Rose cut diamonds date back to the 16th century when diamonds were still measured and cut by hand. Because of the age of the rose cut and simplistic technology that was originally used to create it, its design is much simpler than that of a modern brilliant cut diamond.
A rose cut diamond is a type of antique diamond that’s famous for its domed top, which features several triangular facets arranged in a rose-like pattern. The rose pattern on these diamonds can vary in complexity. Simple rose cut diamonds can have as few as three facets, while others may have as many as 24. As well as their rose-like facet pattern, rose cut diamonds have a very different shape from most modern diamonds.
Unlike modern diamond cuts, which feature a large pavilion (the pointed lower section that gives the diamond its depth) rose cut diamonds don’t feature any pavilion. As such, the lower half of a rose cut diamond is relatively flat, especially when compared to a brilliant cut diamond.
This difference in shape has three major effects on the appearance of a rose cut diamond when compared to that of a modern diamond:
- Extra perceived size. Because of their flat shape, rose cut diamonds appear larger than other diamond cuts when viewed from above. For example, a rose cut diamond will often look the same size, in terms of diameter, as a round diamond of twice its carat weight.
- Relatively low profile. This flat shape also means that rose cut diamonds have a fairly low profile. A rose cut diamond won’t extend out too much from its setting, making it an easy type of diamond to wear, particularly for people who are highly active.
- Transparency. Because rose cut diamonds don’t have a pavilion, their light return (the amount of light that’s reflected throughout the diamond) is much weaker than that of a modern diamond.
This gives rose cut diamonds a more transparent, glass-like appearance, compared to the eye-catching brilliance of many modern diamond cuts.
The majority of rose cut diamonds are round, with a symmetrical rose pattern. However, due to the rose cut’s lack of a pavilion, it’s also possible for this diamond cut to be made in a range of other shapes.
Look around and you’ll often be able to find rose cut diamonds in marquise, oval, cushion and even pear shapes.
To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.
Bottom Line Recommendation:
Rose cut diamonds offer a warm, unique appearance that’s completely unlike any of the modern diamond cuts. As such, the right rose cut diamond can make for a truly special engagement ring if you’re looking for something understated, elegant and different from the norm.
In general, we recommend buying diamonds from trusted online vendors like Blue Nile or James Allen. However, for rose cut diamonds, you’re far better off buying from a specialist vendor such as Abe Mor Diamonds.
If you’re looking to buy a rose cut diamond for an engagement ring or other jewelry, we suggest sending them an email. Their staff will be able to help you find a range of rose cut diamonds and other antique stones that match your preferences and budget.
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History of Rose Cut Diamonds
The rose cut is one of the oldest diamond cuts that’s still in demand today, with a history dating all the way back to the 16th century. You can often find rose cut diamonds in jewelry that dates back to the Georgian and Victorian eras.
As newer diamond cuts like the old European cut began to gain popularity in the 19th century, rose cut diamonds became less common. However, they’ve undergone a comeback in recent years as several celebrities opted for rose cut diamonds over modern ones.
Like other antique diamond cuts, rose cut diamonds were measured and cut without the help of modern equipment. This means that they often have human imperfections, such as facets that may be slightly asymmetrical. For many people, these add to the rose cut’s charm and beauty.
Rose Cut Diamond Prices
The price of a rose cut diamond can vary hugely based on the diamond’s clarity, color and a range of other factors. We’ve explained this in more detail in our full guide to diamond prices, which explains how each factor affects a diamond’s selling price.
Because rose cut diamonds are so rare, price information isn’t as widely available as it is for diamonds in modern cuts.
If you’re considering buying a rose cut diamond, we recommend getting in touch with Abe Mor Diamonds. They’re one of the few diamond vendors who offer rose cut diamonds, and will be able to provide accurate pricing for stones in your desired size and budget range.
Rose Cut vs. Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds
Although they’re both typically round, rose cut diamonds and round brilliant cut diamonds have far more differences than they do features in common. These include:
- Multiple facets vs. flat table. Round brilliant cut diamonds have a large, flat table that allows light to enter into the diamond. The table of a round brilliant cut diamond plays a key part in its brilliance, allowing it to reflect a huge amount of light.
In contrast, rose cut diamonds don’t have a flat table. Instead, the diamond features a domed top with series of triangular facets (typically three to 24) arranged in a rose-like facet pattern.
- Profile. As we mentioned above, rose cut diamonds are exceptionally flat. This means they sit more flush in a setting than a round brilliant cut diamond, which has a relatively tall profile and can often sit quite high above its setting.
Paired with a bezel setting, a rose cut diamond allows for one of the lowest profile ring designs available.
- Perceived size. As we also mentioned earlier, the flat shape of a rose cut diamond can often give it a larger perceived size than a round brilliant cut diamond of the same carat weight due to its extra diameter.
- Brilliance. Unlike the round brilliant cut, which has incredible brilliance and fire, the rose cut isn’t known for its brilliance. Instead, it has a clearer, more glass-like appearance that isn’t likely to attract as much attention.
Overall, rose cut diamonds are a lot more understated and subtle than the typical round brilliant cut diamond, giving them a quiet elegance that a lot of people appreciate.
Rose Cut vs. Old Mine Cut & Old European Cut Diamonds
Because of their age, rose cut diamonds are occasionally compared 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, all of these cuts are designed to have a warm, romantic and peaceful glow when exposed to light.
However, there are also several major differences between these antique diamond cuts. These include:
- 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 can be cut 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.
Should You Buy a Rose Cut Diamond?
In the right setting, a rose cut diamond offers a classy, understated look that’s completely unlike any modern diamond cut. However, the rose cut also has several downsides and definitely isn’t for everyone.
Advantages of rose cut diamonds include:
- Understated appearance. If you prefer something subtle to a highly brilliant diamond, a rose cut diamond is worth considering. Rose cut diamonds have a more transparent look than modern diamond cuts, with a unique warmth that many people love.
Because of its softer and less eye-catching appearance, even a relatively large rose cut diamond can avoid attracting attention, making this cut worth considering if you and your fiancé-to-be appreciate understated elegance.
- Rarity. Only about one out of every 1,000 diamonds uses the rose cut, making it far less common than other diamond shapes. If you want something unique and special for your fiancé-to-be, a rose cut diamond could fit the bill perfectly.
- Larger perceived size relative to cost. As we mentioned above, the flat shape of the rose cut can make it look noticeably larger than diamonds of similar carat weight cut in other shapes.
If you have a limited budget but want an antique-inspired diamond that looks quite large, a rose cut diamond could be a good choice for you.
- Low-profile shape and durability. Thanks to its flat shape, a rose cut diamond doesn’t extend far out of its setting. This makes it a good, durable option if your fiancé-to-be has an active lifestyle in which a taller diamond could get in the way.
If durability is a priority for you, consider a bezel engagement ring setting, which will add to the rose cut’s antique look and keep it protected from chipping and/or breaking.
Disadvantages of rose cut diamonds include:
- Lack of brilliance. Unlike the modern diamond cuts, which are designed for brilliance, the rose cut isn’t a very brilliant diamond cut. If you’re looking for a diamond that reflects lots of light and has incredible brilliance and fire, the rose cut might disappoint you.
Our guide to the sparkliest diamond cuts goes into more detail on the factors that affect a diamond’s brilliance, as well as the most brilliant shapes to choose.
- Rarity. Yes, one of the advantages of the rose cut is also a disadvantage. Because this is a rare diamond cut, it can often be challenging to find a rose cut diamond that meets your needs and fits within your budget.
In comparison, modern diamond cuts like the round brilliant are easy to find, with tens of thousands of stones readily available in virtually every price bracket.
- Lack of GIA cut grades. Like with other antique cut diamonds, rose cut diamonds that are graded by the GIA, AGS or other grading entities don’t receive a grade for their cut quality. This is because they’re cut by hand and, as such, often have imperfections.
This means that you’ll need to take a more hands-on approach to checking the quality of any diamond you’re interested in purchasing. We recommend buying from a vendor that specializes in antique cut diamonds, such as Abe Mor, who’ll be able to help with this.
- Imperfections and asymmetries. Although not specifically a disadvantage, the rose cut — like other antique cuts — often has imperfections. If you’re looking for a diamond with a perfect or near-perfect cut, you generally won’t find it with an antique cut diamond.
Tips for Buying a Rose Cut Diamond
- Focus on what you like, not just a diamond’s GIA certificate. As a general rule, we recommend paying close attention to a diamond’s GIA certificate when you’re shopping for an engagement ring or other diamond jewelry.
However, with antique diamond cuts such as the rose cut, personal preference can play a bigger role in the buying process. Focus on buying a diamond that looks good to your eye, as the GIA grading process may not account for features that you like in a stone.
- Focus on clarity over color. Over the years, many antique cut diamonds with excellent color were recut into modern diamonds. As a result of this, it’s quite rare to find rose cut diamonds that are colorless or near colorless.
Instead of worrying too much about color, it’s far more important to focus on clarity. Rose cut diamonds are more transparent than brilliant cut diamonds, making them more likely to display inclusions and other internal flaws.
When you’re comparing rose cut diamonds, make sure to check for inclusions and other internal flaws. If you purchase from a specialist vendor, they’ll be able to help you pick out a rose cut diamond that looks eye clean and fits within your budget.
- Choose a vintage setting. As an antique diamond cut, rose cut diamonds typically look best in vintage settings. Consider an Edwardian or Victorian setting, or, for convenience and protection, a modern bezel engagement ring setting.
Likewise, as an antique diamond cut, rose cut diamonds look great in antique-inspired metals like 14k and 18k yellow gold, which can complement the warmer color of these diamonds beautifully.
- Buy from the right vendor. Because rose cut diamonds are so rare, you won’t be able to find them in your local jewelry store or from well-known online vendors such as James Allen or Blue Nile.
As we mentioned above, we recommend Abe Mor Diamonds. As specialists in all things antique diamonds, they’ll be able to help you find the perfect rose cut diamond and set it in a beautiful ring. To get in touch, just send them an email.
Need an expert’s opinion before buying a rose cut diamond? Contact us and we’ll help you with any of your diamond-related questions.
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