Diamond cushion-cut engagement rings might be the best choice for you if your fiancee likes to show her love in unusual ways. This ring style is sure to be the centre of attention because of its intricate designs. You can also get this ring in different metals and bright colours. Read on to learn more about this ring style and decide which is best for your future bride. But before you decide, know everything you need about this cut.
Cushion cuts have rounded corners and 58 brilliant-style facets. The diamond’s shape resembles a pillow and has been a favorite of brides since the 19th century. Expert in this field, Nicole Wegman, shares tips on how to choose the perfect bling for your new bride-to-be. She also reveals the history of cushion cut stones and the pros and cons of this cut.
A Cushion Cut Diamond: What is it?
A cushion cut diamond mixes a modern diamond cut with brilliant round facets and a classic diamond cut with old mine facets. This type of diamond usually has rounded corners and a soft square or even rectangular shape.
Simply put, a cushion-cut diamond looks like a pillow because it has a square shape with rounded corners. This is why it’s called a “cushion cut.”
Engagement rings are often made with cushion-cut diamonds. They are also often used in some pieces of clothing. Here’s a beautiful cushion cut from the Astor Cut line by Blue Nile.
Most of the time, a cushion-cut diamond costs a lot less than a brilliant round diamond. But because cushion-cut diamond rings are becoming more popular, these prices may change and go up a lot.
Important Cushion Cut Diamond Characteristics
Here are some characteristics of a cushion-cut diamond that you will notice.
- Shapes like squares or rectangles
- Edge rounded
- Brilliantly styled cuts (similar to Round Brilliant and Princess Cut diamonds)
- Having a retro or vintage feel
- There are many different style options (square vs rectangular, traditional vs modified, “chunky” vs “crushed ice”)
Advantages and Drawbacks of Cushion Cut Diamonds
There are benefits and drawbacks to any diamond shape. Find out if the Cushion Cut suits your needs.
The benefit of diamonds cut into a cushion shape is that they are more affordable than round diamonds. That is great news for someone trying to save money but still wants a perfect engagement ring. Cushion cuts are also less expensive than round diamonds and are a great choice for many couples. They are also an attractive option that offers your fiance the perfect ring for her special day. So, choose one with the right shape for her!
- The high degree of fire and sparkle (reflects white and coloured light well)
- Due to the rounded sides, this engagement ring has a unique design that makes it more customised.
- Fuses traditional style with contemporary flair
- Cheaper per carat than diamonds with a round cut
- Increasingly popular
- Better than other forms at preserving colour (we recommend an H grade or better)
- An open table makes flaws more visible (we recommend an SI1 or SI2 clarity grade)
referred to by a variety of words that the customer may find confusing (i.e. modified cushion, classic cushion, chunky cushion)
- Ask a professional for assistance in evaluating a cushion cut diamond.
General Cushion Diamond Guidelines
Try to keep cushions under 70% and a table with a depth under 70% as a general rule. Although many will tell you that lower is preferable, I’ve seen several exquisite cushion cuts with depths of 70% and tables of 70%.
The diamond has hardly any brilliance because of its depth. The diamond may appear rather lifeless if you climb above those markers. Consider this jewel from James Allen.
A Guide to Cushion Cut Diamond Selection
In search of a cushion cut? The important characteristics to consider while purchasing or comparing cut cushion diamonds, from colour to clarity, are discussed here.
Diamond Cushion Color
Regarding colour retention, cushion cuts are among the poorest shapes (or, if you’re a producer of fancy colour diamonds, among the greatest).
The two most popular diamond shapes in the market for fancy colour diamonds are cushions and radiants. Rounds, which are the best at hiding their colour, are on one end of the spectrum, while these shapes are on the other.
For this reason, unless a cushion cut is set in yellow or rose gold, I advise my readers to stick with H or better when purchasing one (in which case, you can go down to J or K).
A decent value alternative is a diamond of the H colour. It’s also one of the more well-liked options because it balances out in price compared to a genuine diamond’s colour. Each colour grade has a noticeable price difference, with H falling somewhat in the middle.
H diamonds are “near colourless” and only have a very slight yellow hue, even though they are not quite colourless. This distinction will almost certainly go unnoticed, particularly if the diamond is set in rose or yellow gold.
Diamond Clarity Cushion
A cushion cut can be a little challenging in terms of diamond clarity. The first thing to consider is whether you want a crushed-ice cushion or an “antique” cushion. The reason is that inclusions are typically very well hidden by the crushed-ice appearance, which applies to all diamond shapes.
Additionally, it’s usually better if the inclusions are in the corners of a marquise or pear-shaped diamond because the crushed ice typically found in these shapes’ corners will substantially disguise them.
The only way to determine the cushion look of the diamond you’re buying is to see a picture of it, so you’ll also be able to check the clarity. Consequently, aim for the lowest clarity that is still eye-clean.
How Much Should a Cushion-Cut Diamond Ring Cost?
Numerous variables affect how much a cushion-cut diamond ring costs. The grades of the diamond’s cut, colour, and clarity, as well as the set design you select, all make a significant difference in addition to the diamond’s carat weight.
You might anticipate paying roughly $3,500 for a 1-carat cushion cut diamond with grades of H for colour and SI1 for clarity (like this 1ct cushion cut from James Allen). In addition, budget between $500 and $1500 for a setting to finish your ring.
A lower Color or Clarity rating can help you save money, but it’s likely to compromise the diamond’s aesthetic appeal.
Similarly, you can choose higher grades in these subjects, but they will cost significantly more. For instance, this 1.01-carat F/VVS2 cushion cut diamond costs $5,476. When compared to a diamond of a lower grade, this won’t provide you with a noticeably greater improvement in attractiveness when examined with the naked eye.
A 12 Carat Cushion Cut Diamond (with H/SI1 grades) should cost between $700 and $1000, regardless of the diamond’s carat size. In contrast, a 2 Carat Cushion Cut should cost between $17,000 and $19,000.
Cushion Cut Diamond GIA Certifications
Before making a purchase, it’s crucial to check any cushion cut diamond’s certification, just like you would with other diamonds and priceless gemstones. Generally, it would be best to search for diamonds with the Gemological Institute of America certification (GIA). Since the GIA is the world’s most reputable gemological laboratory, it is crucial to check for their certification.
You don’t need to pay as careful attention to what the store states about the diamond’s quality if you look at the GIA certification. Instead, the GIA certification provides an independent, trustworthy, and objective evaluation of the diamond.
Each stone is appraised based on a variety of factors, which are listed on the certificate. These include the cut, colour, clarity, carat weight, and many more.
Diamond Cut Parameters for a Cushion
There aren’t any real hard and fast rules regarding the parameters of the stone, much like with the other soft-sided artistic shapes. You cannot determine whether a stone is a “crushed-ice” style cushion or an “antique” style cushion from the certificate.
There is no information on the corners’ roundness on the certificate; some pillows are almost square, and others are almost round. Therefore, it is essential that you only deal with sellers who provide crystal-clear enlarged photographs of their goods if you’re trying to purchase a cushion-cut diamond.
The following specifications for cushion-cut diamonds are advised:
- Depth: 70% or less
- Table: 70% or less
- Good, Very Good, or Excellent symmetry is desired. You can choose any length-to-width ratio.
As you can see, these restrictions are quite lax. Remember that you can’t truly judge a stone’s cut quality by its numbers alone when it comes to cushion-cut diamonds (as is the case with many other soft-sided fancy shapes). We can best assist you in choosing a cushion-cut diamond by offering well-informed suggestions.
The length and width ratio, which refers to the diamond’s proportionate length and width, is also a reliable indicator of how the diamond will appear when viewed face-up. Additionally, it is a reliable predictor of how big or small the stone would appear.
On the lab certificate, Polish is graded. It describes the degree of polishing given to the diamond’s facets. The price and appearance of the diamond are typically not significantly affected by this.
Additionally, the diamond certificate’s grade for symmetry is less significant. It describes how symmetrically the cutter arranged the diamond’s facets. Polish and Symmetry should always receive at least a “Very Good” rating.
Standard and Modified Brilliant Cushion Cuts
Unlike most other decorative shapes, Cushions can be made using various cut patterns. The standard cut is still used today, even though older diamonds often have it. A newly redesigned cushion with an additional row of facets below the girdle was introduced to the market in the 1920s. This diamond is still cushion-shaped. Consequently, you can see the description “cushion modified” when searching.
However, the diamond’s beauty or performance is not directly affected by whether it has a conventional or modified cushion cut. Performance can be excellent or subpar for each type. Furthermore, each of the two cushion-cut diamond “looks” can be seen in any of the two cuts.
“Crushed Ice” and “Chunky”
You’ll note that there are two distinct “looks” for a cushion-cut diamond as you search for the ideal one. Some will allow you to see the light reflections and the rear facets in large flashes. These pillows are adorably referred to as “chunky.”
Some cushion-cut diamonds resemble broken glass or crushed ice in appearance. The back facets aren’t distinct in this case. You will instead notice a sparkling effect made up of several tiny reflections.
The main aesthetic issue with a cushion-cut diamond is this. Spend time looking at the images and assessing how these examples performed before deciding which styles you prefer.
Does the Carat Weight of Cushion Cut Rings Matter?
Due to the focus on the carat weight, you will also discover that there may be substantial price disparities when examining the carat of a cushion-cut diamond.
A diamond’s carat weight is only a measurement of the diamond’s physical weight. A larger diamond is often more sought after for a diamond engagement ring, for example, and is more desirable than a smaller diamond, which is why it costs more, so the price points start to go up with rising weights.
If you’re unsure of the size differences between cushion cut diamond carat weights (various L: W ratios aside), consider this straightforward comparison to a US quarter.
Ring with a 2-Carat Cushion-Cut Diamond
An excellent option for a 2-carat diamond ring is a cushion cut. As one of the most economical diamond shapes, cushion cuts can help you save money when purchasing a huge, pricey diamond (such as a diamond 2 carats and above).
A lovely 2-carat cushion-cut diamond is shown here. Although this diamond’s H Color and VS2 Clarity don’t represent any significant price concessions, you would still expect to pay about $7,000 less for a Round Brilliant with comparable ratings.
1. Round vs Cushion Cut Diamond
Are you trying to decide between a Cushion-Cut and a Round Cut diamond? Here are some things to remember:
- Cushion Cuts have square, rounded edges; from a distance, a Cushion-Cut and a Round Cut may appear identical. A Cushion Cut is square with rounded corners, as you can see up close.
- Cushion Cuts have lower per-carat costs: Round Cut diamonds are the most expensive of any diamond shape. Comparing the same carat weight and characteristics, a cushion-cut diamond will cost roughly 30% less than a round diamond.
- Round-cut diamonds offer more brilliance: Unparalleled brilliance may be found in The Round Cut (white light reflection). There is still a good deal of brightness in the Cushion Cut.
- The more popular cuts are round: Round Cut diamonds make up about 60% of all diamond sales.
- Some people may find this advantageous, but others may prefer a less well-liked style because it stands out from the crowd.
- More unusual cushion cuts include: The Cushion Cut has a traditional appeal with a contemporary twist because of its rounded edges. Cushion Cuts continue to be a more specific option even though their popularity is growing.
2. Princess Cut Diamonds vs Cushion Cuts
Here are a few things to consider if you decide between a Cushion-Cut and a Princess Cut.
- Princess Cuts have pointy corners, but Cushion Cuts have rounded edges. From a distance, both
- Cushion Cuts and Princess Cuts appear to be square. Because it doesn’t chip as easily, the Cushion Cut is more resilient.
- Princess cuts and cushion cuts cost around the same per carat: As long as the Cut quality, Color, and Clarity grades are comparable, there isn’t a significant pricing difference between Cushion Cuts and Princess Cuts.
- More people prefer Princess Cuts: The Princess Cut comes in a clear second to the Round Cut as the most popular diamond shape. Although Cushion Cuts are becoming more well-known, they still aren’t as well-known as Princess Cuts.
- Princess Cuts and Cushion Cuts bring flare and brilliance: These forms are equally effective in reflecting white and coloured light. Princess Cuts offer a little higher brilliance, but the difference is not substantial.
3. Radiant Cut vs Cushion Cut Diamond
The shapes known as Radiant Cuts and Cushion Cuts are similar but different. These guidelines can assist you in selecting the best option (radiant vs cushion) for you.
- Cushion Cuts and Radiants feature trimmed edges for greater stability, making them durable. While Radiants have defined edges, Cushion Cuts include rounded edges.
- Radiant cuts provide more radiance: Radiant Cuts have a little more brilliance than Cushion Cuts due to their broad table and multiple facets. However, Cushion Cuts continue to be rather brilliant.
- Using cushion cuts increases the fire: The Cushion Cut’s fire is well-known (colored light reflections).
- More flames will be released from a well-cut Cushion than from a Radiant.
- Cushion cuts are frequently squarer: Compositions ranging from square to rectangular are offered in Radiant and Cushion Cuts. Generally speaking, Cushion Cuts are more square in shape than Radiants, with a length-to-width ratio of 1.0–1.09.
- It’s up to you to choose between Cushion and Radiant Cuts: Choosing between the Cushion and Radiant Cuts depends on personal preference because they are two different shapes. It’s best to take your style into account.
Where to Purchase an Engagement Ring with a Cushion-Cut Diamond?
Reviewing pictures and videos will help you determine whether your cushion-cut diamond meets your expectations. It is impossible to determine from a grade report if a diamond looks “chunky” or “crushed ice.” The report is unable to indicate whether the shape is incorrect.
- James Allen’s
- Blue Nile
You can view your diamond in 360° on the websites of Blue Nile and James Allen, giving you a thorough understanding of the stone’s beauty and capabilities.
Both companies have sizable diamond databases, but James Allen has a much wider selection of ring settings. Additionally, James Allen lets you view the ring and diamond sets that previous customers have bought. You will better understand the finished engagement ring as a result.
Blue Nile has one advantage over James Allen in cushion-cut diamonds. You can restrict the L/W ratio in Blue Nile’s search. Blue Nile might be better if you seek an extended cushion cut diamond.
Check out CustomMade if you can’t locate what you’re looking for. Their specialists can assist you in selecting the ideal cushion centre stone and incorporating it into a completely one-of-a-kind ring. You can design the ring of your dreams with their assistance.
If you buy your engagement ring online, you can find one that suits your budget and taste. Ada Diamonds has a dedicated team of diamond experts who will help you pick the perfect setting for your cushion cut diamond. Ada Diamonds is the first retailer to offer lab-grown fancy-shaped diamonds with GIA certification. A cushion-cut engagement ring is a great option if your engagement is fast approaching.
Do Cushion Diamonds have Higher Prices?
When comparing diamonds of the same carat weight, cushion cuts are significantly less expensive than round cuts. This is because they are a far less common shape, but because of how similar they look to round-cut diamonds, they make a perfect option for those on a budget who don’t want to give up style or size.
What Setting is Ideal for a Cushion Diamond?
The prong and halo positions are two of the most effective ones for a cushion. You should aim for a four-prong setup for the prongs. These settings give the diamond the best chance to show off its magnificent dispersion by letting in the most light. You can choose a six-prong or double-prong arrangement if you want more rectangular cushions.
Do Diamonds with a Cushion Cut Appear Larger?
Cushion-cut diamonds may offer a slight edge (top) advantage over brilliant round diamonds in carat size. They can appear bigger because they also have greater facets. While cushion-cut diamonds are more brilliant than round diamonds, our eyes often mistake more brilliance for greater size.
What Ratio Works Best for Cushion-Cut Diamonds?
We propose a diamond with a length-to-width ratio of a square cushion between 1.00 and 1.09 times the width. Choose a diamond between 1.15 and 1.5 times longer than it is wide for a more rectangular cushion.
The most popular cut of diamonds, the cushion cut, is a timeless classic. Its rounded corners and facets make it stand out from other shapes. Cushion cuts can be used for solitaire or halo settings and will not look less impressive in the setting of other gems. They can also be paired with other shapes, and you can find many styles to match them. The cushion cut is a stunning choice for a diamond engagement ring.