September 17, 2023
The cushion cut diamond combines the brilliance of a round with the beauty of a square in a unique pillow-like shape. With over two centuries of history, cushion cuts remain a classic for engagement rings and jewelry wanting vintage flair. This guide covers everything you need to know about cushion cut diamonds.
Cushion cuts trace their origins to old mine cuts in the 18th century. Mine cut diamonds had rounded sides, high crowns, and extra depth. These gave them a squarish pillow “cushion” shape.
As cutting techniques improved in the late 1800s, the modern cushion cut emerged. The cushion brilliant cut was designed with better light return through a balanced crown and pavilion.
Cushion cuts saw a revival in the early 2000s as couples sought vintage alternative diamond shapes. Their romantic look made them ideal for engagement rings.
The cushion cut fuses the square outline of an emerald with the brilliance of a round diamond. The open culet gives it a softer pillow-like shape.
Cushion diamonds require precision cutting to achieve ideal light performance. Well-made cushions exhibit a warm glow with pinpoints of rainbow sparkle accenting the center when viewed face-up.
Cushion cut diamonds are graded using the same 4Cs criteria as other shapes:
Cushions over 1 carat retain impressive spread area and highlight the square outline. Consider going just under size thresholds like 1 carat to maximize cut and clarity while lowering price.
Cushion cuts pair elegantly with clean lines or delicate metalwork:
Cushion cut rings evoke vintage romance with filigree detail. But more modern styles also suit the versatile cushion beautifully.
Price ranges for 1 carat cushion cut diamonds:
The cushion shape commands a slight premium over other square cuts like Asscher or radiant, while offering similar brilliance.
How does the cushion cut's brilliance compare to other shapes?
Properly faceted cushion diamonds deliver exceptional light return similar to princess cuts and rounds. Cut quality is essential for maximizing fire.
Does a cushion diamond show more color than other shapes?
Cushions typically face up with very faint color. Hues are minimized compared to emerald cut. Near colorless G-J grades are ideal.
Do all cushion diamonds have a crushed ice effect?
Crushed ice faceting is optional. Cushions may exhibit scintillating high contrast patterns or a softer antique pillowed look depending on cutting style.
Should I choose a cushion or an asscher cut diamond?
Asscher has bolder facets. Cushion has softer brilliance. Pick Asscher for deco flair or cushion for romantic vintage appeal.
Can a cushion diamond ever have a bow tie?
Yes, well-cut cushion diamonds often exhibit a faint bow tie effect accented by rainbow sparkle at the center. Avoid dark or unsightly bow ties.
With its timeless beauty, subtle vintage vibe, and exceptional brilliance, the cushion cut is a unique architectural choice offering numerous styling possibilities. When artfully crafted, cushion diamonds radiate alluring light.
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