What are Cushion Cut Diamonds?
Cushion cut diamonds are one of the most popular diamond shapes for jewelry right now, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. They’re a balanced choice that can produce exceptional results even if you’re on a shoestring budget, but they can extend upward into higher budget ranges without sacrificing quality or style. If you’re looking for a diamond engagement ring to propose to your partner, cushion cut diamonds are one of the first choices you should look at.
What Defines a Cushion Cut Diamond?
Even if you’ve never heard the phrase cushion cut diamond, you’ve probably seen one (probably embedded in a wedding or engagement ring). The cushion-cut has been around for over two centuries, and it’s remained one of the mainstays in engagement ring styles for that entire time. And while round brilliant cut has since overtaken it in terms of popularity, it was the popular choice for a diamond shape for most of that period.
It’s not that different from a square cut. A classic cushion cut diamond is generally either a rectangle or square shape, but it offers rounded off edges rather than the sharp 90 degree corners of a square-cut or princess diamond. They look stunning set in white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold, and a cushion brilliant cut really allows your diamond to shine. The way standard cushion cut diamonds are composed has changed over time as well.
The enlarged cushion cut diamonds that were popular decades ago are chunkier in design and reflect light in a way unique to other cuts due to their facet patterns. Ironically, technological advances moving away from that design have made these anachronistic antique cushion cut gemstones even more revered. These chunky cushion cut stones with larger facets are sometimes called an old mine cut, and the facets can make them appear almost like broken glass or crushed ice. In other words, you can get a unique and pricey cushion cut if you’re looking to really show your special someone exactly how special they are.
Modern cushion cut diamonds are the result of decades of scientific advancement— and that’s largely responsible for their recent resurgence in popularity. They have an extra row of facets, which gives them a very good width ratio. Refinements that expand the table of the diamond while shrinking the culet allow the carats in a cushion cut diamond to really shine without being obscured by prongs and provide more surface area in a flatter diamond. That’s led to a trend of cushion cut diamonds rising in popularity once more.
What Are the Characteristics of a Cushion Cut Diamond?
Whether you’re looking for a vintage mine cut diamond or a more modern square cushion cut diamond, there are a few characteristics that every carat cushion cut has in common. And the benefits here are strong enough to significantly cushion the impact of what minor disadvantages come with a cushion cut diamond.
Since its pillow shape falls somewhere in between a square cut and round cut diamond, it combines many of the best factors of both. The rounded edges mean it’s durable and not prone to chipping in the same way that square diamonds are, but, like a princess cut stone, it’s a cost-effective alternative too. What you’ll pay per carat is significantly lower than what you’d pay for a comparable ring with a round diamond, despite features like color grade, even if it appears perfect to the naked eye.
If you’re interested in having a diamond that’s going to hold its value— and its sense of attraction— for a long time to come, a cushion cut diamond engagement ring shows a lot of promise. While it was neglected for fancier cuts for a while, high-quality cushion cut diamonds are coming back into fashion in a big way.
They occupy a perfect space right now— still unique enough that your ring will stand out from the standard radiant cut diamonds right now, but rising in popularity so you can be pretty confident that it will be an even more well-regarded choice in the years to come. You’ll be getting in on the ground floor of a new fashion trend with your stunning rectangular shape stone.
Varieties of Cushion Cut Diamonds
The definition of a cushion cut diamond leaves a lot of wiggle room for a variety of different variations, and jewelers have gotten very creative finding different ways to make twists on the cushion cut formula. Understanding the difference between these variants can be the key to finding your partner a ring that will match not just their finger but also their personal preference.
We’ve already talked quite a bit about mine cut gems. Any mine cut gem you find is going to be an antique, but that also means that it’s going to be that much more rare and special. The relatively primitive cut of a mine cut diamond means that it throws off light in chunkier blocks— and while that might initially not appear as sophisticated, it does lend these antique diamonds a sense of personality and polish that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
If you’ve spent much time researching engagement rings, you’ve probably heard of a brilliant diamond. The faceting of these diamonds forms a star— or an X if viewed from straight above— and that means that they give off a mesmerizing fire when exposed to light. But the extra amount of care that goes into a brilliant diamond means they’re both rarer and more expensive than a more traditional cushion cut diamond. These brilliant cut diamonds are susceptible to damage regardless of ring setting.
You can get the best of both worlds with a cushion modified brilliant stone that gives you the stability of the cushion cut with the fire of the brilliant. The complexity of a brilliant cushion cut diamond can vary too, with the number of major facets presents reflecting both the price and brilliance of the ring.
“Chunky” may be a good word to describe mine cut diamonds, but there are modern diamonds that emulate that look as well. If you want the advantages of a mine cut without having to track down an antique, a chunky variant may be the way to go. That chunkier design means that these diamonds more closely resemble a round diamond, and they’re a great choice if you want a more fashionable ring that still has its own sense of attitude.
As cushion cut diamonds are becoming more popular, more and more jewelers are looking for ways to distinguish their cushion cut rings from one another. One solution is an elongated diamond, which looks amazing as a solitaire style ring. The fundamentals are still the same here. These diamonds employ a squared-off shape rounded off at the edges (but significantly less rounded than a chunky diamond), but they can vary wildly in terms of dimensions and carat weight.
Ultimately, finding the right diamond ring is all about communicating with your partner and figuring out both what they want and how you can squeeze those wants into your budget. And with cushion cut diamonds representing a fairly inexpensive solution that’s only increasing in popularity, they’re well worth your attention when shopping for a new ring.