Cushion Cut Diamonds – Your Many Options

Did you know that when it comes to selecting a cushion cut diamond, a consumer has many different options to choose from? Most people think that a cushion cut diamond is simply a pillow-shaped diamond with rounded edges. However, not all cushion cut diamonds are the same and most in fact are very different from each other. Unlike round brilliants that adhere to the same basic facet pattern and proportion sets, cushion cut diamonds come in many different styles and appearances. Here is a listing of the different cushion cut diamonds you can find out there and how they are different:

Antique Style Cushion Cut Diamonds

The cushion cut diamond has it’s origin in the Old Miner’s Cut, which were all hand cut diamonds with large culets, tall crowns, deep pavilions and wide facets. Cutting diamonds wasn’t an art prior to the 20th century so many diamonds were often non-symmetrical and a little wonky. Nevertheless Old Mine Cut diamonds certainly have their charm and are still highly coveted today in antique jewelry. As the Old Mine cut slowly migrated towards the round brilliant at the turn of the 20th century, many still preferred a diamond that was square or rectangle in appearance with rounded corners. Hence the cushion cut maintained it’s appeal as a distinct shape for many.

It is difficult to source a true antique cushion as these are rare and often found in estate sales or antique shops. However, the next best thing is to find a retailer or diamontaire that specializes in diamonds that have been cut to look like their antique predecessors but with the added advantage of today’s modern cutting precision.

Victor Canera Antique Cushion 

Victor Canera Antique Cushion

Canera Antique Cushion (CAC)

The CAC is a proprietary design inspired by Old Mine Brilliant diamonds of yesteryear and can be found exclusively at VictorCanera.com. The CAC is polished for Light Performance and Cut Precision while retaining the charm of antique diamonds. More more info, please visit: https://www.victorcanera.com/education/diamonds/canera-antique-cushion

Lab Report: AGS

Light Performance: Ideal

Polish: Ideal

Symmetry: Ideal

Shape: Square to slightly Pillow Shaped (1:1.10 ratio, varies)

Scintillation: Broad Flashes of Light

August Vintage® Cushion

AUGUST VINTAGE® CUSHION DIAMOND

August Vintage® Cushion

The August Vintage® Cushion diamonds are a patented diamond cut exclusive to Good Old Gold Inc. Owner Jonathan Weingarten reinvented the Old Mine Brilliant (OMB) or Old Miner’s Cut with modern optical technologies to create the world’s first patented Old Mine Brilliant cut with AGS Ideal Light Performance. For more info please visit: http://www.goodoldgold.com/augustvintagecushion

Lab Report: AGS

Light Performance: Ideal

Polish: Ideal

Shape: Pillow (1.10:1.15 ratio; varies)

Scintillation: Broad Flashes of Light

Modern Hearts and Arrows Cushion Cut Diamonds

Although many people equate cushion cut diamonds to the traditional pillow shape (one side slightly longer than the other), a modernized version has now become very popular. Cushions are now also found in a square shape with rounded corners. For those of you that are interested in how these modern day cushions look, here are a few that are available online and easy to evaluate with pictures and video:

Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamond

Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamond

Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamond

Brian Gavin is a 5th generation diamond cutter and is one of the most knowledgeable diamontaire’s in the world. His experience and knowledge of diamonds and the science of light reflection/refraction has appointed him as one of the leader’s in his field. As such, it is no surprise that he’s developed the first patent on his cushion cut diamond design and it shows! For more information on his unique and patented hearts and arrows super ideal cushion cut diamonds, please visit: http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamond/brian-gavins-cushion-hearts-and-arrows

Lab Report: AGS

Light Performance: Ideal

Polish: Ideal

Shape: Square (1.00:1.05 ratio)

Scintillation: similar to round brilliant; large flashes of light with additional splintered sparkle

Blue Nile Signature Cushion Cut Diamond

Blue Nile Signature Cushion Cut Diamond

Blue Nile Signature Cushion Cut Diamond

Blue Nile also offers their version of a patented H&A modern cushion cut diamond as well. These diamonds are graded by GIA and also come with a certificate of authenticity from GCAL (Gem Certification & Assurance Lab). The cushions in this collection have a wide cut quality range and therefore it is wise to evaluate each cushion independently and with scrutiny. For more information on Blue Nile’s Signature Cushion Cut Diamonds, please visit: http://www.bluenile.com/education/diamonds/signature-difference/cushion-cut

Lab Report: GIA

Light Performance: Not Available

Polish: Excellent to Very Good

Shape: Square (1.00:1.05 ratio)

Scintillation: similar to round brilliant; large flashes of light with additional splintered sparkle

A Word About Cut

All of the cushion cut diamonds mentioned above have been cut utilizing today’s modern computer programs to digitally analyze the rough crystalline structure in order to precisely outline the best overall dimensions and facet structure for a given diamond. The result of this modern day cutting is a more symmetrical diamond, greater direct white light reflection, evenly balanced contrast symmetry, and of course a visually larger face-up diamond. As everyone loves diamonds because of they way they sparkle, it’s always a good idea to educate yourself on the science of scintillation (aka sparkle) of diamonds to appreciate the time and effort that has gone into these modern day cushion cut diamonds.

Variations Of The Cushion Brilliant Cut 

To add to the somewhat complicated world of cushion cut diamond categorization, the GIA distinguishes between two different types of cushion cut diamonds; namely the Cushion Brilliant and the Cushion Modified Brilliant. In order for a diamond to be defined as a cushion brilliant, it must have similar facet patterning to a round brilliant diamond; particularly the pavilion facet patterning. The only way to confirm if a diamond falls within this category is to check the GIA report. Here again, a cushion brilliant can look vastly different from one another. Here are a few examples of what these cushions can look like visually:

Victor Canera – Cushion Brilliant

Victor Canera Cushion Brilliant

Victor Canera Cushion Brilliant – notice the 4 main pavilion facets on the right

Brian Gavin Diamonds – Cushion Brilliant

BGD Select Cushion Brilliant

BGD Select Cushion Brilliant – notice the 8 main pavilion facets on the right

You’ll notice in the above examples that the crown and pavilion facet patterns are very similar with the exception of the number of pavilion facets. Victor Canera’s cushion brilliant has four main pavilion facets and the Brian Gavin Select Cushion have eight main pavilion facets. In all cases, they have 16 lower girdle facets. Cushion Brilliant’s are relatively difficult to source in today’s market. However, the two above examples from Victor Canera and Brian Gavin are part of their normal diamond inventory making it easy to shop for this type of cushion cut diamond if that is what you prefer.

Variations Of The Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut 

The vast majority of cushion cut diamonds found today fall into the Cushion Modified Brilliant category. Diamonds with this designation have had facets added, removed, or modified in the pavilion of the stone; hence the name of ‘modified’. With so many different facet patterns available in this genre, there are many different looks a cushion cut diamond can have. Here are a few of the better known facet patterns:

Enchanted Diamonds – Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut

Enchanted Diamonds X Factor

Enchanted Diamonds X Factor – Cushion Modified Brilliant

Ritani – Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut

Ritani Modified Cushion Cut Diamond

Ritani Cushion Modified Brilliant

Ritani – Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut

Ritani Cushion Modified Brilliant

Ritani Cushion Modified Brilliant

Ritani – Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut

Ritani Cushion Modified Brilliant

Ritani Cushion Modified Brilliant

I’ve included a good mix of different pavilion facet patterns to illustrate the wide variance of Cushion Modified Brilliant facet arrangements. Once again, anytime any facets have been added, removed, or modified in the pavilion will deem the cushion a ‘modified brilliant’. In the examples above, the Enchanted Diamonds X Factor Cushion is a regularly stocked diamond with the same facet patterning, however not all diamonds show the same light performance, optical symmetry, or contrast patterning. The Ritani cushion modified brilliant’s can be found in Ritani’s cushion inventory but you’ll have to view each diamond independently as they currently do not stock any ‘one’ particular facet pattern.

How To Choose A Cushion Cut Style

As you have seen, cushion cut diamonds come in many different shapes and facet patterns which in turn offers a completely different kind of look and sparkle. There really is no ‘right’ choice when it comes to choosing a cushion cut diamond but here are some questions you can ask yourself as you continue your search:

Questions To Ask Yourself:

Do you prefer big bold flashes of light? – If so, you’ll love: Victor Canera’s Antique Cushions, Good Old Gold’s August Vintage® Cushion, and most cushions brilliants with four main pavilion facets

Do you prefer smaller more frequent flashes of light and sparkle? – If so, you’ll love: BGD’s Select Cushion Brilliant or the cushion brilliant facet pattern

Do you prefer the traditional pillow shape cushion cut? – If so, you’ll love: any length width ratio of 1.20 or more

Do you prefer cushion cut diamonds with warmer color grades (K, L, M, etc)? – If so, then you’ll love Good Old Gold’s August Vintage® Cushion

Do you prefer a good balance of big bold flashes with smaller splintered flashes of light? – If so, then you’ll love BGD’s H&A cushions

Do you prefer a modern cut with good light balance and distinct dark x for contrast? – If so, then you’ll love Enchanted Diamonds ‘X’ Factor cushions

Do you prefer a perfect square cushion with perfect light performance? If so, then you’ll love BGD’s H&A cushions

Which Cushion Cut Diamond Do You Prefer?

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Once you have chosen your preferred shape/style cushion cut diamond you can focus your attention to the particulars of cut, color and clarity. Be sure to read up on How to Buy Cushion Cut Diamonds as a next step. In the meantime, if you have any questions about searching for the right cushion cut diamond for you or a loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to help you choose your perfect cushion cut diamond!

Happy Diamond Buying!

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