Identifying and Valuing Old European Cut Diamonds

Posted on April 2, 2020 by Richard B. Drucker, GIA GG, Honorary FGA

Identifying an old European cut diamond may seem simple but there is a set of GIA standards that determine from their perspective whether it is or is not. This set of standards is not widely accepted by vintage jewelry dealers that struggle with some of the non-calls. For the past several years, prices have risen significantly, sometimes even above the price of a modern brilliant when hard to find and in demand. While that is true in some sizes and qualities, the market is softening in other.

During the past decade, the gemguide has featured several articles on old european cut diamonds. The first article of the same title as this feature here, appeared in the November 2010 issue (Volume 29, issue 6). in September 2011 (Volume 30, issue 5) another feature article appeared discussing the ongoing dilemma over old european cut diamonds, specifically nomenclature on grading reports and the history of cutting styles and cut grading. Today, we continue to debate nomenclature.

In November 2012 (Volume 31, issue 6), we published a market trends article showing how the price of these diamonds has continued to rise over the years in comparison to round brilliant cuts. in popular sizes and qualities, this is still true today. Prices are softening overall in the diamond market but there continues to be strength in old european cuts when compared to the modern brilliants. it is possible that as the markets cool, prices could also soften for some old cuts.

The giA introduced cut grading of round brilliant diamonds in 2006. Prior to that, all diamonds sent to the laboratory….

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