Inside The World of Diamonds

A Guide to Rose Cut Diamonds

The rose cut magnificent cut, which produces a luster rather than a sparkle when light hits it, is certainly here to stay. Here everything you need to know about buying a rose cut diamond.

Rose cut diamond engagement ring

A vintage ring that is making a comeback on the fingers of modern brides, rose cut diamonds rose again to popularity when Justin Theroux proposed to Jennifer Aniston with one in 2012—sparking immediate interest in the public. Rose cut diamond facet patterns differentiate them from the sparkling round, oval, and princess cut diamonds that are popular today, but that’s only one of the reasons a rose cut is special. This magnificent diamond cut, which produces a luster rather than a sparkle when light hits it, is certainly here to stay. Here’s everything you need to know about buying a rose cut diamond.

How do you know it’s a rose cut diamond?

Rose cut diamonds look like a flower—in fact, the cut resembles a spiral of petals in a rose bud. This diamond shape comes in two forms: single rose cut and a rose cut with additional layers of diamond facets. The single cut boasts a single layer and can be surrounded by smaller diamonds, while the double layer in the stone is centered. Double rose cut diamonds are set high, or deep. These are also known as Dutch rose cuts, and they tend to closely resemble a briolette cut diamond.[LL1]  Many possess horizontal facets, which can be structured or less so. Antique diamonds in the rose shape are typically not perfectly rounded as they were often hand-cut.

Rose cut diamonds feature a flat base, where a round diamond cut’s pavilion would be, and their peaks are instead formed into a faceted dome. Its precise shape varies in that it can have anywhere from 3 to 24 facets, allowing for complete customization of your rock. In contrast, a round brilliant cut diamond features 57 or 58 facets—meaning there are fewer cuts within the diamond to pull in light and bounce it around within the stone. Rose cut diamonds don’t have a pavilion (basically, the conical, triangular bottom part you see on a brilliant cut), instead, this cut is flat on the bottom, which creates a more subtle look. With a completely flat surface and fewer facets, the rose is shiny but not brilliant, meaning that this cut does not feature the same light return you see in a brilliant cut diamond, but it does yield a softer, glowing sort of sparkle. One of the appeals of rose cut diamonds is that they get very close to your skin. Rose cut diamonds are very sensual and tactile, more intimate.

An interesting fact about rose cut diamonds is that without that pavilion, they can be cut into a multitude of diamond shapes. Even better, they tend to have more “spread,” which means more of the carat weight faces up, making the diamonds appear larger than a brilliant cut of the same carat weight. Basically, the rose cut is a fantastic option if you want more for your money: It’s a great alternative to the popular round diamond cut. Depending on the clarity and color grades of the rose-cut diamond, the carat cost might be lower than it is for other cuts. Note that if you choose a vintage rose-cut diamond ring — and perhaps even antique— the cost may be much higher than a newly-cut rose.

The history of rose cut diamonds:

The shape is more than 500 years old and was popular in the Georgian and Victorian Eras, with many cuts coming from Europe’s Dutch region. They then became a bit less popular, as jewelry trends come and go. In the early 20th century brilliant cut diamonds became de rigueur, revered for their sparkle.  But rose cuts have made their triumphant comeback in the last five years (thanks, Justin Theroux and Matthew McConaughey, who proposed to now-wife Camila Alves with one) and many designers are finding inspiration in their glowing facets and flat bottoms.

Customizing your rose cut diamond:

Diamond color is another way a rose cut diamond can be customized, especially with common colors like opaque white, grey, champagne, light brown, salt and pepper, and even fancy colored diamonds, which look amazing in a rose cut. Stones more yellow in hue create gorgeous yellow nosegays when cut into rose shapes, while whiter stones provide an icy effect when shaped into a rose cut. Unlike other cuts, this one looks great on super white and more muted tones.

As for diamond clarity, the cut of the rose may accentuate any flaws within the stone—so keep this in mind when selecting your diamond. Also, as the rose cut is a beautiful vintage style, imperfections can give the stone more of an antique appeal. The imperfections make up your diamond’s personality, they make your diamond unique and special.