As the Industrial Revolution progressed, diamond technology improved. Around 1875, Charles Field, a shop foreman for Henry Morse, developed the steam-powered diamond lathe. This new invention gave diamond cutters more precision with their cuts, which resulted in the ability to create an entirely round, thin girdle – a process known as “bruting.” Soon craftsmen had developed the Old European cut, the prevailing style from the 1890’s to the 1930’s. While rounder and more brilliant than the Old Mine cut, this new style wasted up to 50% of the rough crystal. Such waste was only made acceptable by the discovery of the prolific South African diamond mines. Early transitional cuts were still quite uneven, but as time progressed, cutting became more precise and facets more symmetrical.
Like an Old Mine cut, an Old European cut diamond has a high crown, small table, open culet, and a thin girdle. The biggest visual difference between the Mine and the European cuts is the change to a round symmetrical outline.