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August 17, 2022

Cushion-Cut Diamonds vs Princess-Cut Diamonds: What's the Difference and Which Should You Choose?

cushion diamond (left) compared to princess cut diamond (right)

Cushion-cut and princess-cut diamonds are some of the most popular choices for engagement rings. They can easily be confused with one another because they are generally square in shape. Keep reading to discover the difference between the cushion-cut diamond and princess-cut diamond and to determine which shape is right for you. 

The Cushion Cut vs Princess Cut  

cushion diamond vs princess diamond

As you can see above, the cushion-cut has softer, rounded corners, while the princess-cut has sharp edges and creates a perfect square shape. Both shapes are classified as fancy shapes and typically have 57-58 facets (facets are the flat surfaces on a diamond). 

Each of these shapes has antique roots – the cushion-cut is a descendent of the antique old mine cut while the princess cut is a contemporary version of the antique French-cut diamond. Today's princess-cut diamond, which was created in the 80s, is seen as more modern due to its clean lines while the present-day cushion-cut still offers a soft vintage look.  

The Pros of Cushion Cut Diamonds 

1. Cushion-Cut Diamonds Are More Durable

The rounded corners of the cushion-cut diamond make them less prone to chipping. 

2. Cushion-Cut Diamonds Have More Variety

Cushion-cut diamonds have a variety of length-to-width ratios available that can change their overall appearance. These length-to-width ratios influence whether the stone will be square or rectangular. Elongated cushion-cut diamonds are more rectangular in shape than the classic square-shaped cushion-cut and are increasingly popular. For an elongated cushion-cut, choose a length to width ratio of 1.15 or higher.

cushion cut diamond length to width ratios

Shop Elongated Cushion-Cut Diamonds  

3. Cushion-Cut Diamonds Have More Fire

Fire is the rainbow-colored sparkles a diamond produces. Fire is very desirable in a diamond. Well-cut cushion-cut diamonds tend to produce more fire than other fancy-shape diamonds, which includes the princess-cut.

The Cons of Cushion Cut Diamonds  

1. Cushion-Cut Diamonds Look Smaller 

Carat is simply the measure of a diamond's weight.  

anatomy of a diamond

Since cushion-cut diamonds are cut deeper and hold most of their weight under the girdle, they will generally appear smaller than most other fancy shapes that are the same carat weight, and they will especially appear smaller than the princess-cut.  

3. Cushion-Cut Diamonds Are Less Sparkly 

The cushion-cut was created to sparkle in candlelight. Therefore, cushion-cut diamonds have a softer, more understated sparkle than other brilliant-cut diamond shapes. Check out its sparkle here: 

3. Cushion-Cut Diamonds Reveal More Color

Finding a diamond that appears colorless may be harder if you choose a cushion-cut diamond. Cushion-cut diamonds tend to show color more easily than most other diamond shapes, which makes them a popular choice for fancy-color diamonds.  

Read More: Essential Tips for Buying a Cushion-Cut Diamond 

The Pros of Princess-Cut Diamonds

1. Princess-Cut Diamonds Appear Larger

The sharp corners of the princess cut will make it appear larger than a cushion-cut diamond. 

2. Princess-Cut Diamonds Have More Sparkle

While the cushion-cut still sparkles, the princess-cut's sparkle will be more intense because of its smaller facets.

3. The Princess-Cut Hides Inclusions and Color

Most shoppers desire a diamond that appears colorless. Due to the shape’s brilliance, the princess-cut will hide any color or inclusions better than the cushion-cut. This means you can save even more on your princess-cut diamond by going lower on the color and clarity scale.  

The Cons of Princess Cut Diamonds 

1. Princess-Cut Diamonds Are More Fragile  

The sharp corners of the princess-cut diamond make them more prone to chipping.  

2. ​Princess-Cut Diamonds May Not Be as Timeless

​The princess-cut is extremely an extremely modern shape. It looks more contemporary than other diamond shapes. If you’re going for a timeless look, you may want to consider a cushion-cut diamond instead.

The Price of Cushion-Cut Diamonds vs. Princess-Cut Diamonds  

Both cushion-cut diamonds and princess-cut diamonds are far cheaper than round-cut diamonds, the most popular diamond shape. In general, the cost of a diamond depends on many factors, including demand, its 4 Cs, and how much of the rough diamond is wasted to cut it into its shape, so it’s hard to say which shape is cheaper. You’ll be happy to know the price difference between cushion-cut diamonds and princess-cut diamonds are negligible.  

Which shape should you choose?  

Both the cushion-cut and princess-cut are popular, beautiful choices that will look great in any setting. There’s no right or wrong diamond to choose; it’s all about personal preference. If vintage glamour speaks to you, choose a cushion-cut diamond. If chic sparkle is what you seek, you can't go wrong with a princess-cut diamond.  

Start your search for the perfect cushion cut engagement ring or princess cut engagement ring today. 


Up Next: Round Cut Diamonds vs Cushion Cut Diamonds 

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