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New way to rock: Designing with alternative diamonds


Pair of marquise-shaped rose cut diamonds (6.77 ctw) with a silver-grey body colour and frosty black inclusions.

Rose cuts

Rose cuts have been around for years, as they are one of the earliest forms of diamond cutting. Only faceted on the top, generally with a flat back, transparent rose cuts benefit from some form of reflective backing. For centuries, they’ve typically been in gold-backed silver settings with metal foil behind each stone to provide brilliance. Modern designers have re-discovered rose cuts and they are now available in both classic high-clarity white form and a wide range of fancy colours, especially champagne and earth tones.

They provide a subtle glitter that has great appeal to some wearers. Because there is no pavilion, the weight is concentrated in the crown and you get a big look for the weight compared to a regular brilliant-cut stone.

This cut is particularly suited to black diamonds and those that are nearly opaque and/or heavily included stones. They would not refract light anyway, but rely on the surface reflection to give life instead.

If the stone has good clarity, I prefer to set them with a polished white gold surface behind them to add glitter. This isn’t necessary with more opaque stones.

One thing I look for in rose cuts are stones that have an attractive pattern to the facets. Some stones, like the pair of black cushion diamonds illustrated, have the final row of facets in the centre meeting at a point. This results in long triangular facets that create a circular bulls-eye effect in the centre. I find this distracting, especially in contrast to their cushion outline. The round black rose cuts, on the other hand, have a more consistent pattern of triangular facets distributing the reflections evenly across the stones.

A pair of marquise-shaped rose cuts (6.77 ctw) have silver-grey inclusions giving an overall frosty appearance to the stones. They also show a beautiful consistency of the facet pattern. They would be striking combined with either high-colour white diamonds or small black diamonds in a pair of earrings or cufflinks.

A smaller suite of hexagonal rose cuts have an art deco look. At almost 5.5 ctw, the larger pair is 9 mm (0.36 in.) across while the others are only 4 mm (0.16 in.). I can see these stones surrounded by white diamond pave, or even better, six baguettes matching the length of the flat sides to enhance the deco feel.

My friend and colleague, Alishan Halebian from Southern California, has a successful wholesale line. For both his bridal and fashion collections, rose-cut diamonds have given him the opportunity to provide his clients with great looks and significant stone size and weight, plus they help keep costs reasonable. Simple solitaire rings are accented with brilliant-cut melee for contrast. He contrasts and complements the natural colours of the rose cuts with grey, pink, yellow, and green-golds. Using sterling silver, often beautifully oxidized, he can use gold or palladium to set and accent coloured diamonds.

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