What is a cushion cut diamond?

Cushion cut diamonds are a type of diamond cut that used to be known as “old mine cuts”. They are a combination of a square cut, with rounded corners just like a pillow, which explains how it got its name. This classic cut has been in existence for about two hundred years and for the first one hundred years it was the most popular diamond shape. The popularity of the cushion cut diamond continued until the early 20th century, before it was replaced by the round cut as the most popular choice.


Basically, the cushion, pillow or candlelight cut has gone through several changes and transformations and developments, since its invention in the 19th century. The cushion cut diamond has benefited immensely from the creation of cleaving as this process has helped the light dispersion from the shape making it more vibrant, dynamic and fascinating.


Several people believe that the cushion cut diamond is a more recent cut which is not the real situation. In fact, the cushion cut diamond is an older and classic cut that was widely used in the 19th century making it very popular but over time, and after many years it has gotten stiffer competition from more modern cuts and styles.


These days, cushion cut diamonds consist of a diamond halo which makes the cushion cut look very lovely and beautiful and leaves it well detailed and shining brightly all over. The cushion cut diamond is widely used in earrings, engagement rings and other forms of jewelry.



Based a bit on the research of Marcel Tolkowsky during the 1920’s changes made to custom cut diamonds over the years such as improving the cut angles for more brilliance, making the table larger and reducing the cutlet has led to a rise and increase in its popularity. Several buyers are attracted to the diamond because of its classic touch along with its modern style provided by the cushion cut.


The standards for cushion cuts are different from most other shapes. In general, they are less brilliant than round diamonds, but cushion cuts often have better fire which adds to its appeal. They are likely to have one of three basic pavilion facet patterns, of which the third pattern has one more row of facets on the pavilion. This is classified as the “modified” cushion cut by the GIA. These modified cuts often have needle-like or crushed-ice facets, which are more similar to a radiant cut than a traditional cut.




As stated earlier, a cushion cut diamond is a square or rectangular shape that has rounded corners resembling a pillow. The cushion cut diamond consists of 58 facets with a normal ratio of 1.10 or more for rectangular shapes and about 1.00 to 1.05 for square shapes.


Procedures, methods and cutting styles have changed over the years leading to the development of several variations like the custom modified brilliant which could have one more row of facets on the pavilion which could alter the look of the diamond.


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