jewelry is profound. The quality is superior.”

 Claude P verified buyer

Which Diamond is Best For You?

• Vintage Charm

Old mine cut diamonds and old European cut diamonds possess a distinct vintage charm that appeals to those who appreciate historical or antique jewelry. They evoke a sense of nostalgia and romanticism, carrying the essence of bygone eras. In a market saturated with modern round brilliant cuts, old mine and European cut diamonds offer a sense of individuality and uniqueness.


• Distinctive Shape

The old mine cut features a cushion-shaped outline with a high crown, small table, and large facets. The Old European cut is renowned for its distinctive appearance, characterized by a smaller table, high crown, and deep pavilion. While both old mine cut diamonds and old European cut diamonds radiate beauty, their distinct shapes can pose a dilemma when deciding preferences. Experimenting with vintage rings featuring each type of diamond can clarify how their unique features complement the wearer's finger.


• Versatility

If you find it challenging to decide between the two types of diamonds, remember, you don't necessarily have to choose. An Old European cut diamond could elegantly serve as an engagement ring, while a ring adorned with a mine cut diamond could become a splendid cocktail ring or a choice for other special occasions, to be worn whenever the mood strikes. The alternative ring could also make a beautiful selection for an anniversary ring or to commemorate another significant occasion.


I've purchased two vintage rings from Suzanne over the past decade and my wife has loved both. Great service, communication and speedy delivery.”

 Lee S verified buyer

• Handcrafted Artistry

Old mine cut and old European cut diamonds were often handcrafted by skilled artisans, showcasing meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each diamond may have its own unique characteristics and imperfections, adding to its individuality and allure. Victorian rings featuring old mine cut diamonds evoke a romantic and nostalgic ambiance through their intricate detailing and rich symbolism. In contrast, Edwardian and Art Deco rings, adorned with old European cut diamonds, radiate sophistication and modernity with their striking geometric shapes and sleek, avant-garde designs.


• Eco-Friendly

Both old mine cut and old European cut diamonds are considered recycled diamonds since they were mined and cut decades ago. Choosing a recycled diamond helps reduce the demand for new diamond mining, thereby lessening the environmental impact associated with diamond extraction. By opting for antique diamonds like old mine cut or old European cut diamonds, you can ensure that your diamond purchase is conflict-free.


Choosing a Vintage Ring You Will love

Whether you choose an old mine cut or an old European cut engagement ring, both options offer timeless elegance and unique charm. Vintage diamonds possess an enduring quality, captivating hearts with their timeless appeal and serving as stunning additions to any jewelry collection. Furthermore, antique and vintage rings have stood the test of time with flattering designs and styles that transcend momentary trends, creating heirloom pieces that can be cherished for generations.

Ultimately, the choice between the mine cut and European cut diamonds comes down to personal style, preference, and the story you want your ring to tell. Whichever diamond you select, your choice will symbolize your love and commitment in a truly special and meaningful way.




No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.


Antique diamond cuts are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of vintage engagement rings today!


Suzanne has always believed vintage rings can change lives. She's been in the jewelry industry for over 35 years, working with vintage jewelers, diamond dealers, diamond cutters, and gemologists. Suzanne started Artdecodiamonds in 2000 and understood the demand for vintage rings throughout the world. She ultimately started VintageDiamondRing.com in 2014, and understands each vintage ring is a reflection of you – your history, your relationships, your style, your elegance and is honored to have the opportunity to help you showcase your flair in a unique and exquisite way.

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