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Guide to Cushion Cut Engagement Rings

cushion cut diamond, cushion cut engagement ring
10/25/2021
Guide to Cushion Cut Engagement Rings

Classic, compelling and beautifully unique, cushion-cut diamonds are the modern evolution of one of the earliest-known diamond cuts. Blending the old and new, cushion-cut diamond engagement rings bring the best of both worlds, due to their vintage appeal, unmistakable shape and highly brilliant faceting. Here’s what you should know about this storied diamond cut, along with some tips for deciding whether it’s right for your engagement ring.

Informed by the Past

Today’s cushion cut owes its famous faceting design to an older cut dating back to the 1700s. Known as the old mine cut, this diamond cut originated in Brazil where the majority of the world’s diamond mining took place after India’s mines began to dry up. Brazilian stonecutters favored the old mine cut because it maximized carat retention. After diamonds were found in South Africa, people began to refer to Brazil mines as the “old mines,” which is how the famous old mine cut got its name.

Essentially, the old mine cut was a square cut with 58 facets and rounded corners. The cut attained such widespread popularity, most diamonds in the 19th century were cut into this shape. The cut’s incredible popularity is why many of the planet’s most famous diamonds are early versions of the modern cushion cut, including the Regent Diamond, weighing 140.5 carats and Hope Diamond, weighing just over 45 carats.

Today’s cushion cut was inspired by the old mine cut, along with some lesser-known cuts including the Peruzzi, table and candlelight cuts. As gem cutting tools, technology and knowledge advanced, so too did the style and quality of diamond cuts. One such development was the modern cushion cut which blends the old cushion cut patterns with characteristics of the round brilliant diamond to make a uniquely beautiful gemstone.

cushion cut engagement ring by john atencio

Key Characteristics

Cushion-cut diamonds are named for their square shape, which includes rounded corners that resemble a cushion when viewed from above. Unlike most other diamond shapes with standardized faceting, cushion cuts can have slightly more variety. While they can be faceted in numerous ways, they will generally fall into two categories: standard and modified. Standard cushion cuts will have a classic, fiery look, while modified cuts will have extra rows of faceting.

Ultimately, many brides prefer cushion cuts because they reflect colored and white light quite well, resulting in impressive brilliance and fire. They also have unique shapes for more personalized rings, while also combining classic fashion with contemporary flair. Cushion-cuts also offer good durability due to their rounded edges.

Less expensive per carat than round-cut diamonds, cushion cuts do have an open table which can make subtle inclusions more noticeable. They can also retain more color, which can motivate many buyers to pay extra for premium diamonds at the higher end of the color scale.

Choosing a Cushion-Cut Diamond

The standards for cushion-cut diamonds vary more than many other shapes, and taste typically dictates choice. While usually less brilliant than a round brilliant diamond, a cushion-cut diamond will often have superior fire, which is a major reason for their appeal.

Today’s cushion-cut diamonds tend to have one of three standard pavilion facet patterns. One such pattern is technically classified as a "modified" cushion cut because it includes an additional row of facets on the pavilion. These modified cuts can provide a sort of "crushed ice" facet pattern that’s less like a traditional cushion cut and more like a radiant cut.

As with any diamond, the all-important 4Cs play a big role in helping you determine quality. With cushion cut diamonds, you will want to think carefully about your diamond’s table percentage, depth percentage and color. Ultimately, it helps to get expert advice from the attentive, knowledgeable jewelry experts at John Atencio, who can help you choose the perfect diamond for your one-of-a-kind love story.

The Perfect Ring Is Waiting

A skilled diamond cutter uses masterful workmanship and practiced artistry to shape a diamond so it delivers stunning visual effects. That said, an engagement ring’s aesthetic beauty depends just as much on its setting and design. At John Atencio, our gorgeous rings are exquisitely crafted to be personalized expressions of wearable art. It begins with a thoughtfully conceived design and culminates with a stunning jewelry piece that sets the ring and diamond in a harmonious union that reflects the taste and style of your bride-to-be.

Let our skilled experts help you choose the perfect engagement ring for your love story. Use our helpful natural diamond search or lab grown diamond search and then schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.