Baltimore (410) 837-0290
Washington, D.C./Chevy Chase (301) 718-4825
Northern Virginia (703) 714-9553
Go Back
Jewelry

Circular Brilliant vs. Old European Brilliant Cut Diamonds According to GIA

Nov 12, 2020

Oftentimes when we think of a diamond engagement ring, we have been conditioned to think of what is commonly known as the round brilliant cut. Their sparkle is unparalleled and they also tend to be less prone to damage or chips simply because of their shape. However, behind today’s round brilliant cut is centuries-worth of craftsmen who honed their skills in cutting diamonds to best show off its facets. And with that also comes an evolution in diamond shapes, such as with the Old European brilliant and the circular brilliant, the predecessors to today’s round brilliant.

So how do we compare a diamond that was cut a century ago by hand tools with a diamond that was cut last year with a laser? Fortunately, that’s where the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) comes in. There are different standards to reflect the techniques and styles of the period in which a diamond may have been cut. Having a set of standards in how we grade diamonds has been a rule of thumb for estate jewelers, buyers, and sellers such as Samuelson’s. By having these standards, we’re able to accurately grade a diamond so that we can fairly price it for our customers.

While a circular brilliant and an Old European brilliant cut may look very similar with their circular, face-up outlines, there are some significant differences. The easiest way to think of it is about the sort of pattern cast by the diamond depending on how the light hits. With Old European brilliants and circular brilliants, there is often a visible pattern on its face – such as a checkerboard or blocky pattern – with a beautiful interplay of light and dark. In comparison, today’s modern round brilliant is often described as splintery, because it displays a tighter mosaic of light and dark when the light hits.

To help differentiate a circular brilliant from an old European brilliant cut diamond, GIA has identified a set of criteria that must be met in order to be classified accordingly. For an Old European brilliant, they are generally characterized by having small table facets, heavy crowns, and deeper proportions. The primary difference is really in the angles and the proportions.

With diamonds, there’s something for everyone, which is why it’s so important to know the difference between these similar cuts. While some may prefer the interplay of light in a modern round brilliant cut diamond, others may appreciate the history and craftsmanship behind the cut of an older style diamond. We have the pleasure of working with both old and new by virtue of being a buyer and a seller. If you’d like to know more about how we can identify the cut of your diamond or how we evaluate its proportions, we’d be delighted to share more insights! To get started, visit our website to make an appointment or call one of our three locations!

Sources: https://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research-round-brilliant-cut-diamond-pay

https://www.brilliance.com/education/diamonds/depth-table

Read The Latest News From Samuelson's

The History of the Cartier Love Bracelet

Jul 23, 2021

The History of the Cartier Love Bracelet Have you ever heard of a bracelet that locks? No, not with a clasp or a hook. Cartier’s Love bracelet uses tiny screws that join the bottom and top halves. Inspired by the free love movement in 1970s New York…

Read More

Financing your purchase through our Affirm Partnership

Jul 8, 2021

We’ve got some big news!  For the first time ever, you can buy jewelry, watches, and other fine goods on our website. You can browse our full-collection online or in person and discover what catches your eye. We’ve also made it easier than ever…

Read More

Meet the Key 10138, a 101.38 Carat Pear Shape Diamond up for Auction at Sotheby’s!

Jun 25, 2021

Meet the Key 10138 Move over, Hope Diamond - there’s a new diamond in town. Weighing in at a whopping 101.38 carats, Sotheby’s is auctioning off a pear-shape D color flawless diamond for an estimated $10-$15 million. Here’s the kicker: unlike…

Read More

Why a Rolex Watch Makes the Perfect Father’s Day Gift

Jun 10, 2021

Why a Rolex Watch Makes the Perfect Father’s Day Gift Wondering what to get your dad for Father’s Day? We’ve got you covered. One of the most timeless gifts (pun intended) is a Rolex watch. They’re beautiful, stylish, functional, and impeccably…

Read More

Stay In Touch

Shopping Cart

Search