Cushion Cut diamonds have been around for nearly 200 years. These diamonds have rounded corners and larger facets to increase their brilliance. They also have a square/pillow shaped outline – hence the name “cushion” cut. Since Tolkowsky’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 princess cuts.
Examples of Cushion Cut Diamonds
3 Important Tips When Choosing A Cushion Cut Diamond
Hi, I’m Vanessa – 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 best 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 Certificate Doesn’t Grade “Most Beautiful”
Certificates are only ONE component of a diamond. Unfortunately for you, certificates 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. Some people prefer the large chunky facets, others like the smaller crushed ice facets. When it comes to Round, 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 cool – 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 culet (small area 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 certified by the same laboratory with similar carat weight & specs rarely look the same. Grading Labs such a GIA or EGL make no comment on brilliance or value, yet these are two important considerations when investing in a diamond. This is exactly why you can’t choose a Cushion cut diamond based on the certificate 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.
Tip 2: Choose Your Favorite Cushion Cut Shape
Square vs. Rectangular Cushion Cut Diamond
The classic cushion cut diamond is shaped like a square with rounded circles. It generally has a length-to-width ratio of 1.00. However, the most popular shape is a slight rectangle with a length-to-width ratio between 1.1 and 1.2. If you’re looking for settings that are a bit more classic and elegant, you may want to go with a plain solitaire setting (a plain ring band with a single diamond). If you prefer more unique ring settings, you might like a pavé setting (accent diamonds set closely together in the band). Another option is a halo setting (smaller diamonds that encircle the center stone).
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
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 VNJ) 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.
Certification grades given to diamonds are not an exact science, they are simply guidelines. That’s why I source from different places 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 most popular, how much they were originally bought for, etc, but I always stick to my client’s budget.
The certificate 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. I know it can be confusing for clients since diamond pricing with relation to their grades has so many variables, however my 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. It almost seems too easy on your part, right?
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 I personally select the ones 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.
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!
*** Micro pavé rings are our specialty ***
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)