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Snaps of Lily Collins’ engagement set against Sedona’s stunning rocky terrain swept the Internet last year and despite the captivating backdrop, the only rock we had our eye on was her unique engagement ring stone. Collins’ fiance Charlie McDowell worked closely with designer Irene Neuwirth to create a one-of-a-kind rose-cut engagement ring—an unusual choice in cut, but one that’s perfect for anyone seeking a soulful antique sparkler, or simply an affordable alternative to the ever-popular round brilliant cut.
What Is the Rose Cut?
A rose-cut diamond has a flat bottom, with no pavilion (the conical underside of a typical diamond), and a domed top containing anywhere from three to 24 facets. Simply put, the rose cut is only the top section of a typical round brilliant diamond, and when views from above, the facets resemble the petals of a rose, with each pointing outwards towards the edge of the stone.
According to diamond expert Brian Dedrickson of Diamonds Direct, rose-cut diamonds gained popularity in the mid-1500s, remaining a favorite until the birth of the miner cut and the old European cut in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Meet the Expert
Brian Dedrickson is the director of training and development at Diamonds Direct and general manager of the brand’s Raleigh, North Carolina location. He brings over 30 years of expertise in the diamond industry and has traveled the country as a guest speaker and diamond educator.
As an antique cut, often considered one of the oldest, these diamonds were meant to shimmer by candlelight and will appeal to anyone with an appreciation for vintage-inspired romance or a non-traditional aesthetic. Ahead, learn the pros and cons of this unique cut and what to look for when shopping for a rose-cut ring.
Pros and Cons of a Rose-Cut Engagement Ring
An interesting fact about rose-cut diamonds, says Dedrickson, is that, without the pavilion, they can be cut into a multitude of shapes, making them extremely versatile. From round or oval to kite-shaped or hexagon, this cut offers a dazzling variety of options.
Diamonds with this cut also tend to have more “spread,” which means more of the carat weight is facing up and that they’ll appear larger than other cuts when viewed from above. For example, a rose-cut diamond will often look the same size (in terms of diameter) as a brilliant-cut diamond of twice its carat weight. “The rose-cut is a fantastic option if you want more for your money: it is a great alternative to the popular round brilliant diamond cut.”
This flat shape also means that rose-cut diamonds have a fairly low profile. “A rose-cut diamond will not extend out too much from its setting,” Dedrickson says.”[It’s] an easy type of diamond to wear, particularly for highly active people.”
On the other hand, because rose-cut diamonds do not have a pavilion, their light return (the amount of light that is reflected throughout the diamond) is much weaker than that of a modern diamond. This cut is more low-key and subtle, and may not be for the bride who wants sparkle and drama.
Rose-cut diamonds are often more affordable, but be mindful that by choosing a vintage rose-cut diamond ring, or perhaps even antique, you may end up spending much more than on a newly cut rose.
What to Look for in a Rose-Cut Engagement Ring
- Should I purchase a certified diamond? As a general rule, Dedrickson usually recommends paying close attention to the GIA or AGS certificate when shopping for diamond jewelry. With antique diamond cuts, however, personal preference often plays a bigger role. “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 the rose cut,” Dedrickson says. “They have a unique natural beauty that cannot be captured on a report. It’s a diamond that must be seen in person.”
- Are there colorless rose-cut diamonds? Dedrickson notes that color should not be the focus when shopping for these diamonds, as many antique cut diamonds with excellent color were recut into modern diamonds. For that reason, it’s quite rare to find rose-cut diamonds that are colorless or near-colorless.
- Which of the 4Cs is most important when it comes to a rose-cut diamond? Rather than color, Dedrickson advises focusing on clarity. Rose-cut diamonds are more transparent than others, thus making them more vulnerable to imperfections and flaws. When comparing rose-cut diamonds, he says to be sure to check for inclusions and other internal characteristics.
- What settings pair best with rose cuts? As far as settings, “a vintage setting is a perfect complement to such an honored diamond,” he suggests. “As an antique diamond cut, rose-cut diamonds typically look best in period settings.” Consider an Edwardian or Victorian setting to really show off these stunners or opt for a modern twist with a sleek bezel that also provides more convenience and protection.
How to Care for a Rose-Cut Engagement Ring
As rose cuts are more shallow than traditional round brilliant diamonds, they can be vulnerable to chipping. Though diamonds are famously durable, they can be chipped by a sharp blow, become loose in a weakened setting, or be damaged by contact with other diamonds. Dedrickson suggests a more protective setting like a halo or bezel.
With all diamonds, Dedrickson advises wearing with care. He shares, store it separate from other diamond jewelry to avoid scratches. Clean your engagement ring by wiping it with a lint-free cloth with warm water, mild soap, and a soft toothbrush, or with a quick dip in a commercial cleaning solution. Last, but not least, have your ring periodically cleaned and its setting examined by a professional jeweler to maintain its integrity over time.
Ahead, scroll through 15 romantic and unusual rose-cut engagement rings.
Vintage Diamond Ring Mattie R Ring
Classic and elegant, this authentic vintage diamond engagement ring (circa the 1960s) features a pear-shaped, rose-cut diamond flanked by tapered baguette accents and set in beautifully crafted platinum. A pear-shaped stone is said to symbolize the freshness of nature and indicates a trendsetting personality.
Concierge Diamonds Rose-Cut Hexagon Salt & Pepper Engagement Ring with Side Trillions
This salt and pepper diamond engagement ring features a hexagonal rose-cut center stone surrounded by two white diamond trillion side stones. Set in yellow gold with a bezel setting for a vintage look on a modern trend, this is an affordable and chic alternative option for a non-traditional bride.
Airloom Jewels Thoran Ring
Crafted entirely with rose-cut diamonds (four round and four pear-shaped) this ring is an ode to the rose-cut. However, as an homage to the brand’s South Asian roots, the shapes take inspiration from traditional thoran, or strung mango leaves, which are often donned on the doorways of Indian households to usher in good vibes.