Cushion cut engagement rings are treasured
for their beautiful warm glow and enchanting charm.
To find out if this classic vintage style ring is just what you are looking for, use our helpful guide below which includes characteristics of the cut, pros and cons, best settings and extra valuable shopping tips that will ensure you find the perfect ring for your engagement.
And if you have any questions about cushion cut diamond rings or gemstone rings, just use the handy comment box at the end of the page to send in your questions or to share reviews and pics of your fabulous ring!
Characteristics of the Cushion Cut Diamond
The cushion cut is one of the oldest types of fancy diamond cuts – well over 300 years old – and cushion cut diamond rings were one of the most popular styles from the early 1800s to the early 1900s. The soft edges of the cut have the ability to capture and reflect a rainbow of candlelight colors, and this cut was originally created to shimmer with an inner incandescence.
Today, the cushion diamond is a top favorite with couples looking for vintage style engagement rings.
This fancy cut diamond may be in a more rectangular or square shape, with an average number of 60 facets. Because of the soft pillow like shape the cut yields, the cushion cut is sometimes called the pillow cut.
Cushion cut diamonds and gemstones with a length-to-width
ratio of 1.0 create a perfect square pillow – ratios higher than 1.0 are
more rectangular while ratios of 1.25 have the slightly rectangular
shape which mimics the shape of the original antique cushion cut.
Cushion cut diamonds and gemstones have their own unique and elegant style which is very reminiscent of days gone by. Cushion cut engagement rings are also perfect for every day wear because the rounded edges of the cut are not prone to chipping or catching on clothes or hair.
While cushion cut rings were once hard to come by, except through antique jewelers and estate sales, the cushion cut style is once again becoming quite fashionable. As a result of its increased popularity, cushion rings in various styles and sizes are now more widely available (see recommendations below to find jewelers which carry high quality cushion cut engagement rings).
The biggest con of the cushion diamond has to do with the fire and brilliance of the cut. Pillow cuts were originally made to sparkle and shimmer under the flickering flames of candlelight, and the fire and brilliance of this cut is slightly more subdued compared to other types of fancy diamond shapes and the round brilliant cut.
Instead, the cushion is beloved for its ability to disperse light – an effect which sometimes creates a soft captivating kaleidoscope rainbow of colors.
While newer advances in the cushion cut have increased the
brilliance of the cut, the cushion diamond will never achieve the stunning
flashy effect of the Round Brilliant or – for example – the Princess or
the Asscher Cut diamonds. If you are looking for a ring with serious eye catching bling,
this may not be the right type of cut for your diamond engagement ring.
The cushion cut has large facets too – and larger facet sizes will highlight any inclusions or blemishes in a diamond or gemstone, and the cut will also draw attention to any slight tints of color in a diamond particularly in sizes over 1.0 carat.
Cushion Cut Engagement Ring Picks!
Because of these characteristics, it is best to choose cushion cut engagement rings created with a diamond within these diamond grades:
You can choose values that are slightly lower on smaller diamonds, because any
flaws will not be so apparent, but on larger carat sizes especially - as you reach 1 carat and higher - try to stick
within these parameters.
Best Settings for Cushion Cut Engagement Rings
The absolute best setting for a cushion cut diamond ring (and gemstone ring) is a 4 prong setting. This type of setting will securely hold and protect cushion cut gems without blocking the light – so this setting will maximize the brilliance and fire qualities of the cut.
6 prong settings, and double claw prong settings, are sometimes used to hold longer, larger or more rectangular shaped cushion cut diamonds and gemstones – but for the most part a 4 prong setting is enough to secure the gem.
Contemporary cushion cut styles sometimes use a bezel setting which wraps around the entire gem, but this type of setting can block the light from entering a diamond – reducing the brilliance of the stone. If you enjoy modern engagement ring styles keep in mind that the bezel setting on a cut like the cushion, that already sacrifices a bit of brilliance and fire, will not display an intense level of sparkle and flash.
Shopping Tips for Cushion Cut Engagement Rings
To find quality cushion cut engagement rings, stick with rings
that come with certified diamonds which come with a report from a top diamond certification laboratory. The best and most highly respected
laboratories for diamond certification include the GIA, AGS, EGL or
Because cushion cut diamonds will magnify any flaws, keep the grade parameters listed above in mind when you are shopping for a cushion cut diamond ring.
As mounted diamonds cannot be certified, if you are searching for antique for vintage style engagement rings with a cushion diamond, look for rings that come with appraisal reports and/or certificates of authentication.
Brilliant Earth: This highly environmentally friendly jewelery boutique has a large selection of GIA certified loose cushion cut diamonds in sizes from less than a carat to a little over four carats along with a captivating selection of cushion diamond ring styles – plus, Brilliant Earth sometimes has authentic antique cushion cut rings available through the extensive authentic antique ring collection.
All BE rings are handmade in the USA and available in band metals which include platinum and 18K white and yellow gold and 14k rose gold (palladium is also available by special request). BE is also the best place for custom made cushion cut diamond rings through BE's online design team.
Blue Nile: Here you will find a large selection of loose cushion cut diamonds ranging in small to extra large sizes which can be set in pre-designed engagement ring styles. Blue Nile also has a select collection of cushion cut engagement rings from their studio designers.
Gemvara: A selection of gorgeous GIA certified cushion cut diamond rings are available through Gemvara, and this is also the place to visit if you are looking for a cushion cut gemstone engagement ring.
Gemvara has a
large selection of cushion cut gemstones including cushion cut
sapphires, rubies, aquamarines, citrines, amethyst, blue topaz, garnet
and iolite. Band metals are available in sterling silver, platinum,
palladium and 18k/14k white, yellow and rose gold. Cushion
engagement rings may be customized with a variety of gemstones.
Adin Fine Antique Jewelry: Adin has one of the largest online selections of antique, vintage and estate jewelry pieces, and occasionally carry cushion cut diamond rings. Most rings are also resized for free here, and come with certificates of authentication, plus you can receive a 5% Discount on any Adin purchase with code=Everything-Wedding-Rings!!!
Questions or Comments?
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Are Cushion Cut Diamonds More Prone to Being Improperly Set? Not rated yet
I was told by a very reputable jeweler that due to the cushion cut's edges, it is hard to set it just right. He said the double claw prongs are best because …