The Specific Origins and Development of Old European Cut Diamonds


The history of Old European cut diamonds is a fascinating journey that spans several centuries, marked by key milestones and technological advancements.

Early Table Cut: The Humble Beginnings

The story begins in the 16th century with the Table Cut, one of the earliest forms of diamond cutting. This primitive method, typically done by hand, lacked the precision of today’s techniques. Despite its simplicity, the Table Cut laid the groundwork for future innovations in diamond cutting, eventually leading to the development of the Old European cut.

The Mazarin Cut: A Leap in Sophistication

By the mid-17th century, diamond cutting had evolved significantly. The Mazarin Cut, named after Cardinal Mazarin, emerged as a notable advancement. This period saw the introduction of more intricate and sophisticated methods, leading to a greater variety of diamond cuts and enhanced brilliance, paving the way for the Old European cut.

The Sancy Cut: Pioneering Symmetry

In 1476, Louis De Berquen of France, often hailed as the father of modern diamond cutting, introduced the concept of absolute symmetry. He created the Sancy Cut, a teardrop-shaped diamond that became a precursor to many subsequent cuts. This innovation underscored the importance of symmetry in maximizing a diamond’s sparkle and beauty, influencing the later designs of the Old European cut diamonds.

Victorian Era Advances: Efficiency and Precision

The late 19th century brought significant technological advancements, including electric saws and steam-powered cutting machines. These innovations made diamond cutting more efficient and precise. Concurrently, major diamond discoveries in Brazil and South Africa spurred further development in cutting techniques, leading to an era of rapid progress and the refinement of the Old European cut.

Belgian Technicians' Legacy: Mastery Through Apprenticeship

In Belgium, the art of diamond cutting was meticulously passed down from master to apprentice, much like traditional Chinese herbalism. The skilled craftsmen of Antwerp maintained Belgium’s leading position in the diamond industry through this tradition of apprenticeship and skill accumulation, ensuring the continued excellence of their craft. Their expertise played a crucial role in perfecting the Old European cut.

Integration of Modern Technology: The Pinnacle of Art and Scienc

As time progressed, diamond cutting methods continued to evolve, blending artistry with advanced technology. The creation of the Asscher Cut by Joseph Asscher in 1902 exemplifies this integration. Modern techniques have reached new heights, producing some of the most beautiful and brilliant jewels on Earth, including the exquisite Old European cut diamonds.


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