The distinctive personality of vintage diamonds is sublime. With their voluptuous appeal and delicate beauty, these diamonds bloom with a romantic brilliance. Such is the case with ‘Rose Cut Diamonds’.
Rich in history and style, the rose cut dates all the way back to the 1500s, making it one of the oldest diamond cuts in the world. It is estimated that only 0.1% (or 1 in 1000) of modern diamonds are rose cuts!
Although this diamond cut fell out of favour due to more brilliant cuts, it is once again enjoying a renaissance among a contemporary crowd which embraces vintage inspired jewelry styles.
It continues to charm jewelry lovers with its organic feel & subtle beauty and its connection to eras past.
In this blog we explore what is a rose cut diamond, its unique features, history & evolution, how it is graded and things to keep in mind when you purchase these diamonds.
- What Are Rose Cut Diamonds?
- Evolution Of Rose Cut Diamonds
- Features Of Rose Cut Diamonds
- How To Grade Rose Cut Diamonds
- Difference Between Rose Cut And Modern Brilliant Cut
- The Pros And Cons Of Rose Cut Diamonds
- Famous Rose Cut Diamonds
What Are Rose Cut Diamonds?
Rose cut diamonds appeared in the early sixteenth century in India and were popular until the nineteenth century. Now, after 100 years of obscurity, they are experiencing a revival as an ethereal, antique inspired alternative to more traditional diamond cuts.
The rose cut’s superior brilliance, scintillation and larger surface area maintained a steady following throughout the Georgian and Victorian eras.
You might wonder, why is this cut called so?
It’s simply because it resembles the shape of a tightly packed rosebud.
The term rose cut alludes to a type of faceting pattern that features a flat base and a faceted domed profile. Its peaked top is covered in distinctive triangle facets, just like the sprawling petals of a fully bloomed rose.
Evolution Of Rose Cut Diamonds
Diamond cuts are, in many ways, influenced by the shape of the rough and rose cuts are no exception.
The contours of the rough diamond crystal influence the shape the diamond will follow, with cutters working hard to preserve as much as of the original diamond’s weight as possible. Cutters would make flat bottomed stones with a few simple facets converging to a centre point, mirroring the stone’s natural form.
The earliest Rose Cuts were no more than three or six facets ground onto a crystal tip with a flat bottom. They often were very flat and occasionally had a rounded outline. These stones appeared in the 16th century and their complexity increased later. The number of facets increased as well as their placing on the crown.
The 6 facet Rose then transitioned to the 12 facet Rose which is crowned and it has a second row of facets. This provided some brilliance but not much dispersion.
The final stage in the evolution of the Rose cut is the Full Rose cut or 24 facet Rose Cut.
Cleaved off sections of the rough crystals form ideal starting material for this cut.
The term ‘Double Rose’ refers to a stone that has the Rose Cut design for both it’s crown and its pavilion, thus increasing the light reflection. Another cut formed from the rose cut is the Briolette cut, this type of cut is formed by combining two rose cuts diamonds into a tear drop shape.
Features Of Rose Cut Diamonds
The most notable features of a rose cut diamond are its flat back and faceted, domed top with triangular facets. The number of these facets vary from as few as 3 up to as many as 24.
It’s basically a diamond cut with just the crown (top part of the diamond) and no pavilion (bottom part of the diamond).
Since the cut features a flat back, with no facets on the underside of the gem to reflect light, it makes the diamond look transparent — giving it a more delicate, serene appearance.
The flat bottom also creates a larger surface area, which enhances the stone’s opulence and brilliance.
The opaque rose cut diamonds are completely flat on the bottom, while the higher grades have more facets cut underneath, in order for the light to be reflected beautifully.
The rose cut diamonds also have a fairly low profile. Thanks to the shallow height that’s synonymous with this magnificent cut, even the thinnest rough crystals that are not deep enough to cut into other shapes — can be polished to create a rose cut diamond.
How To Grade Rose Cut Diamonds
The rose cut displays both white and more muted hues with equal beauty.
It’s not necessary to choose a colorless rose cut diamond, which usually commands a premium. You can opt for a diamond lower down on the color scale and still have a stone that looks stunning and evokes a vintage feel.
Clarity is an important factor to consider when it comes to rose cut diamonds. The cut of the rose may accentuate flaws within the stone, and they might become noticeable because of the transparency and larger flatter facets of these stones.
As the rose is an ideal vintage cut, imperfections bring more character and personality to the stone. However, if you’re looking for a totally transparent rose cut diamond, invest in a higher clarity grade.
The rose cut features 24 facets. Such diamonds are flat on the bottom. With a completely flat surface and fewer facets, the rose cut is shiny but not brilliant.
However, they can be cut into a multitude of shapes, making them extremely versatile. From round or oval to kite shaped or hexagon, this cut offers a dazzling variety of options.
The rose cut looks lovely in all carat sizes. Interestingly, a one carat round cut diamond will actually look smaller than a one carat rose cut diamond.
A great selling point for rose cut diamonds is in regards to how their weight is distributed.
The rose cut diamond carries its entire carat weight on top, with nothing stored below the girdle. This has the advantage of making the stone appear larger, when viewed from the top.
Difference Between Rose Cut And Modern Brilliant Cut
The rose cut is dissimilar to other modern stone cuts. It has distinctive life structures to its features and patterns.
It’s a gentle, romantic cut that shimmers with luminescence, a soft contrast to the cold fire of the meticulously engineered modern round brilliant cuts.
Number Of Facets
Brilliant cut diamonds are created with 57 to 58 facets, to maximize brilliance. Rose cuts on the other hand do not follow the same rigid parameters, and can contain anywhere from 3 to 24 facets, each bringing a slight variation to the shape.
Antique rose cut gems are most always slightly off symmetry. 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.
Because they were originally cut and polished by hand, rose cut diamonds were not typically perfectly round. On the other hand, modern diamonds are cut by machine and are fairly consistent in terms of how they’re cut.
Modern brilliant diamonds are cut to maximise sparkle. Their peaked bottom/pavilion is designed to reflect captured light back towards the spectator.
In contrast, rose cut diamonds do not have a pavilion and allow light to move through the stone, resulting in a more transparent glow and subtle shine.
Lustre Vs Sparkle
In contrast to the brilliant cut’s dazzling sparkle, rose cut diamonds exude a subtle lustre.
Since there are fewer facets, a rose cut diamond glows radiantly from within, emitting a captivating yet subtle shine.
Rose cut diamonds were made in a pre electric world and sparkle under candlelight. Because rose cut diamonds do not have a pavilion, their light return is much weaker than that of a modern diamond.
Larger Looking Diamond
Since rose cut diamonds have eliminated the pointed bottom section, all their carat weight shows on the top face. This results in a larger looking diamond.
If you put a 1 carat rose cut besides a 1 carat brilliant cut diamond, the rose cut diamond would appear larger.
The Pros And Cons Of Rose Cut Diamonds
Pros Of Rose Cut Diamonds
- Cherished for its unique, antique look.
- The rose cut comes in a range of shapes, such as hexagon, squares, kites and ovals among others.
- The rose cut has very good dispersion & fire (flashes of light that disperse from a diamond), which makes it sparkle under soft candlelight.
- With the rose cut, all the bulk of the diamond is on the top, visible to the eye when mounted in its setting. This results in a larger looking diamond.
- Makes efficient use of flattened diamond rough to produce the largest possible gem.
- Because there is no pavilion, rose cut diamonds sit close to the skin, giving them a sensuality and level of intimacy that isn’t experienced with other cuts.
Cons Of Rose Cut Diamonds
- There is less light refraction compared to a brilliant cut.
- The style of the rose cut slice looks to expand the carat weight, which can dull its brightness.
- The larger facets cause less sparkle and minimized light performance.
- No pavilion on a rose cut results in a significantly lower profile.
- It’s easy to see the diamond’s flaws and imperfections with the rose cut due to the open and clear facets.
Famous Rose Cut Diamonds
The Beau Sancy Diamond
This modified pear double rose cut diamond weighs 34.98 carats. It was sold in 2012 at Sotheby’s auction in Geneva for $ 9.57 million. By the use of rose cut, which employed a myriad of triangular facets covering the entire surface of the crystal, the light which entered the stone was reflected and dispersed into the beautiful colors of the rainbow.
Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux Engagement Ring
In 2012, Justin Theroux proposed to Jennifer Aniston using an 8 carat antique rose cut engagement ring. The publicity surrounding the diamond was enormous and sparked an interest among the people for this old world diamond cut. The ring is not quite round. Instead, it has a slightly elongated shape.
Sixième Sans Par Cartier Collection
The Cartier’s latest high jewelry collection features a 4.01 carat rose cut diamond, just beneath an 8.20 ct. ruby, that amplifies the light as it passes through the gem. In addition, there is also a cluster of rose cut trillions lighting up its Phaan cocktail ring.