by Suzanne Sachs • 5 min read
THE BASICS --
The cushion cut diamond is an elegant, luxurious option for any diamond ring, from a unique engagement ring to a stylish wedding ring, three-stone ring, or anniversary piece, as well as other types of diamond jewelry. But what makes this diamond shape stand out? This definitive guide to the cushion cut diamond will help you better understand and appreciate this beautiful diamond style.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW--
In this guide, we will explain the following:
- What is a cushion cut diamond?
- Cushion cut ratio
- Cushion cut faceting
- Cushion cut history
- Era popularity
- Famous cushion cut diamonds
- Choosing a cushion cut diamond ring
What Is a Cushion Cut Diamond?
The cushion cut, also called the pillow cut, candlelight cut is a squarish or slightly elongated diamond shape, with gently rounded corners and slightly rounded sides. This gives the stone a soft shape similar to a pillow or cushion, hence its familiar name, yet at the same time improves the stone’s durability and helps protect it from accidental damage. The shape also maximizes the carat weight of the stone and evokes a romantic, gentle essence perfect for a symbol of love such as a diamond engagement ring.
• Cushion Cut Ratio
The typical ratio for cushion cut diamond dimensions is very close to 1:1 to give the stone a square shape, but more elongated shapes are a matter of preference and can be equally lovely. Some stones are also cut with a higher crown, adding more depth to the stone, especially if the rough stone is naturally larger.
• Cushion Cut Faceting
Cushion cut diamonds have either 58 or 64 facets depending on their overall cut, with lower facets providing a more “traditional” look while higher numbers of facets create a “crushed ice” pattern within the stone, trapping light and enhancing overall brilliance. With stones that have larger facets, cushion cut diamonds can disperse the light into a stunning rainbow effect, and the extra light can conceal imperfections, making the stone even more beautiful.
Cushion Cut History
The cushion cut diamond shape first originated from Brazilian diamond mines and cutters in the 1700s and quickly became the most popular diamond shape for different types of jewelry, a position it would keep until the emergence of the round brilliant diamond in the early 1900s. Shortly after the cut was perfected in South America, it was also engineered in India, and thus true cushion cuts from the original source are often called “old mine” cuts in reference to being designed in the “old mines” of Brazil. The oldest antique cushion cuts typically have fewer facets and a larger culet, showing more space inside the stone.
• Era Popularity
The cushion cut was very popular in the Edwardian and Victorian jewelry eras, when it was often called the “candlelight cut” because of how beautifully it reflected candlelight into greater brilliance – before electric lighting was widespread. Cushion cut diamonds and other gemstones are often featured in antique and vintage jewelry, bringing even more charm and elegance to these treasured pieces. While most popular in Edwardian and Victorian designs, cushion cut diamonds are also found in Art Deco styles, giving buyers plenty of gorgeous jewelry eras in which to find these pillow-shaped diamonds and gemstones. This allows anyone interested in a cushion cut to find a ring suitable to their own personal flair and fashion sense, bringing their unique personalities into the jewelry they love.
Famous Cushion Cut Diamonds
The cushion cut has been so popular that it has been featured in a range of famous jewelry pieces and favored by royalty and celebrities. The famous richly blue and supposedly cursed Hope Diamond is a cushion cut, and the Regent Diamond, a beautiful colorless stone, is part of the French crown jewels. The Tiffany Yellow Diamond, made famous by celebrity appearances with Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce, is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever found, and is spectacular as a cushion cut.
Many notable personalities have favored cushion cuts, and this diamond shape has been worn by Naya Rivera, Ashley Tisdale, Misty Copeland, Kim Kardashian, Gabrielle Union, Chrissy Teigan, Meghan Markle, and many other stylish women.
With so many spotlights on the cushion cut, it is no surprise that this diamond shape is versatile in a range of jewelry pieces and styles. Cushion cut diamond rings often favor solitaire, halo, or side accent settings, though the cut is also lovely in three-stone rings or other styles as well. Prong settings are often preferred to let the maximum amount of light into the stone, though the only setting that doesn’t do justice to the cushion cut is a thick bezel, which may obscure the stone’s unique, subtle curves. While cushion cuts are most often seen in rings where their gorgeous shape can be an eye-catching focal point, they are also lovely in pendants, earrings, and other jewelry pieces.
Choosing a Cushion Cut Diamond Ring
Cushion cut diamonds generally cost less than round brilliant diamonds of similar size and quality, making them a great choice for the budget-conscious diamond buyer, whether it is for an engagement ring, a pair of beautiful studs, or a cushion-cut pendant. Vintage and antique diamond rings can be an especially good buy for cushion cut diamonds, and bring even more style to these coveted pieces.
When shopping for a cushion cut diamond, it is important to have the stone thoroughly inspected by an experienced gemologist. They can verify the condition of the stone as well as offer advice on its best care, most suitable settings, and overall value. If choosing an antique or vintage piece, it is critical to work with a jeweler experienced with different jewelry eras to be sure a piece is authentic and of good quality.
Cushion Cut Diamond Rings For Everyone:
No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.
Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:
Vintage rings are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of cushion cut diamond rings today!