Rose Cut Diamonds
A Rose Cut diamond is an antique cut, dating back to the early 1500s; it has a flat bottom and a faceted crown. Typically, the flat bottom is a cleavage plain, and the crown is cut with triangular facets rising to a point. They normally have 3 or 6 way symmetry; an optical effect of the flat base is to multiply the amount of apparent facets giving sparkle.
Generally, they are round, triangular or drop-shaped in outline, although more complicated shapes are known to exist. Most old examples are foil backed to enhance sparkle.
At first, they were cut from the natural shape of diamond macles, triangular pieces of rough, or from cleaved-off sections of dodecahedral diamond rough. The earliest examples in the 1500s came from Antwerp and Brabant (some diamond cutters from Antwerp moved to Brabant to evade the city’s taxes!).
Early examples have only six facets on the top half, though as time went by, more and more facets were added, culminating in the 24 facet Rose. A further development was the double Rose Cut, faceted on both sides, of which the Sancy Diamond, below, is a famous example.
Rose Cuts are just beautiful, and are often found in old Georgian jewellery, such as the drop amethyst and diamond earrings below. Their sparkle as the earrings move is unique, and very recognisable compared with most other diamond cuts. In the earrings, all of the diamonds are Rose Cuts, with closed-back settings, and foil backed as expected. This maximises sparkle in candlelight, the primary source of lighting at the time. (The flickering nature of candlelight, compared to static light sources we use today, meant that different cuts looked best). Each and every Rose Cut is different, giving a one-off look to every diamond, lending itself perfectly to cluster jewellery.