What Is A Rose Cut Diamond?
The rose cut is an antique diamond cutting style used for engagement rings and other types of jewelry. It is known as a rose cut due to its shape resembling a rose bud.
In this article, we will compare the rose cut to other types of antique diamond cuts, namely the Old Mine and European cuts. We will also list the pros and cons of each style to help you decide whether a rose cut diamond engagement ring is right for you.
What is an Antique Cut Diamond?
Before we can go into detail about any of the aforementioned diamond-cutting styles, you first need to understand what an antique cut diamond is.
Antique cut diamonds refer to stones that were mined and cut anywhere between the 1300s and the 1930s. You can find several varieties of antique cut diamonds on the market today. These are distinguishable by the time period and the jeweler who cut the stone.
Antique cut diamonds are often characterized by their soulful, romantic appeal. This is due to the diamond cutters of yore prioritizing carat weight over brilliance. In other words, antique cut diamonds are not as sparkly as modern cut diamonds. The soft look of these stones was achieved by them having fewer facets to reflect light.
Most antique diamonds were also cut to be viewed under candlelight, producing a soft, romantic glow. The warm appearance of these cuts will appeal to anyone with vintage tastes.
As with modern cut diamonds, the price of an antique cut diamond depends on factors like color, clarity, and carat weight. A diamond’s age and history can also influence its value, especially if the stone carries special historical or cultural significance.
Types of Antique Diamond Cuts
As mentioned, there is a variety of antique diamond cuts. Many of these cuts are several hundred years old, with the oldest dating as far back as the 14th century. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common antique diamond cuts apart from the rose cut:
A single cut diamond is a round diamond with only 18 facets. It has what is called an 8/8 arrangement, with eight facets along the crown and eight facets along the pavilion. Dating back to the 1300s, this antique diamond cut differs from the rest due to its octagonal table. It is a simple, yet elegant, design.
Old Mine Cut
The Old Mine cut (or ‘Miner’s cut’) was used extensively during the Georgian and Victorian eras in a wide range of diamond rings and other jewelry. It features a rounded square shape resembling a modern cushion cut. Their distinctive shape is a result of diamond cutters aiming to maximize carat weight.
Old Mine cut diamonds are also characterized by their small table, large culet, deep pavilion, and high crown. Interestingly, diamonds of this type have 58 facets – the same number as modern round brilliant cut diamonds.
Old European Cut
Another antique diamond shape that’s similar to a modern round brilliant cut diamond is the Old European cut. However, unlike the round brilliant, which is cut for maximum sparkle or ‘brilliance’, the old cut prioritizes dispersion or ‘fire’. This refers to the multi-colored flashes of light within the stone.
Machine cutting also wasn’t available in the late 19th century when Old European cut diamonds were popular. This means that each stone was hand-cut. As a result, no two diamonds look the same. You may also come across stones with noticeable asymmetries, which you won’t find in modern brilliant cut diamonds.
Like the Old Mine cut, Old European cut diamonds feature a small table, large culet, and high crown.
Now, back to the main topic of our discussion.
Rose Cut Diamonds
The rose cut diamond dates back to the 16th century, making it one of the oldest antique cuts. It is named for its resemblance to a rose bud’s bloom.
Rose cuts feature anything between three to 36 facets and they can be any shape, making them an exceptionally versatile cut. In comparison to today’s brilliant cut diamonds, which normally feature 58 facets, rose cut diamonds have a lot less. Additionally, unlike many other diamonds, rose cut diamonds are flat on the bottom with a domed top. This arrangement allows the facets to meet in the middle at the apex.
Representing love and romance, rose cut diamonds were popular when they first appeared on the jewelry scene in the 1500s. They remained the most popular diamond cut into the late 18th century, until they were steadily replaced by Old Mine cut diamonds.
Today, rose cuts are making a comeback as vintage and Art Deco-inspired designs are becoming increasingly popular for engagement rings.
Although our main focus in this article is diamonds, you can also find these vintage cuts in every other kind of precious and semi-precious gem, from sapphires to emeralds to spinels.
Pros of a Rose Cut Diamond
1. Better value for money
Rose cuts always have flat bottoms. This is significant because all other diamond cuts (besides cabochons) have a base that goes down to a point. This means that, for a brilliant cut diamond, you will pay for the extra carat weight below the girdle that you can’t even see. In comparison to a rose cut, which has a flat bottom, you will get a much bigger stone for the same carat weight. This is because rose cuts are wider than they are deep.
2. Protects the stone
Rose cut diamonds are a great option for those who lead active lifestyles. This is due to their flat base, which allows you to set the diamond a lot lower in your engagement ring. This offers the stone more protection from getting knocked about or snagging. The opposite is true for brilliant cuts, which protrude more. A rose cut is therefore the perfect diamond for anyone who frequently works with their hands.
3. Shape versatility
Rose cuts are very unique in that they come in countless different shapes. This makes them an excellent option for those seeking a less traditional engagement ring. Their large, window-like facets also make them good for showcasing other gemstones besides diamonds.
Cons of a Rose Cut Diamond
1. Less sparkle
Rose cuts aren’t as good at reflecting light as brilliant cuts. This is because they have fewer facets. This means that your stone will have a more subdued appearance compared to a brilliant cut.
2. More visible inclusions
Rose cut diamonds have larger facets than other diamond shapes, providing you with a better view into the stone. This is ideal for gemstones like salt and pepper diamonds since you want to be able to see the patterns within them. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for colorless diamonds as any inclusions or flaws will be more visible to the naked eye. This means that you will need to look for a diamond with a higher clarity grade, which can have a significant impact on the price of a diamond ring.
Why Buy an Antique Cut Diamond?
We can give you three reasons why you should buy an antique cut diamond.
First, if you adore all things vintage and a timeless, romantic style, then any one of the more traditional diamond cuts we’ve mentioned above could be a great choice for you.
Second, antique cut stones are one-of-a-kind. This means that they make for truly unique engagement rings.
Finally, an antique cut diamond is the environmentally-friendly and sustainable choice. This is because you’re choosing to repurpose an existing diamond, which reduces the need for mining new ones.
Frequently Asked Questions About Antique Diamond Cuts
What are Old Mine and European cut diamonds?
Old Mine and European cut diamonds refer to stones that were cut between the early 18th and 20th centuries. They were the last diamonds to be hand-cut before being replaced by the brilliant cut diamond. Thus, they are often romanticized and will appeal to those with vintage tastes.
What is a rose cut diamond?
Rose cut diamonds are a type of antique diamond cut featuring a flat base and a domed top. They have larger facets than a modern brilliant cut diamond, giving them a much softer sparkle.
How can you tell an antique diamond cut from a modern brilliant cut?
The easiest way to tell whether a stone has an antique cut is by checking the culet. The culet lies at the base of the stone and can either be pointed or flat. Antique cuts often feature an extra facet at the culet, which can sometimes be viewed with the naked eye when looking down through the top of the stone.
Another difference is lack of symmetry. Antique stones were all hand-cut, so they tend to have bulges and irregularities. Antique diamond cutters would also follow the shape of the rough diamond crystal. This means that, instead of a perfectly round diamond, antique stones often resemble a cushion cut.
What is the difference between an Old Mine cut diamond and a European cut diamond?
The Old Mine cut is the predecessor of the European cut. Old Mine cut diamonds bear a resemblance to the modern cushion cut, featuring a square shape with rounded corners. By contrast, a European cut diamond is closer in appearance to the round brilliant cut we see today. It has elongated facets that give it a more refined appearance.
What are the pros of buying antique cut diamonds?
Part of the appeal of antique cut diamonds is their character. Because they were all hand-cut, antique stones usually have anomalies that make them stand out from modern cut stones. They also look exceptional in vintage-inspired designs and are the more ethical and sustainable option.
What are the cons of buying antique cut diamonds?
Because antique cut diamonds are no longer being produced, looking for one is like searching for a needle in a haystack!
Antique diamonds also tend to exhibit more yellow tones by today’s diamond color standards. This means that they may have a more noticeable yellow tinge when compared to modern diamonds.
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