Cushion Cut Diamond Buying Guide

A cushion cut diamond is a fantastic choice that has gained in popularity the last decade. They are especially popular for halo settings, like this stunner from Blue Nile or this one from James Allen.

What to Look for

Focus on H+ color grades for a cushion cut diamond. This will ensure the diamond looks clear.

With their lager table, it is easier to see inclusions. Make sure to the diamond is eye-clean in the picture/video.

Look for cushion cuts with a depth and table under 70%.

What to Avoid

Cushion cuts tend to trap color, so IJK diamonds will appear more yellow compared to round diamonds

Don't focus on clarity grades too much. Once a diamond is eye-clean, it doesn't matter what the grade is.

Avoid cushion cuts that are not certified by GIA or AGS.

WHAT IS A CUSHION CUT DIAMOND?

A cushion cut diamond is a combination of a more modern and round brilliant cut pattern diamond with a classic, old mine facet pattern diamond cut. This type of diamond typically has a soft square or even rectangular shape, all with curved edges.

Simply put, a cushion cut diamond combines a square cut with rounded corners, giving it an appearance similar to a pillow. This is where the “cushion cut” name comes from.

Here’s an example of a stunning cushion cut from Blue Nile’s Astor Cut line. Cushion cut diamonds are often purchased for engagement rings. They’re also commonly used in some fashion pieces.

The price of a cushion cut diamond is typically significantly less than the cost of a round brilliant diamond. However, due to increasing popularity of cushion cut diamond rings, these prices may vary and rise significantly.

Key Features of a Cushion Cut Diamond

Here are some of the distinctive features that you’ll notice from a cushion cut diamond.

  • Square or rectangular shape
  • Rounded edges
  • Brilliant cut style (similar to Round Brilliant and Princess Cut diamonds)
  • Vintage, antique look and feel
  • Numerous style choices (square vs. rectangular, standard vs. modified, “chunky” vs. “crushed ice”)

HOW TO CHOOSE A CUSHION CUT DIAMOND

Looking for a cushion cut? Below, I’ve covered the key factors to look for when buying or comparing cushion cut diamonds, from color to clarity.

Cushion Diamond Color

Cushions and radiants are the two most common diamond shapes in the fancy color diamond market. These shapes are on the opposite end of the spectrum from rounds, which are the best at masking their color.

Cushion Diamond Clarity

Additionally, if you’re looking to buy a marquise or pear shape diamond, it’s always best if the inclusions are in the corners as they’ll be very heavily masked by the crushed-ice that’s typically found in the corners of these shapes.

Ringo™ Approved Eye Clean Diamonds

We recently developed Ringo, which is a patented artificial intelligence model to help consumers pick out the right eye-clean diamond for their ring. Ringo uses videos of diamonds to determine whether or not they are eye-clean

Cushion Diamond Cut Parameters

As with the other soft-sided fancy shapes, there aren’t any real hard and fast rules when it comes to the stone’s parameters.  Nothing on a certificate will tell you whether or not the stone is an “antique” style cushion or a “crushed-ice” style cushion.

Choosing Girdles

People will also tell you to avoid “extremely thick” girdles, but on cushions, this is much less of an issue. Cushion cut girdles are almost always chunky, so there isn’t much you can do about it.

Cushion Diamond Color

H diamond color is a good value option. It’s also one of the more popular choices thanks to its balance in price when compared to the natural diamond color. You’ll notice a significant price jump between each color grade, with H falling somewhere in the middle.