Cushion Cut Diamond:
This two century old Fancy cut style is now climbing on the popularity chart for its unique shape appeal. Known long for its vintage look, it is no more the same as it was used to be in the nineteenth century. Cutters understanding of light performance and superior technology have transformed the cutting style of Cushion cut diamond like never before. Research and innovation have made it look more spectacular by blending the classic design with modern style.
You will find sea of variations in Cushion cut diamonds. From 58 facets to 64 facets, from “brilliant cut” to “modified brilliant, and modified brilliant hybrid cut”, from square to rectangular shape, these are all there to overwhelm you.
Hence, I would request you to spend some time knowing the difference between the good and the best and be well informed. So that you can choose your Cushion cut diamond like an expert.
In the next five to ten minutes you will be learning the most valuable things about your Cushion cut diamond i.e. its quality, length to width ratio, value of proportions, which setting is best for you, which color & clarity to choose, and much more. So keep reading.
What is a Cushion cut diamond?
Cushion Cut style is the oldest cut style prevalent before the invention of Round brilliant cut in the 1700 century. It is square or rectangle with rounded corners resembling your living room pillow, for this reason it is also known as pillow cut.
The original Cushion cut had tall crown, deep pavilion and open culet. It was intended to flash light before candle-light as there was no electricity then.
With the passage of time and use of machine in cutting the diamond, this cut has got a total makeover. You will know about it in the following section.
What is Old mine Cut ?
The original Cushion cut was intended to flash light in candle light. It had tall crown, deep pavilion and open culet. Due to its large facets the flashes of light were also more prominent in candle light.
Some people still love this vintage look of the original Cushion cut. It is also known as the “Brazilian cut or Old mine cut” as the diamonds were mainly from the mines of Brazil before the invention of diamonds in South African mines.
Why choose a cushion cut diamond?
- Variety of options to choose- from “Crushed Ice” appearance to round like modern “modified/hybrid brilliant cut” style
- Holds color well thus excellent choice for color diamonds
- Suitable for daily use, no fear of chipping due to its rounded corners
- Cheaper than Round brilliant cut but prices are picking up due to renewed interest of more people in this shape
- Ring settings like Halo, Split shank, Three-stone, and Pave give it a breathtaking look.
- Goes well with both Platinum and white gold or Rose and Yellow gold
How to choose a Cushion Cut diamond?
Keep in mind the following guidelines and you will be good to go.
The best way to know about the sparkle and brilliance of a Cushion cut diamond is its light performance (ASET) report which is provided by AGSL (American Gems Society Laboratories) with its certificate. This is the safest and easiest way to choose a Cushion cut diamond. But first you must see the diamond in person or its HD image/video before going for it.
However, if you don’t get access to AGSL ASET-report, follow the guidelines below to get the best possible Cushion cut diamond.
As GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is silent about its cut-grade and in the absence of AGA (Accredited Gems Appraiser) guidelines on Cushion cut, it becomes more important to know what other experts have to say about it based on their practical knowledge and years of experiences.
Cushion Cut: Cut Proportion contributes to brilliance & Sparkle:
As per AGSL (American Gems Society Laboratories) it is the perfect proportion of diamond’s cut, and not the structure of its facets that give the best light return that illuminates the diamond. The volume of light return depends on excellent proportion of its cut-grade.
Of all the guidelines I have gone through the one that impressed me most is the Cut proportions of Brian Gavin’s signature cushion brilliant cut. The design is patented. It looks stunning. You should see it to believe.
You can also see Hearts & Arrows pattern in it like a round brilliant cut through ASET or Ideal-scope which is a great way to judge a diamond’s brilliance and sparkle.
Let’s see what the Brian Gavin’s Signature Cushion Cut proportions are:
|Crown Angle||34 degree|
|Girdle||Thin to Medium|
|Pavilion Angle||40.7 degree|
Still not convinced? Want to know more about cut proportions? Ok, see the following table. Here is what other experts say about it.
Cut Parameters: Cushion Cut
|Lumera Diamonds||Petra Gems|
|Table %||Excellent- 61-67|
V.Good- 58-60 or 68-70
V.Good- 58-60.1 or 68.2-70.4
V.Good- 58-60.9-or 67.1-70
V.Good- 58-61 or 67.3-69.9
|Girdle||EX/VG-Very Thin to Slightly Thick||Ex.-Thin to Slightly thick,|
VG.-Very thin to slightly thick
V.Good- Small to Medium
Don’t get confused. If you see them closely you will find the ranges of proportions listed above are almost similar. I am providing these details just to give you a fair idea about the cut-proportions in case you don’t get access to Brian Gavin’s signature cushion cut diamonds which are best in my view.
By following these guidelines you can still get the best diamond of your choice. These proportions are for your reference only, to help you to narrow down your search for the best one.
It is always a good practice to judge a diamond based on its shape appeal and sparkle. This should be your first criteria to short list diamonds that attract you the most at the first glance, instead of getting into the nitty-gritty of cut proportions.
After short listing the best ones, go for the extra details and then decide which proportions fit close to your acceptance.
For that you should see more and more diamond’s visuals in HD image or videos or see them in person. Here viewing them online can be handy as you can short and compare from thousands of diamonds while sitting comfortably at your living room.
Cushion Cut: Length to width ratio
This is one of the most important factors in any Fancy shape diamond. A visually perfect shape will always appeal to you. This is the first indication of what you are getting whether a bulgy or skinny or a good one. So never underestimate its importance.
Let’s find out what are the experts’ recommendations of Length to width ratio in this shape.
|Square Shape||Rectangular Shape|
|77 diamonds London||1.00-1.05 (square)||> 1.10|
(L/W ratio calculation : divide the length of a diamond by its width)
Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut:
Any type of faceting style that is added or removed or altered the original brilliant cut is known as Modified brilliant cut.
The mysterious “Crushed Ice Look” in Cushion modified brilliant cut – Some love it, some love to hate it.
“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” this line fits perfectly with Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut which gives the “Crushed Ice” look.
There are two types of Cushion cut diamonds that come into this “crushed Ice Look” category.
One is very poorly cut with tall crown and deep pavilion where the mains do not meet the girdle. In this type of cut huge leakage of light happens. In this particular cut the light returns to viewer’s eye in needle-like pattern thus giving the illusion of ‘crushed ice look’ which in my view is ‘cursed ice look’. It is known as watery or slushy in diamond language.
The other one is well-cut having more mains (pavilion facets). These more facets distribute light return evenly thus creating more brightness, giving the famous “crushed Ice look”.
You should be looking for the second type of “crushed ice look” cushion cut diamonds. If you are viewing diamonds online then ask for additional information like how it looks under normal day light, in spotlight, and in defusing light.
These three tests are done to judge how a diamond reacts to light under different circumstances. The optimum light return means a sparkling diamond. These tests are good complements to ASET image report.
Here is what I found extremely helpful and informative content about the “Crushed Ice look” cushion cut diamond. See it and come back to know more valuable things about Cushion cut diamond.
Watch this too to know more about Cushion Cut.
Cushion Cut : Be aware of girdle variations: Extremely thin and thick to extremely thick
Girdle thickness helps in securing your diamond in your favorite ring settings. If the girdle of Cushion cut is extremely thin then it carries the risk of chipping sooner than later.
If the girdle is thick to extremely thick then it creates extra problem for the ring setter to design the prong to hold it.
So avoid choosing extreme position of either side. Polished girdle gives good look to the diamond. Make sure the diamond you are choosing has polished girdle.
What is modern day “ Cushion hybrid Brilliant cut”?
This is the latest addition to modified brilliant cut. In this hybrid or modern brilliant cut the intention of the cutter is to give Cushion cut the likes of brilliance and sparkle that a round brilliant cut gives.
Here the faceting styles, depth percentage, and the mains are created keeping in mind with the round brilliant cut.
More facets mean more sparkling:
Four to eight mains are formed to give it a spectacular look.
Eight mains mean more flashes of light in smaller facets thus making your diamond look more beautiful. You should be looking for this type of diamond. As these type of diamonds are custom made and hard to come by, you should consider yourself lucky if you get one.
Color Tips: Cushion cut holds color well, so any color below H may not give the desired appearance. H or better is what you should be looking for. If you love color diamond then Cushion cut is the perfect fit for it. Natural color diamonds are exponentially high in price as they are very rare to find.
The good news is that now lab-colored diamonds are available at much lower price which give excellent color and look. You should consider it if you prefer color diamond.
Clarity Tips: Cushion Cut Diamond
Look for Eye-clean diamonds (SI1 or better). I would not suggest you to go for SI2 clarity as its inclusions are visible to naked eyes. Still, if you are choosing SI2 clarity, then make sure it has no inclusions at the centre.
Avoid clarity based on clouds, be it VS2 or SI1. It is not worth buying.
Besides clarity check the grade of fluorescence. Fluorescence gives a bluish look to diamond under sun light and disco/club light.
Faint to slight Fluorescence is ok but if it has strong or very strong Fluorescence then ask the vendor if it has any negative effect on the transparency of the diamond. Some strong to very strong Fluorescence gives the diamond hazy or blurry look thus affecting its transparency.
So, seek clarification about it. If you are not getting a satisfactory answer then avoid it completely and go for a non-fluorescent diamond.
Ring settings & metal guide: Cushion Cut Diamond
Halo, Pave and three stone settings go well with Cushion cut. Halo with split shank gives stunning look to your ring.
White gold and Platinum or Rose gold and yellow gold all fit perfectly in the above setting. Go down to I or J color in rose or yellow gold metal band.
Have a look at some of the gorgeous looking rings below with different ring settings. I am sure you will be mesmerized by the looks of these rings.
Conclusion: Cushion cut diamonds are more versatile and offer the luxury of variations like no other fancy shapes. So you should be careful in choosing your favorite. Do not rely solely on the grading report as you now know two modified brilliant cuts will look completely different having different sparkle and brilliance. I would suggest you to see more and more cushion cut diamonds before choosing the best one by following the above guidelines.
Hope after reading this now you have got a fair idea about how to choose a Cushion cut diamond. Wish you happy shopping.