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What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?

by Willyou.net * May 11, 2021

A Cushion cut diamond combines a square cut with rounded edges, giving it a pillow-like look to it, attributing to its name. The Cushion cut is one of the most varied styles, available with a range of between 58 and 64 facets, at a ratio of 1.00 to 1.05 for square shapes and 1.10 or greater for rectangular ones. Cushion cuts have large facets that allow for a greater separation of white light into a spectrum of colors. You might also see a Cushion cut referred to a number of modified cuts with names such as: chunky cushions, broken glass, crushed ice, pillow cut, old miners, square cushions and rectangular cushions.  

cushion cut diamond

Cushion Background

The Cushion cut diamond has a very long history, dating back 200 years. For the first century of its existence, it was the ‘go-to’ diamond cut for jewelry designers. Refinements to the original cut over time have led to a renewal in popularity with the Modern Cushion cut.  

The famous Hope Diamond and the Yellow Tiffany Diamond are both examples of Cushion shaped diamonds, and celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Ivanka Trump and Jessica Biel are all sporting a Cushion diamond as their engagement ring. 

Choosing a Cushion Cut Diamond

The Cushion cut varies more than other shapes, so personal choice will play a big part in choosing a particular cushion diamond. Cushion cuts usually have better fire – the gorgeous sparkle that occurs when it catches the light – than cuts like a round one. This is the special appeal of this particular cut. They also retain a diamond’s color quite well, making it a popular choice with colored engagement rings. And it looks fantastic in most all settings, allowing for personal style to play a large role. 

Modern cuts have one of three pavilion patterns to choose from, as you can see below: 

three pavilion patterns
Three Pavilion Patterns – Modified, Modified Lightly, Brilliant

The following cut, color and clarity guides should be taken into consideration when choosing a Cushion cut diamond: 

Square Cushion Cut Diamond

Cushion Cut Diamond Cut Guide

The cut attributes of a diamond contribute to its sparkle, brilliance, and bling. Most knowledgeable buyers would choose attributes from the Excellent – Very Good columns.

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
Table %60 – 65.958 – 59.9
or
66 – 69.9
56 – 57.9
or
70 – 71.9
54 – 55.9 or
72 – 73.9
<53.9
or
>74
Depth %63 – 67.958 – 62.9
or
68 – 69.9
56 – 57.9 or
70 – 70.9
54 – 55.9 or
71 – 73.9
<53.9
or
74
GirdleVery Thin
to Slightly Thick
Very Thin
or
Thick
Very Thin
or
Very Thick
Extremely Thin
or
Extremely
Thick
CuletNoneVery SmallSmallMedium>Medium

Cushion Cut Diamond Length-to-Width Guide

A classic Cushion cut has a length-to-width ratio of 1.00.

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
Square1.00 – 1.0291.03 – 1.051.06 – 1.08 >1.08

Cushion Cut Diamond Symmetry, Polish, Cut and Fluorescence Guide

Our experience suggests that Cut, Symmetry, Polish, and Fluorescence contributes to a diamond’s brilliance so that most buyers will choose Excellent – Very Good and Fluorescence None – Faint.

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
CutExcellentVery GoodGoodFair – Poor
PolishExcellentVery GoodGoodFair – Poor
SymmetryExcellentVery GoodGoodFair – Poor
Fluorescence NoneFaintMediumStrong –
Very Strong

Cushion Cut Diamond Color Guide

Most buyers prefer size over color hue and will buy a diamond of G color.

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
< 0.50 ct.D – GH – IJ – KL – M > N
0.51 – 1.00 ct.D – F G – HI – JK> L
1.00 – 2.00 ct.D – FG – HI – JK> J
>2.00 ct.D – FG – HI – JK> J

Cushion Cut Diamond Clarity Guide

Most buyers prefer size over clarity cleanse and will buy a diamond of SI1 Clarity.

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
< 0.50 ct.FL – VS2SI1 – SI2I1 – I2> I2
0.51 – 1.00 ct.FL – VS1SI1 – SI2I1I2 > I2
1.00 – 2.00 ct.FL – VS2SI1 SI2I1> I1
>2.00 ct.FL – VS2SI1SI2I1> I1

Rectangular Cushion Cut Diamond

Cushion Cut Diamond Cut Guide

The cut attributes of a diamond contribute to its sparkle, brilliance, and bling. Most knowledgeable buyers would choose attributes from the Excellent – Very Good columns.

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
Table %60 – 65.958 – 59.9
or
66 – 69.9
56 – 57.9
or
70 – 71.9
54 – 55.9 or
72 – 73.9
<53.9
or
>74
Depth %63 – 67.958 – 62.9
or
68 – 69.9
56 – 57.9 or
70 – 70.9
54 – 55.9 or
71 – 73.9
<53.9
or
74
GirdleVery Thin
to Slightly Thick
Very Thin
or
Thick
Very Thin
or
Very Thick
Extremely Thin
or
Extremely
Thick
CuletNoneVery SmallSmallMedium>Medium

Cushion Cut Diamond Length-to-Width Guide

A classic Cushion cut has a length-to-width ratio between 1.15 – 1.20. 

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
Rectangular1.15 – 1.201.10 – 1.14
or
1.21 – 1.30
1.08 – 1.09
or
1.31 – 1.50
<1.08
or
1.50>

Cushion Cut Diamond Symmetry, Polish, Cut and Fluorescence Guide

Our experience suggests that Cut, Symmetry, Polish, and Fluorescence contributes to a diamond’s brilliance so that most buyers will choose Excellent – Very Good and Fluorescence None – Faint.

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
CutExcellentVery GoodGoodFair – Poor
PolishExcellentVery GoodGoodFair – Poor
SymmetryExcellentVery GoodGoodFair – Poor
Fluorescence NoneFaintMediumStrong –
Very Strong

Cushion Cut Diamond Color Guide

Most buyers prefer size over color hue and will buy a diamond of G color.

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
< 0.50 ct.D – GH – IJ – KL – M > N
0.51 – 1.00 ct.D – F G – HI – JK> L
1.00 – 2.00 ct.D – FG – HI – JK> J
>2.00 ct.D – FG – HI – JK> J

Cushion Cut Diamond Clarity Guide

Most buyers prefer size over clarity cleanse and will buy a diamond of SI1 Clarity.

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
< 0.50 ct.FL – VS2SI1 – SI2I1 – I2> I2
0.51 – 1.00 ct.FL – VS1SI1 – SI2I1I2 > I2
1.00 – 2.00 ct.FL – VS2SI1 SI2I1> I1
>2.00 ct.FL – VS2SI1SI2I1> I1

Cushion Cut Diamonds Pros and Cons

There are both pros and cons for a cushion-cut diamond. Cushion have a timeless and classic appeal that make them a desired cut. A cushion diamond also has the most fire, with flashes of light coming from it. A con of the cushion is the smaller face size than most shapes, due to the deeper cuts. 

Hand-Selected Cushion Cut Diamonds

View More Cushion Cut Diamonds here