Cushion-cut diamonds have a stunning and classic appeal, with rounded edges that no other shape can rival. A cushion cut diamond is a combination of a modern and round cut pattern diamond with a classic, old mine facet pattern diamond cut. This kind of diamond usually has a soft square or even rectangular shape, all with curved edges.
In simple terms, a cushion cut diamond combines a square cut with rounded corners, providing it an appearance similar to a pillow. This is where the name “cushion cut” originates from. Cushion-cut diamond jewelry designs never go out of style. It is considered one of the most confusing cuts, so it is essential to learn more about these diamonds before you buy one for your next special occasion.
Cushion-cut diamonds are generally purchased for engagement rings. If you are inclined to those colored flashes of light coming from a diamond, you will love the versatile Cushion cut engagement ring.
Being one of the deeper cuts, cushion cut diamonds comes with a smaller face-up size than most diamond shapes. That implies you might want to look for a stone with slightly larger carat weight.
Judging the Cut Quality in Cushion Cut Diamonds
With a shape that appears like a pillow, the cushion cut diamond’s unique shape is one of the most complicated for first-time diamond buyers. Remember that judging cut quality in a cushion-cut diamond isn’t a science. The most important thing is that you like the stone’s appearance and performance.
Unlike many other unique shapes, cushions can be created from several different cut patterns. Although you will find the standard cut in older diamonds, it is still used today. So when you are looking for the cushion cut diamond in the market, you may see the description “cushion modified.”
However, whether the diamond has a standard or modified cushion cut doesn’t have a direct impact on its beauty or performance.
“Chunky” and “Crushed Ice” Appearance
While searching for your right cushion diamond, you will find that there are two unique “looks” for a cushion cut diamond. Some will allow you to see the back facets and light reflections in broad flashes. These are lovingly called “chunky” cushions.
Some cushion cut diamonds have an appearance similar to crushed ice. The back facets aren’t distinct. Instead, you will see the superb glittering effect of many tiny reflections.
Know Length-to-Width Ratio
Another aesthetic decision in a cushion-cut diamond is whether you prefer a square or rectangle shape. While most available diamond shapes are square, rectangles have the benefit of appearing larger for their carat weight.
Square shapes should have an L/W of 1.00 to 1.05. Rectangular shapes should be but not overly — elongated, with L/W of 1.15 to 1.20. Avoid the L/W “awkward zone” of 1.06 to 1.10. The shape of these diamonds looks too square to be rectangular and too rectangular to be square.
Elongated cushion-cut diamonds are less popular than square shapes and, thus, difficult to find in high quality. Be prepared to do some research if you are shopping for an elongated shape cushion diamond.
Cushion-cut diamonds can range from round to nearly square. You will need a piece that’s the middle ground, with round-shaped corners and slightly curved sides. It is important to have a good image of the diamond to see its shape clearly. If the shape appears off, don’t go for it.
Depth and Table
For exceptional performance, limit your search to diamonds with both depth percentage and table percentage under 70%. This won’t remove all the poorly performing diamond designs, but it will make your search easier.
Cushion-Cut Diamonds with Hearts and Arrows
If you are looking for the superior cut, you may be drawn to cushion-cut diamonds with Hearts and Arrows. While these cushions have high performance, cushion-cut diamonds without the hearts-and-arrows pattern can also perform in a remarkable manner.
Furthermore, only “chunky” cushions will show this design. If you prefer “crushed ice,” don’t get a Hearts and Arrows cushion. While cut quality is the most important factor in a diamond’s beauty, you will also want to consider the diamond’s color grade.
Cushion shapes show more color than a round brilliant, but their brilliance and dispersion help to hide color. For a cushion-cut diamond set in a gold engagement ring, choose the color grade of H or higher.
Just like with other diamonds and gemstones, it is important to look at any cushion cut diamond’s certification before you make any purchase. By looking at the GIA certification, you don’t need to listen to what the store is saying regarding the quality of the diamond.
Instead, the GIA certification provides you an accurate, reputable, and unbiased appraisal of the diamond.
Final Thoughts on Cushion Cut Diamond Jewelry Designs
The cushion cut diamond pairs beautifully with a range of settings and styles, as it is a highly versatile cut. While it does have an old-world charm about it and looks stunning in vintage jewelry designs, it looks superb in modern designs as well.