With a 500 year history, the rose cut diamond has emerged as an alternative to the more traditional diamond cuts. It harkens to a simpler time and has an ethereal, delicate feel to the stone. It’s flat base and domed top give off a luster rather than a sparkle, and create the perfect understated and elegant choice for an engagement ring. Recent years have seen rose cut diamond rings make a huge comeback with the romantic, modern bride and it’s clear they are here to stay.
The Guide to Rose Cut Diamonds
Popular in the Georgian and Victorian eras when many diamond shapes originated in the Dutch region of Europe, the rose cut diamond was a hit for a very long time. At this time in the 16th century, diamonds were still measured and cut by hand and the rose cut diamond was designed to look like the spiral of petals in a rose bud.
The rose cut fell out of favor with the advent of newer jewelry trends and was completely lost to the popularity of brilliant cut diamonds in the 20th century. In the time of the rose cut, diamonds were cut to maximize carat weight using simpler tools. With the evolution of technology whose purpose was to bring out the full sparkle of the gemstone, revealing brilliance and fire in a stone became more prized.
With many antique jewelry settings, jewelers tried to replicate some of this brilliance by backing rose cut diamonds with a thin layer of shiny metal foil. When set with the foil, it would help reflect light back up to the crown of the stone. When the new technology emerged, most old rose cuts were re-faceted in the brilliant style. This has made true antique rose cuts extremely rare and valuable.
In recent years, the rose cut diamond has come roaring back into use. As more people turn to unique alternatives to the common diamond cuts, the rose cut is offering a simpler yet still elegant, unexpected yet still classic look that has a ton of appeal.
When to Go Rose: Pros & Cons
The rose cut diamond really stands out from the crowd of modern diamonds and offers a host of unique features:
- - Rose cut diamonds appear larger than a brilliant cut of the same carat weight.
- - The cut is not conditional with any one shape and can in fact be cut into countless different shapes.
- - Truly eye-catching in their uniqueness, it is unlikely you would meet another person with a rose cut diamond engagement ring.
- - The flat base creates a low profile, so the stone sits close to your finger making it perfect for more active lifestyles.
- - The rose cut diamond will have far less sparkle and fire than a modern brilliant cut diamond.
- - It can be challenging to find a rose cut that you’ll love because they are so rare in the market.
- - Because the rose cut diamond is cut by hand, there will often be tiny imperfections or asymmetries to the facets.
- - There’s a lack of pricing information widely available to help draw comparisons for cost.
Evaluating a Rose Cut Diamond: The 4Cs
Similar to the cushion cut and its predecessor the old mine cut, the rose cut was created long before electricity, so it was made to look its best under candlelight. To achieve this, cutters would base their final cut on what worked best for each particular stone. This means rose cuts could contain anywhere from 3 to 24 facets.
Most modern rose cuts have a flat bottom with no pavilion, and a domed top with 24 facets. You can imagine that the rose cut diamond is like taking only the top part of a typical diamond and leaving the bottom part behind.
The flat shape of the base of a rose cut means that they have a fairly low profile. A rose cut diamond won’t extend out too much from its setting as do just about all other modern diamond cuts. This feature makes this diamond particularly easy to wear and adds a bit of protection from all the accidental bumps inflicted upon rings.
Compare side profiles of a ring set with a rose cut diamond and traditional diamond. Notice the flatness of the diamond allows for a low setting that sits very close to the hand, while the traditional diamond is noticeably elevated from the band.
Rose cut diamonds are much more versatile than standard brilliant cuts when it comes to color. The domed top and subtle shine perfectly complement warmer tones and alternative stone colors. Champagne, opaque white, grey, black, yellow tones, and the rising favorite of salt & pepper diamonds are all common colors to be found in rose cuts.
The color grading on any certification papers is likely to be less important to you as compared to how the diamond color actually looks in person.
Rose cut diamonds do not have a pavilion. This makes their light return, or the amount of light reflected back from a diamond, much weaker than that of a brilliant cut diamond like an oval, pear, or marquise cut. As a result, rose cut diamonds give off a more transparent, glass-like luster as opposed to the flashy sparkle of most modern diamond cuts.
The clear transparency of the stone is going to accentuate instead of hide any flaws within the stone. Some actually love this feature as it gives the diamond a truly vintage feel and loads of personality since no two diamonds will share the same volume and placement of imperfections. You also don’t need to be worried about inclusions compromising the integrity of the stone. The lower profile and fewer facets of the rose cut helps mitigate many of the dangers of harming your ring during wear.
Because of their shape, rose cut diamonds appear larger than other diamond cuts when viewed from above. They have what’s called more “spread,” so a rose cut diamond will often look the same size in diameter as a round diamond of twice its carat weight.
While rose cut diamonds are available in a variety of carat weights, they are a rare form of a diamond. It’s estimated that only 0.1% – 1 in 1000 – of modern cut diamonds are rose cuts. This shouldn’t drive you away from a rose cut, but it should help contextualize that it may take longer to find a rose cut with features you love in the carat weight you want.
Choosing an Ideal Rose Cut Diamond
With a rose cut diamond, it’s all about focusing on what you want. If you’re looking for a totally transparent rose cut, invest in a higher clarity grade as all inclusions and blemishes will be very noticeable in the transparent cut. But if you love the aesthetic of antique and vintage jewelry, then celebrate the character that each imperfection brings.
As with the clarity, color is really going to be a personal choice, there are no widely-held industry standards that dictate a certain color over another. Since the cut is so well-known for its warmer tones and use on uniquely colored diamonds, embracing a certain level of color in the diamond is a helpful way to go.
Selecting a shape should really be based on the types of settings you like and are considering as well as your other general preferences. Rose cut diamonds are famous for their shape versatility. You’ll find rose cuts as round, oval, square, hexagon, kit, rectangle, rounded square, and many more shapes. With so many options, it’s best to narrow it down before you start looking.
Rose Cut Diamond Prices
The rarity of rose cut diamonds means price information isn’t as widely available as it is for the more traditional cut diamonds. It is clear though that the price of a rose cut diamond will have a great variance based on the diamond’s clarity, color, shape, size, and a range of other factors including the demand for a specific type of rose cut diamond.
For example, the salt and pepper diamond is experiencing quite the height of popularity in recent years. A rose cut, salt and pepper diamond is going to be in much higher demand than a yellow toned rose cut diamond, and will subsequently cost more. However, they’re likely to never be as expensive as the round brilliant cut, or many other of the brilliant cuts.
Designing a Ring With a Rose Cut Diamond
If you love vintage and antique looking engagement rings, you have found your perfect match in the rose cut diamond. The subtle elegance is on vibrant display in our Yara. We’ve set a lovely round, rose cut diamond on a smooth rose gold band, securing it with prongs with leaf detailing for a natural feel. The diamond is then flanked by two small round diamonds to give it a timeless look.
Rose cut diamonds perfectly bridge an old world feel with whimsical and romantic aesthetics. For our Bridgette, we take another three-stone ring and this time set it with three unique, rose cut diamonds. Then we twisted the band into a rope to symbolize two lives coming together and accentuated it with tiny diamonds for some additional impact.
Of course, nothing has more of a classic feel for an engagement ring than a solitaire stone. In our Zebo, we’ve added a sculptural element to the traditional engagement ring by setting a rose cut diamond on a wave-like band. The band elegantly contours the finger and leads to some peekaboo diamonds underneath the center stone, giving it extra sparkle.
There’s also something very special and unique about embracing the so-called imperfections that a rose cut may display. In our Valentina, we’ve set a freeform, salt and pepper rose cut diamond with its non-symmetrical outline to be the standout of a solitaire engagement ring. Its perfect organic shape is elevated and accentuated by the classic pavé band.
A rose cut diamond will deliver personality, charm, warmth and a soft glow in one of the most unique diamond cuts available. Choosing a rose cut creates a classy, understated look for an engagement ring unlike any other modern diamond cut. When you find your perfect stone, your ring is sure to bring a smile to your face every time you catch a glimpse of it!