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The Rose Cut Diamond

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

December 18, 2020

Vintage is the new modern. As a matter of fact, second-hand and thrift shops have never become so popular. What goes in fashion strangely applies to jewelry. In fact, as some of the oldest diamond cuts, the rose and marquise cuts are also some of the most unique… Probably even more than the Vintage Louis Vuitton travel bag you negotiated from your Grandma. Rich in history and in style, these antique cut diamonds like the Rose cut diamond have returned in popularity.

The rose cut diamond dates all the way back to the 1500s, making it one of the oldest diamond shapes in the world, but most people have not even heard of it. A Rose cut diamond what is it? This particular cut gets its name from the way in which the facets are placed. They resemble a rose petal by the way in which they attempt to mimic the spiral of a rose. This cut is usually flat at the bottom which gives the stone more surface area to become more brilliant. Although this diamond-cut fell out of favor due to more brilliant cuts, it is, once again, rising in popularity among the engagement ring crowd.

Features of the Rose cut diamond

The most notable features of a rose cut diamond are its flat back and domed top covered in triangular facets. The number of these facets vary from as few as 3 up to as many as 24, which terminate at the very top in a single apex. The flat back of the rose cut has two noticeable effects. First, without any facets on the underside of the gem to reflect light, the gem is quite transparent. They have a calm and ethereal look to them compared to the disco-ball sparkle of full-cut diamonds.

The popularity of the Rose cut

The rose cut was most popular during the Georgian and Victorian Eras. Many Antique pieces have rose cut center stones. After the Victorian Era, their popularity declined, until the turn of the century. During this time, Tiffany & Co created a solitaire rose cut diamond ring. They designed a more open mounting, in order to allow the light to shine through the stone more easily.

Cut vs Shape

While many people use these terms interchangeably, ‘cut’ and ‘shape’ mean very different things! Diamond shape refers to the stone outline (rectangular, round, pear-shaped) whereas cut relates to less obvious elements like proportion, facets, and polish. So, even though diamond shapes have names like princess cut, emerald cut, round cut, and pear cut, those names are still referring to diamond shapes, not diamond cuts. Not confusing at all, right?

We know the rose cut diamond for their shape versatility – you can find them in round, oval, pear, kite, hexagon, square, and rounded square shapes.

Color & Clarity in Rose Cut Diamonds

‘Color’ refers to how white or colorless a diamond appears. It’s graded from D (most colorless) to Z (noticeable brown or yellow tint) by the GIA. Whereas brilliant-cut diamonds look best in higher color grades, rose cut diamonds are more versatile when it comes to color. If there was a ‘C’ to compromise on with rose cut, color is it. With its domed top and subtle shine, this cut complements warmer tones and alternative colors beautifully. Grey, champagne, opaque white, salt & pepper, black, and yellow tones just add to this cut’s otherworldly antique appeal. And of course, if you love a bright white diamond, that rose cut will be tantalizingly transparent and gorgeously icy.

Rose cut also goes great with fancy colored diamonds (blue, pink, red, yellow, green diamonds). The cut highlights the diamond’s color without the distraction of intense light reflection that comes with a brilliant-cut diamond.

Clarity

Clarity’ refers to the level of blemishes or inclusions in the diamond. The GIA rates diamond clarity from FL (flawless) to I3 (noticeable inclusions to the naked eye). Clarity is important to consider when it comes to rose cut diamonds. Inclusions and blemishes are very noticeable because of the transparency, high dome, and larger flatter facets of these stones – you can usually see all the way through. So, if you’re looking for a totally transparent rose cut diamond, definitely invest in a higher clarity grade. However, if you love the aesthetic of vintage and antique jewelry, then inclusions and imperfections just bring more character and personality to your stone.

Several old diamond cuts including a rose cut diamondRose cut diamonds are occasionally compared to other antique diamonds, such as the old mine cut and old European cut.

Rose cut versus Old Mine cut & Old European cut diamonds

Because of their age, they ocassionally compare rose cut diamonds to other antique diamonds, such as the old mine cut and old European cut. Diamonds in these cuts have several things in common. First, as they’re cut by hand, they often feature small imperfections and asymmetries. It’s common to see facets that are misshapen, as well as asymmetrical facet patterns or girdles in all antique diamond shapes.

Second, all three of these cuts are far less brilliant than modern diamonds, with the rose cut the least brilliant of the three. Rather than offering incredible light performance, the designs of these cuts are to have a warm, romantic, and peaceful glow when exposed to light.

The old cuts are designed to have a warm, romantic, and peaceful glow.

Several major differences between antique diamond cuts

Though there are certainly a lot of similarities between the old cuts there are also some differences:

Table design
As we mentioned above, the rose cut doesn’t have a flat table — instead, it features a rose-shaped pattern made from triangular facets. In contrast, the old mine cut and old European cut both have small, flat tables.

Proportions
When it comes to proportions, the rose cut couldn’t be more different from the old mine and old European cuts. The rose cut is a very flat diamond cut, whereas the two other cuts both have a tall profile with a deep pavilion.

Shape
Because rose cut diamonds feature a flat base instead of a pavilion. They are able to cut it into a diverse range of shapes. The old mine cut is famous for its cushion-like shape, while the old European cut has a round shape. A rose cut diamond, on the other hand, can have a round, oval, marquise, cushion, or pear-like shape while still maintaining its unique facet pattern.

Perceived size
Because of their flatter shape, rose cut diamonds tend to have a larger diameter than old mine and old European cut diamonds of similar carat weight. Viewed from above, this can make them look bigger.

Brilliance
Although the old mine and old European cuts are both less brilliant than the modern round brilliant cut, both offer more brilliance and fire than the rose cut, which is glassier and less eye-catching.

A different shape for everyone’s preference

The Rose cut diamond is quite different from the modern cut diamonds we know now and love. The rose cut diamonds are a lot more understated and subtle than the typical round brilliant cut diamond. Therefore, it has a lot less shine and fire to the diamond. If you want to get your own diamonds, take a look at our extensive collection.

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