How to Tell European Cut Diamonds


Knowing how to tell the difference between European-cut diamonds and other cuts of diamonds will help you make an educated purchase or understand more about the diamond you own. Today, the European-cut diamond is most often seen in antique and estate jewelry. The old European-cut diamond was studied by Henry Morse and Marcel Tolkowsky to produce the round brilliant cut and ideal cut diamond popular today. With a jeweler's loupe and these directions, you will be able to distinguish if your diamond is a European-cut diamond.

Hold the jeweler's loupe up to your eye and look at the diamond's culet -- the point at the bottom of the pavilion of the diamond. In most cuts, the culet comes to a point; however the European-cut diamond has an open culet, which means that instead of coming to a point, the diamond has a small flat facet there. This is one of the most distinguishing features of a European-cut diamond.

Examine the diamond's facets. These are the cuts placed into the diamond. Both the European-cut diamond and the brilliant-cut diamond have 58 facets; however, the European cut is done by hand so the facets will most likely not be symmetrical. If the diamond appears to be cut perfectly, it is probably not a European cut.

Look at the crown of the diamond -- the section in the center of the diamond and above the girdle, or the widest part of the diamond. As with most diamonds cut during the 1800s and early 1900s, the crown of the European cut is higher than in modern-day diamond cuts. This is known as a high or raised crown.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also take your diamond to a jeweler or jewelry appraiser to help you determine if the diamond is a European cut.

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