Cushion Cut diamonds have been around for nearly 200 years. These diamonds have rounded corners, which creates a pillow-shape – hence the name “cushion” cut. They come as either a rectangle or square, and the facet size varies from small to large. How nicely a cushion cut diamond is cut will dramatically affect its brilliance.  

Since Tolkosky’s research in the 1920’s, refinements have been made to the cushion cut over time. This includes shrinking the culet, enlarging the table and improving cut angles. Today it is considered the third most popular cut after round brilliant and oval cuts.

Examples of Cushion Cut Diamond

custom made cushion cut diamond ring
Cushion Cut Diamond ring
custom made Cushion Cut Diamond engagement ring
Cushion Cut Diamond

3 Important Tips When Choosing A Cushion Cut Diamond

Hi, I’m Vanessa Nicole – master diamond setter and author of bestselling book, The Perfect Custom Engagement Ring. I create MANY cushion cut rings, and one of my specialties is choosing the most brilliant looking cushion cut diamond within a client’s budget. Every cushion shape & faceting structure is unique – That’s one of the best parts of choosing a cushion cut diamond! Your future wife is one-of-a-kind, so her engagement ring should also be one-of-a-kind. Below are 3 important tips you must know when choosing a Cushion Cut Diamond for Your Perfect Custom Engagement Ring.

Tip 1: The Grade Report Doesn’t Grade “Most Beautiful”

Diamond reports are only ONE component of a diamond. Unfortunately for you, reports don’t offer a “Most Beautiful” grade. And unlike Round diamonds, cushion diamonds don’t even have an official “cut grade” since the shape and facets style of a cushion cut are so subjective.

The reason is that some people prefer the large chunky facets, others like the smaller crushed ice facets. When it comes to a Round shape, it’s easier to be a bit more scientific on what’s considered “most brilliant,” but not with Cushions. That’s one of the reasons they’re so interesting – when you find a gorgeous one, it’s really special!


Table ratio (width of table facet divided by diamond width) and total depth ratio (depth divided by diamond width) for a good cushion cut diamond is generally around 56 percent and above.

In terms of the culet (the small point at the bottom of a diamond’s pavilion), it should be nonexistent to small. You should also avoid diamonds that have extremely thin or extremely thick girdles. This is because an extremely thin girdle is more susceptible to chipping, and a thicker girdle will add weight (and cost) to a diamond. It’s also worth mentioning that the large facets of the cushion cut make inclusions and blemishes more visible than with other cuts. Keep this in mind when making your selection.

This particular diamond shape really isn’t one you should buy online from a large database. You need to see it in person or on video before purchasing it. That’s why it’s important to work 1-on-1 with a jeweler whom you trust to make a selection for you based on the brilliance and beauty of each individual diamond.

Two diamonds graded by the same laboratory with similar carat weight & specs rarely look the same. Grading Labs such a GIA make no comment on brilliance or value, yet these are two important considerations when purchasing in a diamond. This is exactly why you can’t choose a Cushion cut diamond based on the grade report alone.

When purchasing from a large Diamond List online, you don’t buy a diamond, you buy a grade report – The diamond just happens to be mailed along with the report. Those companies are simply middlemen and do not have possession of those diamonds on the list.

In fact, customer service reps with large online diamond lists will never even see the diamond you purchase (sight unseen) before you receive it. Would you marry someone based solely upon their height, weight, or hair and eye color? Of course not. It doesn’t give you a complete overall view of what to expect.

Cushion Cut Engagement Rings

Tip 2: Choose Your Favorite Cushion Cut Shape & Design

Square vs. Rectangular Cushion Cut Diamond

Square vs. Rectangular Cushion Cut Diamond

A square cushion generally has a length-to-width ratio of 1.00. However, the most popular shape is a  rectangle with a length-to-width ratio between 1.1 and 1.2. 

Either shape of a cushion cut works well for engagement ring designs – simply choose the ratio you prefer best.

Below are a couple of video examples of both the square and rectangular shapes:

SQUARE Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

RECTANGULAR Double Halo Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring


If you’re looking for settings that are timeless and elegant, you may want to go with a classic solitaire setting (a plain ring with a single diamond):

Custom Made Cushion Cut Diamond Solitaire  

If you prefer more sparkly ring setting, you may prefer a pavé solitaire setting

with small diamonds set in a row close together in the band:

Another option is a halo setting (smaller diamonds that encircle the center stone):

Custom Made Cushion Cut Diamond Halo Ring  

Vanessa Nicole specializes in what's called a "Seamless Halo", which maximizes the sparkle on a halo setting. Here is more information on the special feature of a Seamless Halo design.

Tip 3: SI vs. VS Clarity Grades

One thing I would suggest is that you consider SI clarity diamonds in addition to VS clarity. I wouldn’t suggest this if you were picking a stone blindly off an internet list based solely on the certificate, but if someone is personally choosing a selection of diamonds for you (like here at Vanessa Nicole) we would select only the very best SI options. Inclusions come in a variety of shapes and colors and if we’re able to find one where the inclusion is white, or can be hidden by a prong, or it’s barely perceptible to the naked eye, you would be able to get a bigger size while still staying within budget.

Grade reports assigned to diamonds are not an exact science, they are simply guidelines. That’s why we go to different sources to get you the highest value for your dollar. Prices vary based on several factors such as where we get them from, what’s currently  popular, how much they were originally bought for, etc. Either way, we always stick within the client’s budget.

The grade report is only a piece of paper – she doesn’t wear the paper on her finger, she wears the diamond. I’ve never heard of anyone asking a woman, “Ooh, is that a D, VVS, with xy depth & xy width?” No, they simply gush over how sparkly it is. If they ask anything specific, it’s what the carat size is. It can be confusing for clients since diamond pricing with relation to their grades has so many variables, however our job is to make it easy for you by doing all the hard work sifting through dozens of options to provide you with an awesome selection to choose from. 

To give you insight into our process: we first look through a large database of hundreds of options to cull it down to our favorite 24, then talk to each dealer about the unique qualities of the diamonds in order to determine which ones to ship in.

Then Vanessa personally selects the top 2-3 options for you to make your selection from. It’s why we’ve never had a client dissatisfied with their choice because we provide you with the very best quality diamonds to choose from at the best prices possible.

These are examples of Cushion Cut Diamond Size & Qualities.

We would create your own personalized Diamond Selection for your custom ring.

cushion cut 1.5 quality comparison video
Cushion Cut Diamond Ring Selection for Tim
Cushion Cut Diamond Ring Selection for Jon
Cushion Cut Diamond Ring Selection for Elizabeta
Cushion Cut Engagement Ring Selection for Adam
Cushion Cut Diamond Ring Selection for Ryan
Cushion Shaped Diamond Ring Selection for Markus

Whichever Cushion Cut shape you prefer, Vanessa Nicole Jewels will be happy to help you design and create your DREAM engagement ring!

We create cushion cut diamond engagement rings for clients Nationwide, as well as Internationally!


If there were 100 stars here Vanessa would get every single last one! The whole process was just so incredibly non-stressful. Everything from shipping the diamond, helping us decide on a style, the computer generated pictures to help us visualize, everything was just perfect!!

~ Michi Rives (Amherst, New Hampshire)

I tried big box stores, Tiffany’s, high end retailers, antique jewelry shops, and more. Enter Vanessa Nicole Jewels. Vanessa was responsive and accommodating from the very beginning, and she worked with us to ensure the best value for the money we could spend.

~ Lauren Bergeron (San Francisco, CA)

It sparkles like crazy!!!!!!!! I really am speechless! Our friends are also amazed. (They fell in love with you, hehe.) Thank you so much for the greeting card too! I melted when I read it! It’s so personal and I really appreciate it.

~ Elizabeta Masic (Stockholm, Sweden)

All you men out there contemplating going with someone else‚ you should think again!!! VNJ is the ONLY WAY!!! And this is coming from a pretty picky girl.

~ Megan Metts (Moncks Corner, SC)

Of course I had my reservations because I live across the country from Vanessa and did not know what to expect from the whole process, BUT Vanessa was unbelievable!!! I cannot begin to tell you how easy it was from beginning to end. I had a lot of questions, and she happily answered all of them. If you are considering having your ring custom made, I would not hesitate to call Vanessa.

~ Robert Vargas (Florida)

Vanessa’s customer service is fantastic and the speed at which she responded to my many emails was amazing. She helps remove the fear out of making such a special purchase, and her honesty is something I really appreciated. Vanessa’s attention to detail is perfect.

~ James Cull (Mid-Levels, Hong Kong)

I live in Seattle and my fiancé lives in Oakland. I just proposed to my fiancé with a custom engagement ring designed and built by Vanessa Nicole. I could not have been more ecstatic with the entire process.”

~Blake Bidleman (Seattle, WA)

The ring is absolutely GORGEOUS! The final product was so much better than I could have ever hoped‚ every other ring in traditional jewelry stores look like cheap toys in comparison!”

~ AJ Woods (US Marine Corps)


Click To Play Each One

AJs Experience Getting His Engagement Ring
Stephens Experience Getting His Engagement Ring
Chris Experience Getting His Engagement Ring
Dan Experience Getting His Engagement Ring
Rob Experience Getting His Engagement Ring
Blake Experience Getting His Engagement Ring

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