By reuvenveksler
January 25, 2023
5 min read

Guide to cushion cut diamonds

Guide to cushion cut diamonds

Right now, one of the most popular diamond forms is the cushion cut. Cushion cuts give diamonds a sophisticated, timeless appeal, as evidenced by the cushion cuts of some of the most famous gems in history. But they also have a bold, contemporary flair. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the cushion cut diamond shape can help you choose if it’s the ideal shape for your jewelry.

What is a cushion cut?

Cushion cut 1

Cushion cut diamonds combine elements of both traditional and modern diamond cutting. The cushion shape, with its rounded sides, is reminiscent of an old pillow, and the facet pattern is similar to an old mine cut. Contrarily, cushion cuts have additional characteristics that accentuate their brightness and offer an antiquated design a more contemporary appearance.

History of cushion cut

Cushion

The cushion cut has its origins in the old mine cut, which was the most popular diamond cut in the 1800s. The old mine cut diamonds were square shaped with rounded corners and 58 facets. Famous diamonds like the Hope Diamond and the Regent Diamond were originally cut in this style.

The name “old mine” comes from the diamond mines of Brazil, where this cut was very common in the 1700s. Later, when new mines were discovered in South Africa, the original mines in Brazil became known as the “old mines” in comparison. 

This cut takes the basic shape and patterning of the old mine cut but modifies it for a more modern sensibility. While retaining the pillow-like shape and facet arrangement, cushion cuts add extra facets to improve the diamond’s brilliance and fire. The cushion cut brings together the old and the new in diamond cutting history.

Modified cushion cut vs. Brilliant cushion cut 

There are also two types: Brilliant cushion cuts and Modified cushion cuts. So what sets them apart? 

It’s primarily about the faceting pattern. Brilliant cushion cuts have a pattern that is quite close to a standard round brilliant cut, with pavilion facets extending from the culet point at the bottom all the way up to the outer edge of the girdle. 

Conversely, modified cushions have an additional row of facets situated between the girdle and the pavilion facets. Cushion cuts with this modified cut can have a “crushed ice” appearance; they’re incredibly sparkling and resemble radiant cuts rather than round brilliants. On the other hand, modified cushion cuts are typically less costly than spectacular cushion cuts.

What are the advantages of a cushion cut?

In the last few years, cushion cut gems have turned into a popular and common option for individuals searching for the ideal stone for an engagement ring or a flawless pair of studs. And there are objective justifications for this pattern.

Brilliance & fire

To begin with, this cut enables diamonds to radiate light. These gems appear striking and attention-grabbing.  

While cushion cuts may not be as dazzling as round diamonds, they possess remarkable inner vibrancy, meaning they exhibit vivid hues when seen from varying perspectives.

Durability

Because of the rounded corners, diamonds can boast outstanding durability. 

Diversity

Given that cushion cuts are highly sought-after, the market provides an extensive range of gems with this cut – catering to any preference and budget.

Fair price

In conclusion, cushion cut diamonds are typically reasonably priced. Generally speaking, they are less costly than premium round brilliant diamonds.

What are the disadvantages of a cushion cut?

Of course, cushion cut has some drawbacks.

Imperfections

First, cushions often reveal more internal flaws and blemishes to the eye, compared to other diamond shapes. This is due to the large surface area of the table facet, which does not conceal imperfections well.

Color

Additionally, compared to other diamond shapes, cushion diamonds have more noticeable coloring. Because it preserves and even intensifies the color of fancy colored diamonds, this feature makes cushion perfect for them.

Cushions should be used with caution while working with colorless white diamonds. With this cut, their possible yellowish hue will be more noticeable.

Cushion cut prices

A diamond’s price is determined by several characteristics, the most well-known of which are the 4Cs: color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. The price of diamonds rises as these attributes get better. By examining the most widely spread diamond form, the round brilliant cut, we may examine diamond costs. Cushion shaped diamonds often cost 20–30% less than round diamonds.

These diamonds can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000 per carat, contingent on quality. In conclusion, the 4Cs influence diamond costs, with cushion cuts often costing less than the wildly popular round brilliant diamonds.

Conclusion

Cushion cut diamonds have an enduring, timeless grace with gently rounded corners. They are visually stunning and exhibit the most dispersion, or “fire”, with flashes of rainbow colors. Simply dazzling! 

However, when considering purchasing a cushion cut diamond, it’s important to understand both the positive attributes and drawbacks of this cut. Such cuts do excel at retaining the natural color of the stone, which is ideal for colored gemstones but less desirable for colorless white diamonds. Also, inclusions and flaws tend to be more visible and harder to mask in a cushion cut.  

Taking into account these characteristics can help inform your decision. Cushion cuts are undeniably beautiful diamonds! The enduring popularity of this cut is clear proof of its visual appeal.

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