What is a transitional cut diamond?

The transitional cut diamond was the first round diamond of its kind invented in the early to mid 20th century. Transitional cuts bridged the gap between the old cuts of the past and standardized symmetrical modern round brilliants.

The modern day round brilliant cut diamond came as a result of decades of diamond cutting evolution and was the direct descendant of the transitional cut diamond.

When were transitional cut diamonds invented?

With the advent of new technology in the 1920s an effort began to take shape to create a standardized round cut diamond. The old European diamond began to "transition" to what some call early modern cuts or early American cuts i.e. the transitional cut diamond. Transitional cut diamonds are most often seen in jewelry from the 1930s to the 1940s.

How do transitional cut diamonds look?

Symmetry and consistency was the goal but during this experimental time diamond cutters were still often working by hand. In turn transitional diamonds were cut with varying proportions, angles, and faceting without uniform parameters. They featured larger tables, a lower crown, and a smaller culet than the previous old Euro.

transitional cut diamond vs old European cut
Transitional cut diamond

What is the difference between an old European cut, transitional cut, and modern round brilliant diamond?

The transitional cut diamond bridges the chunky old Euro diamonds of the old world and the flashy stones of today. These beauties manage to have both an old world feel while maintaining that mega modern round brilliant sparkle.

The original round was the old European cut which came to popularity in the late 1800s. These stones featured most noticeably small tables, steep crowns, fat pavilion faceting (giving that chunky look) and large culets.

The transitional cut diamond bridged this with proportions that began to take the shape of modern round brilliants but without being standardized. So as mentioned they vary in shape.

The modern round brilliant was fully standardized in the early 1950s with 57 facets. Although over the decades since the 1950s the round brilliant has continued to evolve with the emergence of new computerized programs.

This bit of history proves how each antique diamond is truly unique and one-of-a-kind.
transitional cut diamond engagement ring