What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?

What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?

Cushion cut diamonds are a modified version of an antique diamond shape, the old mine cut and have a timeless appeal with soft, rounded edges. This square cut has the most dispersion, or fire, so if you love colored flashes of light coming from a diamond, then this could be the perfect cut for your engagement ring.

What Are Cushion Cut Diamonds?

The old mine cut was a square cut with rounded corners and 58 facets. This cut dates back to the 1700s in Brazil where most of the world’s diamond mining was taking place. Brazilian stonecutters preferred the old mine cut since it maximized carat retention, and once diamonds were discovered in South Africa as well, the mines in Brazil became known as the “old mines,” hence the name of the cut originating there.

Most stones in the nineteenth century were cut in this shape, much like the round cut today. Many of the world’s most famous diamonds are an early version of the cushion cut including the Hope and the Regent Diamond. Partially based on cut research initiated by Marcel Tolkowsky in the 1920’s, refinements to cushion cut diamonds such as shrinking the culet, enlarging the table, and improving cut angles for increased brilliance, have led to a resurgence in popularity.

As diamond cutting technology, tools, and knowledge got better, so too did the quality and style of the resulting cuts. Out of these developments rose the modern cushion cut diamond that incorporates the old cushion cut patterns together with aspects of the round brilliant diamond cut to create a uniquely lovely gemstone.

Designing a Ring With a Cushion Cut Diamond

The cushion cut is considered a “fancy shape” diamond, and has gained a lot of popularity over recent years for good reason. It has a high level of brilliance and fire, meaning it reflects white and colored light well. It’s a popular cut, so you’ll likely find a large variety of stones available, and it’s less expensive per carat than brilliant round cut diamonds. Due to the rounded edges of the cut, it’s also a very durable option.

This cut can be done in a square or elongated (rectangular) shape and has three main styles of diamond faceting. 

  • Brilliant Cushion Cut Diamonds: in this cut the facets in the diamond’s pavilion originate in its center then extend outward toward the edge. These cuts have a distinct star-like appearance with an unmistakable sheen. They have larger facets than other cuts and look like a blend of a round-cut brilliant diamond with a cushion shape.
  • Crushed Iced Cushion Cut Diamonds: have a unique characteristic, their center looks like shattered glass. The facets on the bottom of the stone are smaller than the ones you’ll find on most cushion cut diamonds, and when arranged together, these facets bounce light off one another, giving crushed ice cushion cuts their special effect.
  • Modified Cushion Cut Diamonds: in this cut variation, the facets still originate in the pavilion, but they stop short of reaching the edge. Instead, a new row of facets appears at this outer edge, right below the girdle, resulting in a glittering flower shape, rather than a star shape like the brilliant cushion cut produces. 

Cushion cut diamonds truly look amazing in all types of settings. An exquisite cushion cut diamond is the star in a minimalistic, solitaire setting that makes it appear as though the diamond is simply floating in air. A cushion cut diamond can also be a surprising centerpiece to a modern take on a three-stone ring

You can be certain that whatever diamond you choose will have a unique and stunning appearance that you’ll be admiring for decades to come. Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment!  

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