Top Tips For Buying A Cushion Cut Diamond

Of the ten popular diamond shapes, the cushion cut is enjoying the fastest-growing popularity among brides and celebrities. As an antique romantic cut, the cushion’s large open facets emphasize color and clarity. A cushion diamond looks exceptional on its own as a solitaire or within a halo.

The cushion cut originated in the early 18th century with hand cut, asymmetrical diamonds called Old Mine Cuts or “Old Miners” in the trade. The antique cushion diamonds traditionally had tall crowns, deep pavilions, wide facets and a very large culet. You’ll most often find these cuts in Georgian (1714-1837) and Victorian era (1837-1901) jewelry; these antique diamonds reflected the soft glow of candlelight more beautifully. You’ll recognize an old mine cut diamond by its squarish shape: it has 58 facets like today’s modern round brilliant cut diamond — but that’s where the similarity ends.

As diamond cutters gained expertise in diamond cutting techniques, these Old Mine Cut diamonds eventually evolved into the more popular round brilliant diamonds, and as electricity came into homes and businesses, the allure of cushion cut diamonds faded — but they have recently come back into style. Today, cushion cut diamonds appeal to both modern and vintage-loving brides.

If you’re looking to buy a cushion cut diamond engagement ring or you just want to learn more about cushion cut diamonds, read on for answers to our frequently asked questions about the pillow-shaped diamond.

Cushion cut diamond engagement rings at Ritani
1. What is a cushion diamond? What is a cushion cut ring?
A cushion diamond is a blend of the modern round brilliant and the old mine facet pattern. The cushion cut diamond has a soft square or rectangular shape with curved angles — much like a pillow or a softer version of an emerald cut diamond. A cushion cut ring is an engagement ring or a fashion ring that features a cushion cut diamond.

2. Do cushion cut diamonds look larger?
Cushion cut diamonds have larger facets which, similar to an enlarged culet, enhance the amount of light the diamonds can reflect, thus increasing their brilliance and making them look slightly larger.

3. Are cushion cut diamonds less expensive than round cut diamonds?
The prices for cushion cuts are about 25 to 50% lower than round brilliant diamonds. However, prices have been rising with the growing popularity of this cut.

4. Are cushion diamonds popular?
For the first century of its existence, the cushion was the most popular diamond shape, much like how round diamonds are popular today. Cushion became the go-to diamond shape in the early 20th century. Cushion cut diamonds are very popular for diamond engagement rings, and are also sought-after as colored diamonds because they retain vibrant color very well. Today, cushion cut diamonds are the second most popular diamond shape next to round.

5. How do you buy a cushion cut diamond?
The standards for cushion cut vary more than most other shapes, and as with all diamonds, personal taste should be your deciding factor above all else.

First, identify your ideal ratio. While the classic cushion cut diamond is a square, there are also rectangular cushion cut diamonds with a larger length-to-width ratio.

For the optimal length-to-width ratio of a square cushion, we suggest a diamond between 1.00 and 1.09 times as long as it is wide. For a more rectangular cushion, opt for a diamond between 1.15 to 1.5 times as long as the width. The most popular shape is a slight rectangle with a 1.10 to 1.20 length to width; however, personal preference should dictate your final choice.

Color: We recommend a color grade of H or better.
Clarity: For the best value, stick with an SI1 clarity grade or better. Cushion cuts have a large open table, which means that it may be difficult to find an eye-clean SI2.
Carat: Measurements can vary quite a bit from one carat weight to the next. Focus on finding a diamond with the right measurements (length x width) within the carat weight range you desire.

6. What is a good quality cushion cut diamond?
The best quality cushion cut diamonds are those that have a cut grade of Very Good as well as a well-proportioned length to width ratio as noted above. Along with the cut grade, focus on polish and symmetry grades that are both Excellent. These two characteristics will help maximize the faceting sparkle of a Very Good cut stone.

7. What is a good depth for a cushion cut diamond?
For the best depth in a cushion cut diamond, try to stick to a depth percentage under 70% and a table percentage under 70%.

8. How many facets does a cushion diamond have?
Cushion cut diamonds traditionally have 58 facets, though the number can vary. Cushion brilliant diamonds have very similar facet arrangements as round brilliant cut diamonds.

9. Why are there a lot of colored cushion cut diamonds?
Cushion diamonds retain color more than most shapes, which is why the fancy color diamond market is loaded with cushions. The increased depth and table of a cushion cut stone allow for maximum brilliance of the fancy color when natural light hits it just right. If your bride-to-be is lusting after a colored diamond engagement ring, go with a cushion cut.

10. How much does a 2 carat cushion diamond cost?
A 2 carat cushion cut diamond costs between $8,000 and $29,000, depending on cut, color and clarity. Explore our inventory of two-carat cushion cut diamonds.

For engagement rings, cushion diamonds have built-in romance, inspired by heirloom treasures from the past. You might just fall in love with them!

The bottom line is that the cushion cut is a beautiful choice that has regained popularity over the last decade. If you’re ready to buy a cushion cut diamond engagement ring, let’s get started!