Rose cuts are flat bottomed stones that feature triangular facets on the tipped crown. Rough that would be fashioned into a rose cut were usually slivers that would serve no other purpose; the cutters simply tried to make the best of it by applying a few facets on the top.
Rose Cuts, during the 16th century were overshadowed by the popularity of the Table Cut and the Point Cut, and should not to be confused with 'Rosettes'. These are several small stones that, together, form a floral depiction when set.
Nearly all Rose Cut stones received a reflective foil behind them when they were set in an attempt to improve their light performance. They were mainly manufactured in Antwerp and Brabant. (A group of Antwerp cutters had settled in the province of Brabant in order to evade the city's taxes.) A third centre was the city of Charleroi, to the south east of Antwerp near the French border.
The Earliest and simplest Rose Cuts are no more then three or six facets ground onto a crystal tip with a flat bottom. They often where very flat stones and occasionally they are found with a rounded outline. These stones appeared in the 16th century and their complexity increased in the centuries after their first arrival. The number of facets increased as well as their placing on the crown. Please note that all these illustrations represent schematic shapes. In reality Rose Cuts were hardly ever symmetrical and are usually found with rather irregular outlines.
From the 6-facet Rose it was a small step to the 12 facet Rose which is 'crowned'; it has a second row of facets. This intermediate stage in between the full Rose Cut and the simplest of all Rose Cuts, the three-facet Rose, was found to provide some brilliance but no dispersion.
Realising that this was due to the smaller facets the next logical step was to cut more facets onto the crown. These stones became rather popular during the 19th century. They were cut mainly in Amsterdam which, by this time, had taken over the function of Diamond Centre of the world from Antwerp.
The final stage in the evolution of the Rose cut is the Full Rose cut or twenty-four-facet Rose Cut. The oldest known Full Rose Cut is set in a pendant that is believed to date back as far as the end of the 16th century.
Cleaved off sections of dodecahedral crystals form ideal starting material for rose cuts. On the left you see the product of cleaving a full dodecahedron. The bulky part can be fashioned into a pavilion based stone while the tip is a natural 3-facet Rose.
The term 'Double Rose' refers to one stone that has the Rose Cut design for both it's crown and it's pavilion.