The cushion cut diamond is classic, unique, and gorgeous. This diamond shape is a modern evolution of one of the world’s earliest diamond cuts: the old mine cut. This blend of old and new gives the cushion cut diamond the best of both worlds. It’s at once vintage, due to its unmistakable shape, and modern, thanks to its highly brilliant faceting.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the cushion cut diamond. We’ll cover this cut’s rich history, detail the anatomy of the cut, teach you everything you need to know about selecting a cushion cut diamond, and talk about which setting is best for cushion cut diamond.
The History of the Cushion Cut Diamond
Before we had the cushion cut diamond, there was its predecessor: the old mine cut. The old mine cut dates all the way back to the 1700s. This cut featured 58 facets that were measured by eye and cut by hand, resulting in a squarish shape with rounded edges.
The old mine cut was the most popular diamond shape in the Georgian era (1714 to 1837) and the Victorian Era (1837 to 1901), so you’ll find that many antique diamonds feature the old mine cut. In these eras, the old mine cut was popular because it was brilliant in all types of lighting, including the dim candlelight that most people lit their homes with in the evenings.
The cushion cut diamond is similar in shape to the old mine cut diamond but the way the shape is cut has been changed to maximize brilliance. Some notable differences between the cushion cut and the old mine cut include the cushion cut’s shallower pavilion, lower crown, larger table facet, and its lack of culet.
The Anatomy of the Cushion Cut Diamond
Cushion cut diamonds get their name from their shape. When viewed from above, this diamond shape looks like a square with rounded corners, just like a cushion.
Unlike other diamond shapes that have standardized faceting patterns, the cushion cut can have a bit more variety. Though there are numerous ways a cushion cut diamond might be faceted, these cuts will fall into one of two different categories: standard cushion cuts and modified cushion cuts. Standard cushion cuts have the classic, fiery cushion cut look, while modified cushion cuts have extra rows of facets that give them what’s known as the “crushed ice” look.
How to Select a Cushion Cut Diamond
When you purchase any diamond, it’s important to understand the 4Cs. Then, on top of having a basic understanding of how the 4Cs affect a diamond’s beauty, each diamond shape has its own special considerations. For cushion cut diamonds, you’ll want to think carefully about your diamond’s color, depth percentage, and table percentage.
When selecting a cushion cut diamond, know that cushion cut diamonds are notorious for holding color more strongly than other diamond shapes. Because of this, many experts suggest going with an H color cushion cut diamond or above.
In addition to color, you’ll want to take time to consider the depth and table of a cushion cut diamond. Generally, you’ll want a depth under 70% and a table under 70% for the most brilliant cushion cut diamond.
Of course, along with assessing a cushion cut diamond’s color, depth percentage, and table percentage, you’ll also want to think carefully about its clarity and cut. Cut is always extremely important for any diamond shape. Cut is the single most important grading for any diamond, as a poorly cut diamond will look dim and a well cut diamond will sparkle beautifully. Then, the clarity of a cushion cut diamond is more a matter of personal preference. If you’re concerned about seeing internal flaws through the large table of a cushion cut diamond, you may want to spend some extra time searching for an eye clean cushion cut diamond.
Choosing a Setting For Your Cushion Cut Diamond
Now that you know everything you need to know about buying a cushion cut diamond, let’s talk settings. So which settings are best for a cushion cut diamond? Really, all settings can be a beautiful choice for a cushion cut diamond. Cushion cut diamonds look lovely in solitaire, bezel, and halo settings.
However, in terms of which setting is the most popular for a cushion cut diamond diamond, we have a clear winner: the halo setting. Halo settings are the perfect complement for a cushion cut diamond. Just like the cushion cut, halo setting are vintage, yet modern. Together, a cushion cut diamond and a halo setting create a romantic and vintage, yet still brilliant and contemporary, look.
Although the Eleganza Halo Engagement Ring pictured above has a round cut diamond, the halo is in the shape of a cushion cut, which would pair beautifully with a cushion cut diamond.