When it comes to jewelry, Europe is known for its popular Antwerp diamond district. In fact, about 84% of the world’s rough diamonds pass through this district, making it the largest diamond center in the world with a turnover of $54 billion.[i] Antwerp was also once the commercial heart of Europe and played a crucial role in the development of diamond-working techniques. Diamonds out of Europe are more popular and in more stores today than those found in Asia or India! Let’s see how diamonds have evolved in Europe and come into our lives today.
Europe’s Diamond Age
Amsterdam was once a privileged city which monopolized the diamond industry, including the diamond trade. During this time, Antwerp had far inferior diamonds and through creativity, diamond cutters in the area transformed small and less perfect diamonds into finely crafted gems. After new diamond mines were found in South Africa, Antwerp and Europe experienced a large supply of rough diamonds. This massive influx of rough stones following the discoveries in South Africa was instrumental in contributing to the city’s status of Antwerp as the world’s leading diamond center.
European Style Diamonds
Although it was many of the royal families that set the trend for diamond styles and cuts, Europeans favored styles which today are considered antique and intricate. Some modern day cutters are even beginning to cut diamonds to resemble European styles. These styles are beautiful not just for their aesthetic, but for the science with which they are cut; the proportions of the stone were cut according to light falling directly down on to the stone thru the crown of the diamond. The light that enters through the top of the diamond would hit the culet, or the bottom tip, and shine of the stone producing an aurora borealis type of effect.
European cut diamonds are styles including rose cut, old mine cut, old European cut and asscher cut.
The most distinguishing feature of an Old European Cut diamond is its open culet; instead of coming to a point at the bottom, the diamond has a small flat facet. It usually has a smaller table and higher crown than modern-cut stones, and is usually seen in rings from the 1870s through the 1930s.[ii]
What do you enjoy about European diamonds or antique styles? If you’re looking for a specific diamond reminiscent of the old European cut, contact your diamond professionals and diamond engagement ring experts at the Diamond Broker today. Come on in to our Dallas store to see our wide selection of fine jewelry.