Cushion Cut Diamonds (Ultimate Guide)

Cushion Cut Diamonds (Ultimate Guide)

Are you searching for a comprehensive guide to help you find the best cushion cut diamonds?

Congratulations! This is the place to be.

This guide will take you through:

  • What exactly is a cushion-cut diamond?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of cushion cut diamond
  • Comparison between cushion cut and other diamond cuts
  • The best place to buy cushion cut diamonds
  • And a lot more!

A cushion cut diamond is the best jewelry piece if your budget is limited but you still want to adorn something beautiful.

Diamonds that are cushion cut are stable both in modern times and in diamond history on top of it looking appealing. These are the widely known diamond cuts for jewelry enthusiasts who like that antique or vintage style.

A large part of a cushion cut stone is its beauty, but you also need to closely look at the length to width ratio. This information can easily be found on the diamond’s grading report.

When shopping for diamonds, it is important not to forget that only diamonds with certificates from GIA or AGS are trustworthy. Also, look out for diamonds that have excellent or very good cut grades and also high color grades.

The truth is a cushion cut diamond can make a gorgeous centerpiece for an engagement ring. However, you need to know exactly what you are looking for. We are here to help you with that.

Let’s start, shall we?

What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?

Although cushion cuts have been in the jewelry industry for a long time, they have recently gained popularity among people shopping for bridal jewelry.

In the past, they were known as old mine cut but were renamed to cushion cut because of the round edges that make it look like a pillow.

The name “old mine cut” was gotten from the mines in Brazil in the 19th century. They were referred to as old because diamond deposits were discovered in South Africa and as such the ones in Brazil became old.

While bearing the name old mine cut, this diamond-cut had 25 facets in the pavilion and 33 facets in the crown. Today’s cushion-cut has 64 facets.


Pros and Cons of Cushion Cut Diamonds

There are several reasons for picking a cushion cut diamond as the best for your engagement ring. On the other hand, there are also a variety of reasons it is not exactly what you need.


  • Cheaper than other diamond cuts despite being common
  • More secure with round edges
  • Can be set in several styles
  • You can choose between chunky and crushed ice
  • Also, choose between modern and old mine


  • There are no definitive guidelines for choosing the perfect cut
  • Requires high color grades
  • Looks better in bigger carat weights

Choosing a Cushion Cut Diamond

The ideal way to know which among the diamonds presented to you high quality is is by using the 4Cs: clarity, color, carat, and cut.


Cushion cut diamonds come in two kinds: vintage and modern cushion cuts. Antique or vintage look like the old mine cuts while the modern cushion cut will be referred to as modified cushion.

Since these cuts are purely aesthetic, the diamond can be cut either properly or poorly. The modified cushion normally has an additional row of facets below the diamond girdle.

Two different kinds of facet patterns are used in the cushion cut: chunky and crushed ice. A chunky facet pattern gives off light flashes from the bigger facets found at the back.

Crushed ice facet patterns resemble ice that is crushed or even glass particles. This faceting pattern makes the diamond shine and not flash.

Crushed Ice Cushion
Chunky Cushion

Several other factors like the length to width ratio affect the diamond too. If you like square cushion diamonds the length to width ratio should fall between 1 and 1.05. If you prefer a triangle shape, keep the length to width ratio anywhere between 1.15 and 1.2. Any L/W beyond that will make the diamond look weird.


Cushion cut diamonds are aesthetically appealing, for this reason; a diamond that has visible inclusions will make it look less appealing. To retain the beautiful appearance, you should pick diamonds that have a good clarity grade.

The least acceptable clarity grade for cushion cuts is SI2. A slightly included diamond can easily show the blemishes but if you pick a brilliant cut, you may hide any inclusions on the surface and also save some cash.

If you are going with a diamond that has inclusions, it would be better to inspect where the inclusions are specifically located. The blemishes on the edges of the diamond next to the girdle or those located near the place that the prong would be set are the best options.

Going up the clarity scale, a VS2 is a good choice. Although you may see some specks of inclusions, they will not be noticed easily. Clarities greater than that like VVS2 will only dent your wallet more but with no difference in appearance.

RECOMMENDED: Choose the Right Diamond Clarity Grade


Cushion cut diamonds are known to reveal as much color of the diamond as possible, so it is good that you get high color grades. Generally, it’s good to consider cut, then clarity.

Since you have settled for a cushion cut, an excellent cut with a good color grade should give you a beautiful ring. Nothing lower than color grade H should be considered for cushion cut diamond rings.

However, H color may be very expensive for some people; if that is the case on your side color I and J would also look good. If these still do not look attractive to you, you can choose to put a J color diamond in a yellow gold setting. This makes the less white diamond ring look whiter in contrast.

RECOMMENDED: Diamond Color Meaning


When looking at carat weight for a cushion cut diamond engagement ring, there is no preferred measure, it all depends on what you want as an individual. Cushion cuts look small compared to other cuts. If you like large diamond rings, you may want to consider going for higher carat weights.

However, keep in mind that where the carat weight is large, the inclusions also become more visible.

Cushion-Cut vs Other Diamond Cuts

Cushion cuts have always been known to have characteristics from round cut and princess cut. But can a cushion cut really pick the best of both cuts? Are princess and round cut cuts better than cushion? Let’s look at how the cushion compares to both the round and princess cuts.

Cushion vs Round Cut Diamond

cushion cut
round cut

The following is a detailed comparison between a cushion cut and a round brilliant cut diamond to help you decide which is better for you.

Which has more sparkle?

Talking of brilliance, the round cut diamond takes the crown. Brilliance is also referred to as a light return. On the other hand, a cushion cut diamond has more fire than round cut diamonds.

In diamonds, fire is also known as dispersion and it refers to how light disperses in a diamond to create a rainbow-like spectrum when the diamond sparkles.

Which is more expensive?

A round cut diamond is the most costly kind of cut in the jewelry industry. These cuts are the most expensive since diamond cutters have to remove most of the rough material to attain the shape. They are also the commonest diamond cuts.

Cutting a round diamond into its desired shape also takes a lot of effort. When you choose to buy a cushion cut over a round cut diamond, you will save 20%.

Cushion Cut vs Princess Cut Diamonds

cushion cut
princess cut

Which cut lasts longer?

Just like any other diamond that has sharp edges, a princess cut diamond is susceptible to chipping and breaking, especially if not protected in a setting.

The cushion-cut has round edges which offer more protection; this makes it last longer in a solitaire setting.

Which is more practical?

Both the cushion cut and princess cut diamonds can be set low or high. If you decide to go with a cathedral ring setting for a princess cut, it will snag more than if you pick a cushion cut.

Which is more expensive?

While the princess cut diamond is cheaper than a round brilliant cut, it is still more expensive than a cushion cut. Out of all the fancy shaped diamonds, square shapes are the most expensive.

Best Place to Buy Cushion Cut Diamonds

The best jewelry store to purchase a cushion cut diamond engagement ring is no other place than James Allen. This online-only diamond store has an extensive collection of loose diamonds, both chunky and crushed ice cushions. They also have their own special collection called True Hearts which feature ideal cut cushions.

James Allen has highly qualified gemologists on standby to help you select the best cushion cut diamond depending on your taste and budget. The customer care service is accessible 24/7 and is ready to answer all your questions.

If you choose a low clarity grade diamond, there is the 360 view technology at James Allen that enables you see the inclusions in the diamond from different angles.

Once you pick the loose cushion diamond of your choice, you get an opportunity to see it set in different ring styles in the store and also switch between rose gold and white gold metals.

When you buy from James Allen, you are sure of getting the exact diamond you saw online while at the same time saving more bucks than if you would have bought the diamond engagement ring in-store.

Best Settings for Cushion Cut Diamonds

A cushion cut loose diamond can sit well in almost any ring setting, although some look more attractive than others.

Most cushion cuts are seen in the center of a halo setting with pave diamonds. Most of them get paired with prong-set round diamonds and not channel set princess cut stones on the side. However, those are hard to find. Here is a short list of some of the best settings for cushion cut diamond engagement rings:

  1. Infinity Twist Micropavé Diamond Engagement Ring
  2. 14K White Gold Etched Profile Solitaire Engagement Ring
  3. Petite Micropavé Diamond Engagement Ring
  4. 14K Yellow Gold Tear Drops Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
  5. 14K White Gold Round and Marquise Shape Diamond Engagement Ring

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