1900s antique diamond earrings set with hand cut, rose cut diamonds.
What are hand cut, rose cut diamonds?
The almost ‘raw’ look of these diamonds belong to Straits Chinese jewelry art, beginning in the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, tapering off after the second war. One can think of these diamonds to be like those in Georgian jewelry.
Because the eras before favoured the look of diamonds in two distinct styles – organically cut, or European cut diamonds – we recognise immediately if the piece is of Straits Chinese provenance.
Specifically, in the lineage of Straits Chinese organically cut diamonds, we observe another two cuts that look and feel different according to diamond size. The smaller diamonds tend to be more ‘hand cut diamonds’, while the bigger diamonds are more ‘rose cut diamonds’.
This pair straddles somewhere between an organically cut diamond and a rose cut diamond. This is its interesting look! The diamonds are not round like usual rose cut diamonds, but they are thick and big enough to be faceted like rose cut diamonds.
Historically, many of these bigger rose cut diamonds were cut in India and supplied to the West. It is no surprise much of Victorian and Straits Chinese diamond jewelry overlap since their diamonds come from the same source.
You can think of the diamonds on this pair of earrings as forming an early version of the Western rose cut diamond. You also see early Victorian jewelry to include rose cut diamonds like these, but fewer are in such good keep.
The outer diamonds are gold tipped, a nice effect that appears to form a frame around the diamonds, although they are really unbounded. From the side you can see the diamonds are really a splice after splice (which explains why it is pointless to mind about ‘carat’ weight when it comes to rose cut diamonds!).
Go for this pair, if you love the look of diamonds in an almost natural state, but not entirely uncut. The last photo give you a ‘natural’ spectrum, between two pairs of organically cut diamond earrings, this pair rawer than the other.
These diamonds have the essence of an untouched diamond. They are uniformly white (not a given for organically cut diamonds) and sparkle without the persistence of modern brilliant diamonds.