What’s the difference?

Choosing a rose cut or brilliant cut diamond for your engagement ring is all about personal choice. It is always good to have a little knowledge under your belt before deciding on which suits you or your intended.

Let’s start by comparing the shapes.

Brilliant Cuts

A round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular diamond on the market; it’s what most of us think of when we imagine a diamond.

The shape of a brilliant cut diamond can be broken down into parts.
The familiar cone shape on the bottom is known as the pavilion, on top of the pavilion is the girldle, followed by the crown. The point at the bottom is called the culet. A brilliant cut diamond typically has 58 facets.

Brilliant Cut Diamond diagram Side View
Brilliant cut diamond diagram - side view
Rose cut diamond diagram - side view

Rose Cuts

In comparison, rose cuts usually have 24 facets (sometimes less). The facets are created on the top part of the stone and were originally thought to resemble the petals of a rose (hence the name). These facets are triangle shaped. The bottom of a rose cut is flat.

Rose cuts are most commonly seen in a round shape, but can also be ovals, pears, marquise and even freeform shapes.


Brilliant cuts have the most sparkle of any other type of diamond due to the modern technology used to design and cut them. Mathematically designed, the table of the stone captures as much light as possible. Computer laser cutting technology cuts the diamonds for ideal refraction, which means maximum sparkle.

In contrast, rose-cut diamonds were most commonly used through the Georgian and Victorian eras. Without electricity, they were cut by hand unconcerned with perfect symmetry and precision. In those days their main aim was to shimmer under candlelight. Their large triangle shapes meant their facets sparkled in low light conditions.

Callie ethical engagement ring with 0.4 carat CanadaMark Diamond and 18ct Fairtrade Gold.
Junie a 0.6 carat rose cut diamond set into 18ct Fairtrade gold

Which is right for me?

Rose cut diamonds have a romantic old-world charm. Their history transports us back to the Victorian era, an epoch well known for its sentimental jewellery. They have an understated elegance and make a wonderful change from the typical.

I love the vintage feel and the pretty hand-cut facets that play with the light.

They are perfect for Romantic, artistic, dreamy, historian types.

Brilliant cut diamonds are the sleek, ultra modern counterpart to the rose cut.

The round cut diamond is quite simply exquisite. It is so satisfying to look at a brilliant cut diamond and see all the colours of the spectrum appear within the stone. Beautiful to look at with a brilliance that can’t be beaten, it is the most popular shape to be used in a diamond engagement ring


We’ve all heard about the horrors of diamond mining and I am happy to see that more and more people are beginning to care about the origins of their diamonds and gold.

When it comes to brilliant cut diamonds, I only work with Canada Mark which are fully traceable and responsibly sourced, they even come with a laser inscription on the stone’s girdle. Click on the link if you would like to know more.

Rose cuts are often recycled, making them an excellent ethical choice for your engagement ring.

If you would like to know more or are interested in buying a rose or diamond cut piece of jewellery, get in contact today.

by Shakti Ellenwood

Shakti is a Certified B Corporation goldsmith working from her studio boutique in Devon, UK.  She specialises in ethical wedding and engagement rings made with 18ct Fairtrade gold.