Cushion Cut Diamonds: What to Look For

Cushion Cut Diamonds = Classic Fire & Modern Brilliance

Cushion Cut diamonds have been around for nearly 200 years. These diamonds have rounded corners and larger facets to increase their brilliance. They also have a square/pillow shaped outline – hence the name “cushion” cut. Since Tolkowsky’s research in the 1920’s, refinements have been made to the cushion cut over time. This includes shrinking the culet, enlarging the table and improving cut angles. Today it is considered the third most popular cut after round brilliant and princess cuts.  

Examples of Cushion Cut Diamonds

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Characteristics To Look For

Shape

The classic cushion cut diamond is shaped like a square with rounded circles. It generally has a length-to-width ratio of 1.00. However, the most popular shape is a slight rectangle with a length-to-width ratio between 1.1 and 1.2. If you’re looking for settings that are a bit more classic and elegant, you may want to go with a plain solitaire setting (a plain ring band with a single diamond). If you prefer more unique ring settings, you might like a pavé setting (accent diamonds set closely together in the band). Another option is a halo setting (smaller diamonds that encircle the center stone).

Cut

Table ratio (width of table facet divided by diamond width) and total depth ratio (depth divided by diamond width) for a good cushion cut diamond is generally around 56 percent and above. In terms of culet (small area at the bottom of a diamond’s pavilion), it should be nonexistent to small. You should also avoid diamonds that have extremely thin or extremely thick girdles. This is because an extremely thin girdle is more susceptible to chipping, and a thicker girdle will add weight (and cost) to a diamond. It’s also worth mentioning that the large facets of the cushion cut make inclusions and blemishes more visible than with other cuts. Keep this in mind when making your selection.

Watch This Custom Halo Cushion Cut Diamond Ring

Color & Clarity

Evaluating color and clarity in cushion cut diamonds is subjective. This is because each person will have their own unique preferences regarding inclusion appearance level. Generally speaking, GIA grades diamonds on a color scale of D (colorless) through Z (light color). Based on this and the characteristics of a cushion cut diamond, a good cut grade should have a color range of G and above. Also, it should have a fluoro (fluorescent soft blue glow) that is nonexistent to medium. Mostly all diamonds are graded for clarity using the GIA 11 point diamond clarity scale – FL (flawless) through I3 (visible inclusions). For cushion cut diamonds, clarity should be in the range of SI2 or above.  

One Final Note

Before you buy a cushion cut diamond, be sure to review the clarity plot on the diamond certificate. Also, look for cushion cut rings through jewelers who can provide certificates from reputable laboratories – such as the GIA, AGS, EGL-USA, and IGI. If you’re working with Vanessa Nicole, don’t worry if this all seems complicated. We know what characteristics to look for with cushion cut diamonds and we’re happy to help.


Need Help?

Let Vanessa Nicole be your guide. Vanessa Nicole Jewels creates stunning, custom-made wedding bands and engagement rings for couples around the globe. Every ring we make is truly one of a kind, designed exclusively for each client. Contact Vanessa today to learn more about your options, or learn more by reading our diamond education article.


Cushion Cut Diamond Ring Gallery

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About Vanessa

Vanessa Nicole - Oval Cut DiamondsHi, I’m Vanessa Nicole – master diamond setter and author of the best-selling book, The Perfect Custom Engagement Ring. My educational engagement ring videos have amassed nearly half a million views on YouTube, so be sure to check those out if you need design inspiration for your ring. When I’m not playing with diamonds, you can find me tickling my twin boys, or kicking back watching a movie with my awesome husband (my teenage sweetheart).  

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