Over the last few years rose cut diamonds and coloured gemstones have become increasingly popular. The style is often seen in stylish ‘salt n pepper’ diamonds and creates a look very different to the classic brilliant cut sparkle.
Rose cut stones usually have a flat back and a domed front covered with triangular facets. The flat back means they sit lower than fully faceted stones making them fantastic for larger pendants or rings that can sit close to the finger. The many facets across the front of the stone showcase the lustre of the gem, twinkling as they catch the light. Originally popular in the 18th century, rose cut diamonds fell out of favour as developments in cutting techniques unlocked the dazzling sparkle of the brilliant cut diamond. Recently however, they have become more popular again as consumers search for something different.
Essentially, ‘salt n pepper’ diamonds allow us to make use of diamond material that would not otherwise be suitable for faceting and setting in jewellery. The raw material is of lower colour and clarity than would be seen in traditional diamond jewellery, often with a black, grey or brown hue. Inclusions within the stones (typically crystals of other minerals trapped inside the stone as it formed or internal fractures known as feathers) create an attractive texture and shimmer. This makes each stone look completely unique with a different pattern of inclusions!
Diamonds have unparalleled bright lustre known as adamantine (diamond-like) and rose cut stones really show this off. Reflections from the surface are bright and eye-catching, with bold flashes completely different to the glitter of a brilliant cut stone.
Other coloured gemstones can also be faceted as rose-cuts. As with diamonds, material with lower clarity that otherwise may not be used can look fantastic in large, abstract shapes in bright and bold hues. Cutting such stones in this way shows off their best feature – the colour – as evidenced by the aquamarine and Tanzanite rings pictured. The Tanzanite in particular has some interesting tubular inclusions and catches the light to create a subtle iridescence.
Tourmaline is a gemstone that forms in a wide variety of colours and also in parti-coloured stones with more than one hue. Where a good balance of colour occurs, they can be cut to create an attractive display. Sometimes one end of the crystal is one colour, and the other end is another – these are generally faceted as long rectangular shapes. At other times, the crystal might be one colour at its core and change to a different colour closer to the edges. Recently arrived into stock, the necklace below features a stone commonly known as a watermelon tourmaline with green surrounding a pink centre. Subtle changes in the chemical environment as the crystal grows cause this change in colour that looks a bit like a slice of watermelon! Crystals are cut as slices to showcase this effect, and in this case finished with rose cut faceting to give a subtle twinkle as it catches the light.
Some gemstones form with unusual and beautiful inclusions. The quartz in the necklace below is a great example. A pure, colourless quartz crystal has formed with fine needle-like crystals growing through it. Where many of these secondary crystals are present the effect created can be quite striking. In this instance the crystals are black and likely tiny tourmalines growing through the quartz. The effect can also be seen with golden colour rutile crystals that give a shimmering metallic glow. Cut as quite a flat stone to show off the inclusions, this quartz too has rose faceting to give an extra little bit of sparkle.
Find out more about rose cut stones and view the featured pieces and more by visiting our showroom where our jewellers and gemmologists will be happy to tell you more.