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The rose cut is one of the most beautiful of the antique cuts and is very different to the modern cuts we know today. Rose cut diamond engagement rings have been sported by famous celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and Camila Alves, and this, along with the renewed interest in all things vintage, has brought the unique cut into the limelight again.
These hand-cut diamonds were unique and rarely were two stones every alike.
If you’re looking to purchase an antique diamond cut, you’ll want to know about the rose cut as it’s definitely worth considering.
Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to the rose cut diamond.
History of the Rose Cut Diamond
Rose cut diamonds are often thought to be among the first diamond cuts. It dates back to the 1500s century and was very popular, especially during the Georgian and Victorian eras.
In the last century, rose cuts fell out of fashion as technology made it possible to create more intricate diamond cuts designed to maximize the brilliance of the diamond. While the cut fell out of favor for almost a century, today it’s having a resurgence in popularity.
Like Old European and Old Mine cut diamonds, many rose cut stones were recut into brilliant shapes. These modern cuts, such as the round brilliant and princess cut, are shaped to enhance brilliance and sparkle, unlike the antique cuts.
However, today, with the renewed interest in the rose cut, diamond cutters are no longer re-cutting these stones but are instead setting them in beautiful jewelry.
What is the Rose Cut?
The rose cut is one of the more unique antique diamond cuts. Its most prominent feature is flat back and the dome or kite-shape that peaks to a single point.
Rose cuts can contain between 3 to 24 triangle shaped facets that cover the dome. This is much fewer than the number of facets in a round brilliant (57 to 58 facets). This means that there are many variations to the cut depending on the number of facets. While modern diamonds are cut to maximize brilliance, the rose cut was cut to sparkle under candlelight. The emphasis was on the fire of the diamond, not on its brilliance.
This makes for a stone that doesn’t have the sparkle we’ve come to associate with diamonds. But it does look unique and when viewed under candlelight or low light conditions, sparkles in an arresting way.
Oval Rose Cut Engagement Ring. See it on Etsy.
While most rose cut diamonds are round, it is also possible to have rose cuts in oval, pear and rounded square shapes. The rose cut is often compared to a rose bud, with the facets representing petals, which is where it gets its name from.
A Larger Looking Diamond
One of the main benefits of the rose cut is that it can make your diamond appear larger than a most modern cut diamonds of equivalent carat weight. The rose cut exhibits all the carat weight of the diamond on the top with nothing hidden beneath. It is the perfect option for making the most out of your budget while getting a larger diamond.
Compare that to a round cut for example, where much of the diamond is hidden beneath the surface. This image below shows the proportions of an excellent cut round diamond. Like an iceberg, much of the diamond is invisible.
Side view of round diamond with main cut features. Source: James Allen
Side view of rose cut diamond.
So, to reiterate, the rose cut diamond will appear larger, which is a great advantage where you can buy a smaller diamond but still maximize its look.
What About Rose Cut Color Grade?
If you opt for a rose cut diamond, it’s not necessary to choose colorless diamonds which come with a premium. You can opt for a diamond lower down on the color scale and still have a stone that looks stunning. The reason for this is that rose cut diamonds simply look beautiful with warm toned stones.
After all, this is a stone that was cut to sparkle in the warm glow of candlelight, so soft tints complement the shape nicely.
Of course it comes down to a matter of preference, and there is no harm in opting for a colorless D-E-F grade diamond. But each grade down on the color scale means a lower price so if you’re on a budget, this is a great way to cut down on the cost.
You can also opt for a rose cut colored diamond. Colored rose cut diamonds are a great way to highlight the color of the stone without the focus on its brilliance.
Speaking of shapes, the rose cut is one of the most varied cuts in terms of shape. You can find colored rose cut diamonds in a variety of shapes, including round, square, kite, hexagon, oval and many more.
Symmetry doesn’t seem to have been a priority with antique diamond cutters, and most rose cut diamonds come in various shapes, sometimes ill-proportioned. But this is part of its allure, a nod to a simpler time when diamond cutting was done by hand and eye.
Rose Cut and Gemstones
Rose cut gemstones look stunning as well, as the color and texure of the stone is highlighted. With gemstones, brilliance and light performance are not as important as they are for colorless diamonds. The most important factor is to highlight the hue, tone and saturation of the stone and for this, the rose cut is ideal.
While diamond rose gold jewelry looks classy, chic and vintage, rose cut gemstone is perfect for boho and hippie jewelry styles too. Here are some beautiful rose gold gemstone jewelry:
Moonstone Rose Gold Ring. See it on Etsy.
Delicate Rose Cut Rose Quartz Rings. See it on Etsy.
Rose Cut Amethyst Ring. See it on Etsy.
Precious gemstones such as colored diamonds, emerald, ruby and sapphire as well as semi-precious stones like chalcedony, quartz, moonstone, sunstone, tourmaline and aquamarine all go well with the rose cut.
How Important is Clarity for Rose Cut Diamond?
As with any diamond cut that contains wide open facets such as emerald, Asscher or old cushion cuts, clarity is an important aspect of rose cut diamonds. Inclusions and flaws are easily noticeable in such cuts due to the transparency of the facets and high dome.
Rose Cut Earrings. How cute are they?! See them on Etsy.
Because of the way rose cuts contain no facets on the underside, the diamond appears quite transparent and it seems we can see all the way into the stone.
The beauty of the rose cut is in its simplicity and clear, clean look so it’s best not to compromise too much and instead to opt for a higher clarity grade. The most important aspect is that the diamond is eye-clean so carefully check the stone for any visible flaws.
Having said that, many antique rose cut diamonds generally come with some inclusions and fall in Slightly Included or Included grades.
Where to Buy Rose Cut Diamonds and Gemstones
You can find original rose cut diamonds in antique jewelry stores but you can also take your search to online platforms like Etsy and Amazon. While it may be harder to find antique rose cut diamonds, there are many replicas and gemstones shaped into the rose cut.
We recommend starting your search on Amazon and Etsy as they have a good range of rose cut diamonds and gemstones on offer. Both Amazon and Etsy have vintage and modern engagement rings and jewelry designs featuring rose cuts available from multiple independent jewelry boutiques.
As each Amazon and Etsy shop has its own polices, it might take some time to review all their details ahead of making a purchase, but that’s usually time well-spent.
So, should you buy a rose cut diamond? In order to decide, consider what you really want from your diamond. If it’s sparkle and brilliance, then the rose cut will not be the right choice and a modern cut will do the trick.
However, if you’re looking for something unique that will stand out in the crowd, then the rose cut has a lot to offer.
A word of caution though:
Don’t purchase a rose cut on a whim, as down the track, you may fall out of love with it and wish for a more ‘fashionable’ or ‘in’ piece.
If you want something that will last the ages in terms of being in style, choose a classic like the round cut. If you truly love a vintage look and don’t mind that it may not always be on trend, then go for a rose cut!