Everything You Need to Know About Cushion Cut Diamonds

Year after year, cushion cut diamonds retain their spot as one of the most popular diamond shapes, and with good reason!


Cushion cut diamonds are ultra-feminine, soft, and delicate with a pillow-like shape and a dazzling sparkle. The soft shape of this cut and its substantial surface area on the finger has made a lasting impression on brides and brides-to-be. 

Even celebrities have caught wind of this stunning center stone cut with mega-celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Priyanka Chopra, and British royalty Meghan Markle revealing stunning cushion cut diamond center stones on their dainty fingers. 

So, what makes this gemstone cut so alluring? What should you look for in cushion center stones? We answer all of your pressing questions about cushion cut diamonds in this comprehensive article.


The Cushion Cut Diamond

Cushion cut diamonds are as old as diamond-cutting itself, though current versions (with the exception of antique cushion diamonds) are a result of technological advancements and refinement of diamond-cutting techniques. 

The cushion cut diamond is classified by its square or rectangular shape with soft, rounded edges, which takes on a pillow-like appearance. The faceting of a modified brilliant cushion cut diamond places emphasis on brilliance and sparkle, while effectively hiding diamond imperfections and diamond color. 

Cushion cut diamonds have several cut styles that reveal a slightly different overall appearance from style to style: the brilliant cut, the antique cut or “old mine cut,” and the crushed ice cut. 


Cushion Cut Styles

Cushion cut diamonds are the only diamond shape that offers a variety of cut styles. This is incredibly appealing to those who might like the shape of a cushion but would prefer a more vintage-looking aesthetic (the antique cut) or those who like the brilliance of the round cut but would rather not pay the premium price for a round diamond.

There are three main cushion cut styles from which to choose: the brilliant cut, the antique cut, and the crushed ice cut. Each cut style is distinctly unique, not just in visual appearance, but in brilliance and overall aesthetic. 

 

The Brilliant Cut

The brilliant cut is our specialty at Lauren B Jewelry, and we offer a wide array of brilliant cushion cut diamonds in our showroom.

Similar to the round “brilliant cut,” brilliant cushions have large and crisp facets that play intricately with natural light for plenty of sparkle. Brilliant cut faceting customarily distributes weight on the surface of the diamond, which increases the face-up appearance of the gemstone. The result is a center stone that appears larger than a step-cut diamond, a radiant cut, or a princess cut of similar carat weight. 

Additionally, brilliant cuts reveal a whiter face-up appearance. A brilliant cushion cut with a GIA color grade of I or J would look more like a diamond with a G or H color grade. This feature allows you to maximize your engagement ring budget by opting for a lower color grade while allocating more budget towards carat size or setting style, should you choose to do so. 

 

2.05ct Cushion Diamond Yellow Gold Solitaire Ring

 

1.40ct Cushion Cut Diamond Super Slim Engagement Ring

 

Crushed Ice

crushed ice diamond vs standard cushion cut

Credit: photo via With Clarity

 

Crushed ice cuts have blended facets that appear watery rather than clean and crisp like the brilliant cut. 

Cushion cuts with crushed ice faceting are cut deeper to preserve carat weight, which reduces the face-up appearance; a 3ct crushed ice cushion will have similar measurements to a 2.5ct brilliant cut. The crushed ice cut also reveals more diamond color than its brilliant and antique cut counterparts, even as you increase in color grade. 

The totality of these features contributes to the lower price tag of the crushed ice cushion cut diamond in comparison to brilliant cuts and antique cuts.

 

The Antique Cut or “Old Mine Cut”

The antique cut is aesthetically different from most modern diamond cuts, resembling cuts from generations past.

True, vintage antique cut cushions are incredibly rare to encounter, and as with most rare gemstones, are accompanied by a high price tag. Contemporary antique cut diamonds are manufactured with high-grade technology and expert diamond cutters, though they remain complicated to cut. 

Antique cuts are characterized by their crisp, chunky facets that have a dome-like appearance. These facets are larger than brilliant cut facets, which result in a more substantial sparkle. Antique cuts also effectively hide diamond color, which allows you to maximize your engagement ring budget similar to the brilliant cut. 

Lauren B Jewelry is the first retailer to offer lab-grown diamonds in both loose antique cut diamonds and finished antique cut engagement rings ready for purchase. Lab-grown diamonds are a stunning, budget-friendly center stone option, particularly if you desire an antique cushion, but would prefer to allocate more budget to setting style or larger carat size. 

 

2.55ct Antique Cushion Rose Gold Engagement Ring

 

1.82ct Antique Cushion Lab Diamond Yellow Gold Engagement Ring


Cushion Cut Ratios

Elongated Cushion Cut Diamonds May Help Your Ring Look Bigger

Credit: photo via With Clarity

 

Cushion cut diamonds come in both square and rectangular shapes, with an array of length-to-width ratios that change the overall appearance of the diamond. 

A cushion cut diamond with a 1:1 to 1.05:1 ratio is considered square and will appear more pillow-like than one with a 1.1:1, which would be considered an elongated cushion. 

1.62ct Super Elongated Antique Cushion Diamond Halo Ring

 

2.15ct Cushion Cut Lab Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

 

Cushion cuts with a square ratio cover a larger surface area on the finger from right to left, which makes the diamond appear larger overall. Elongated cushions, on the other hand, elongate the finger. 


The Dreamy Cushion Cut Diamond

Cushion cut diamonds are a stunning center stone option for any engagement ring style, from solitaire engagement rings to halo engagement rings with pave diamond detailing.

For inspiration, you can browse our vast assortment of natural diamond and lab-grown diamond cushion engagement rings. Or, you can schedule an appointment with one of our design consultants to custom design a cushion cut diamond engagement ring of your partner’s dreams.


[email protected] (Bailey Gossett)

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