What is a cushion cut diamond?

The latest trend reports are in, and it’s clear that the cushion cut shape is well on its way to dominate engagement ring fashion.  The cushion cut diamond is one on the most beloved shapes by many and has been around for centuries.  Originally referred to as the candlelight diamond, the cushion was one of the original fancy diamond shapes.  Its evolution came from an angular version of the Old Mine or Old European cut diamond which began in the late 1700s early 1800s. After the turn of the century, diamond cutting technology began to advance which allowed diamond cutters to start taking more creative liberties.  Today’s modern cushion cut has evolved to become a stunning hybrid of antique design finished with mastered modern brilliance.

What to consider when purchasing a cushion cut diamond:

When purchasing a cushion cut, it’s important to decide which cushion cut shape is the most appealing to you.  There are many variations to this diamond shape, making it a bit confusing for many. From square to elongated, cushion brilliant to modern cushion cut diamond and even antique cushion, the shape and the faceting style can wildly vary.  When it comes to the ratio of a cushion cut, current diamond trends are embracing it all. The ratio (length to width measurements) of a cushion cut can take any version of this shape and provide a completely different look.  For example, an elongated cushion brilliant is going to look completely different than a perfect 1:1 square ratio. 

What makes the cushion cut diamond special

A cushion brilliant, which is how it will be described on the GIA certificate is far more rare and commands a premium price compared to the cushion modified brilliant.  Its faceting pattern will have similarities to the timeless round brilliant cut. The cushion modified brilliant features pavilion mains that are shorter on the underside of the diamond, and often extra facets will be added giving it the ‘crushed ice’ effect.  The general shape outlay of a cushion modified maximizes the diamond rough creating less waste and making it a less expensive option. Its sparkle will have similarities to a well-proportioned radiant cut.  The vast majority of cushions found on the market are cushion modified brilliant. Antique cushion cuts will be the most rare and can command top-dollar if the look of the diamond and the quality specs align.  An antique cushion will have wide facets, a pillowy outlay to the shape, and a soft and romantic sparkle.  Its sparkle factor is far less impactful than the cushion cut we now know and love today, but its place in history and romantic feminity make it irresistible for many.

When it comes to choosing the perfect cushion cut, beauty, cutting style and faceting pattern truly is in the eye of the beholder.  The cushion cut diamond is boldly stepping back into the  spotlight in the best and most brilliant of ways.  See for yourself all of the exceptional varieties to this beautiful shape. 

If you’d like to learn more about what to look for in a three-stone ring, you can read this post here.