What You Need to Know About
Cushion Cut Diamonds

Diamond Guide

Fun Fact

According to our own industry research,
15% of couples in the United States
got engaged with a cushion cut diamond in 2019.
We expect this trend to continue in 2020
Omid Semino, Diamond Mansion CEO

Planning to pop the question?

Whether you're seriously considering this next step or just beginning to explore your ring options, you can't go wrong with this timeless, classic look.
Today, we're taking a closer look at the features that make cushion cut diamonds so special and spectacular. Along the way, we'll share important details about the different types of diamonds included in this category, as well as a helpful cut guide to take along on your next shopping adventure.

Ready to learn more? Let's get started.

What Defines a Cushion Cut Diamond?

Cushion cut diamonds marry the sleekness of a square-cut diamond with the femininity of a round diamond. The result is a soft square with rounded corners that looks like (you guessed it!) a cushion.

This iconic cut has been around for more than 200 years, although it was known as a "mine cut" to ladies in the early 19th century. At that time, many other kinds of gemstones were also designed to be cushion cut, as the look was so popular!

The main difference between the cushion cut that dominated back then and the modern style appreciated today? Earlier mine cut diamonds normally had 58 facets, while newer versions have 64 facets.

Want an impressive look at a historic cushion cut diamond on an incredibly large scale? Check out the famed Hope Diamond, which weighs in at a staggering 45.52 carats, featuring 60 facets plus additional facets on its girdle!

Understanding the Different Kinds of Cushion Cut Diamonds

While soft corners and a square shape define cushion cut diamonds as a whole, there are many variations that set certain styles apart from one another. Next, let's take a look at a few of the most common types of cushion cut diamonds, and the features that each exhibit.

Square Cushion Cut

As its name implies, a square cushion cut diamond features sides that are the same in length, resembling a standard geometric square.
Its corners are rounded, rather than sharp.
Until the 20th century, this look dominated and defined the cushion cut aesthetic.
Below is three examples of beautiful square cushion cut engagement rings.

Square Halo Cushion Ring
With a 1 Carat Cushion Diamond
Square Classic Cushion Ring
With a 1 Carat Cushion Diamond
Square Unique Cushion Ring
With a 1 Carat Cushion Diamond

Elongated Cushion Cut (Rectangular)

Elongated cushion cut diamonds still fall into the cushion cut category, but their shape doesn't fit the even mold of a perfect square. In most cases, these diamonds are elongated into a rectangular shape instead. They're normally set vertically, with the length taller than the width.

How can you know if you're looking at an elongated cushion cut diamond over a square one?
Take a look at the stone's height to width ratio. A ratio of 1.00 means it's a perfect square. If it's anything above 1.1 ratio, it's an elongated cushion cut. The ratio can be found by the dividing the height (mm), by the width (mm) of the stone.
For example: a diamond with a height of 6mm and width of 5mm has a 1.2 ratio. ( 6mm ÷ 5mm = 1.2)

Note that cushion cut diamonds with a ratio of 1.1 or 1.14 will still resemble squarish for the most part. For a truly elongated shape, look for a ratio of 1.15 to 1.20. This means that one side is 15%-20% longer that the other, giving the diamond a defined rectangular shape.

Below is two examples of elongated cushion cut engagement rings.

Elongated Cushion Ring Set
With a 4 Carat Cushion Diamond
Elongated Halo Split Cushion Ring
With a 3 Carat Cushion Diamond

Antique Cushion Cut

At its height during the 19th century, the old mine cut was the most popular style of diamond by far. It wasn't until the technological advances of the 20th century, when jewelers started developing more elaborate cuts, that other designs began to emerge.

Today, when we describe a diamond as being a true antique cushion cut, we mean that the diamond has been hand cut, as was the practice at the time, rather than being cut with a machine as most are today. While the basics of cushion cut design are still noticeable (small crown, high table, large culet), the beauty of these stones is that no two are alike.
At that time, and through the 1920s, cushion cut diamonds had fewer and longer facets. They were also less brilliant than their modern-day counterparts. Still, when you consider that jewelers at the time had only candlelight to work by and managed to produce such intricate and incredible results, the real importance and legacy of an antique cushion cut diamond emerge.

The Different Facet Types of Cushion Cuts

Now that we've discussed the different styles of cushion cut diamonds, that should cover all the variety, right?

Not quite! In addition to the shape of your stone, you can also choose a specific type of faceting. This refers to the way that the diamonds are cut as they're transformed from a rough stone into a brilliant gem.

The three most common styles of cushion cut diamond faceting are:

  • Brilliant cut
  • Crushed ice cut
  • Modified cushion cut

Let's take a look at each of these in greater detail.

Brilliant Cushion Cut Diamonds

Orignal cushion cut diamonds were cut into "step facets." This means that the facets were elongated and created into rows, for a final product that resembled a mirrored staircase. As he worked to create the first round brilliant cut diamond, industry legend Marcel Tolkowsky noticed that the stone would produce more glimmer and fire if the facets weren't cut horizontally, but perpendicularly instead.

Soon, this concept was applied to square cushion cut diamonds, as well. The result? A shinier, sparklier diamond that kept its original profile but was far more brilliant. In this cut, the facets in the diamond's pavilion originate in its center, then extend dramatically outward toward the edge, or girdle.

Thus, these cuts have a distinct star-like appearance, along with an unmistakable sheen. They also have larger facets than other cuts and look like a beautiful blend of a round-cut brilliant diamond with a cushion shape.

The attached diamond is an example of a 3 Carat true Brilliant Cushion Cut Diamond. You will notice two things. The GIA certificate describes the shape as "Cushion Brilliant". Further you will notice that the measurements of this stone is approximately 8.5mm x 8.5mm. The measurements of regular square 3 Carat Cushion Cut diamond is normally close to 8mm x 8mm; so a rue Cushion Brilliant has larger measurements when compared to other types of cushion cuts.

Although a true GIA certified "Cushion Brilliant" diamond is rare and to hard to come by, at Diamond Mansion we offer an extensive selection of 150+ GIA Certified Brilliant Cushion Cut Diamonds. Also feel free to contact us and one of our diamond specialists will help you find the perfect Cushion Brilliant Stone.

Modified Cushion Cut Diamonds

While the facets on a brilliant cushion cut diamond extend from the center all the way to the outer girdle, a modified cushion cut (that is not crushed ice) makes a slight variation to this design. Here, the facets still originate in the pavilion, but they stop short of reaching the girdle. Instead, a new row of facets appears at this outer edge, right below the girdle.

This results in a glittering flower shape, rather than a star shape like the brilliant cushion cut produces.

The Best Cushion Cut Diamond: CUT & BRLLIANCE GUIDE

As you can see, there are many different kinds of cushion cut diamonds designed to fit every preference. As you prepare to find the one of your dreams, it helps to review a quick cut guide, first.

At Diamond Mansion you'll find cut & brilliance is divided into three categories or ratings, including:

  • Ideal Plus
  • Excellent
  • Very Good

The diamonds are placed into each category based on the characteristics of the following factors:

  • Depth Percentage
  • Table Percentage
  • Girdle
  • Cutlet
  • Polish
  • Symmetry
  • Fluorescence

What are the characteristics of each? Let's review.

Ideal Plus Cut & Brilliance Cushion Cut Diamond

Ideal Cut Cushion Diamonds exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Depth: 61% to 68%
  • Table: 55% to 65%
  • Girdle: thin to thick
  • Cutlet: No cutlet
  • Polish: Excellent
  • Symmetry: Excellent
  • Fluorescence: Non

Excellent Cut & Brilliance Cushion Cut Diamond

Excellent Cut Cushion Diamonds exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Depth: 61% to 68%
  • Table: 55% to 65%
  • Girdle: thin to thick
  • Cutlet: No cutlet
  • Polish: Excellent to very good
  • Symmetry: Excellent to very good
  • Fluorescence: Non to medium

Very Good Cut & Brilliance Cushion Cut Diamond

Very Good Cut Cushion diamonds exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Depth: 59% to 60.9% or 68.1% to 70%
  • Table: 52% to 54.9% or 65.1% to 68%
  • Girdle: Very thin to Extremely thick
  • Cutlet: No cutlet
  • Polish: Excellent to very good
  • Symmetry: Excellent to very good
  • Fluorescence: Non to strong

Shop Our Wide Selection of Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

When you're ready to surprise your special someone with a piece of legacy jewelry she'll wear forever, cushion cut diamonds are ideal. Always classy even after centuries of wear, these are investment pieces meant to last a lifetime, and then some. Now that you know the different kinds available, are you ready to pick out the perfect one? If so, we'd love to help. We offer a wide variety of cushion cut diamond rings in our online shop. Browse our full line and contact us if you need any guidance along the way!