Cushion Diamond Guide

About cushion cut diamonds

Discover the charming shape of cushion cut diamonds, what shape they are, how to find the best grades for your cushion cut engagement ring, and how much cushion shape diamonds cost.

Tips for choosing the best cushion cut diamond

  • Find a ratio that works for you; do you prefer a square shape or an elongated rectangular shape? For a classic look, stick with a square ratio between 1.00 to 1.05 for your cushion diamond.

  • Prioritise the colour grade of your cushion diamond, as the shape can show greater saturation of colour than, say, the round diamond. Ideally choose between D to F, or H at the lowest.

  • Compromise on the clarity grade, and choose between VS2 to SI1; eye-clean and great value for money

  • Decide whether you like the larger, clearer facets of a chunky cushion cut, or the glitzy look of a crushed ice cushion diamond - read more to learn the difference!

Find Your Cushion Diamond Ring

What are cushion cut diamonds?

Cushion cut diamonds are a square or rectangular shape that feature rounded corners, as if a hybrid between a round and square diamond. This gives the cushion cut diamond its soft-edged, plump, pillow-like shape - either perfectly squared or elongated and rectangular. The sumptuous cushion diamond reigned as the most favoured diamond shape for engagement rings and jewellery in antiquity, giving today’s cushion diamond rings a classic, antique quality.

Cushion Diamond Guide

Why choose a cushion cut diamond?

The cushion diamond is adored for intense, rich, fire and sparkle produced by the brilliant facet structure. The facets of a cushion diamond are similar to that of a round diamond, the sparkliest of all diamond shapes, so consider a cushion cut if sparkle is an important factor for your ring.

The cushion cut diamond has a beautifully nostalgic quality thanks to its popularity in pre-20th century jewellery design.

Those seeking a classic look or a vintage flare, choose a cushion cut - a romantic, classic diamond shape.

Despite its similarities to the round brilliant, cushion cut diamonds retail at a lower cost than round diamonds. This is because less diamond is wasted during the cutting process. Cushion diamonds are by no means the cheapest diamond shape, but you will see your money stretch further than with, say, a round diamond, in terms of carat weight.

What’s the best cut ratio for my cushion diamond?

The ratio you choose for your cushion cut ring is entirely dependent on your personal preference. Typically, cushion diamonds are cut with square proportions, between 1.00 (a perfect square) to 1.05 (a very near-perfect square). That said, cushion diamonds can be cut with elongated rectangular proportions; most gemmologists would agree the ideal rectangular cushion diamond would lie between 1.10 to 1.30, but they can stretch to 1.60 and above.

How do I choose a cushion diamond colour?

Cushion cut diamonds show a greater saturation of colour than round brilliant diamonds, and many other diamond shapes. As a brilliant cut, the dispersion of light (i.e. sparkle) of the cushion cut diamond can hide a lower colour grade to some extent, but aim to stay above an H colour grade at the lowest.

As a rule of thumb for platinum rings, aim between D to F colour grades, and for yellow or rose gold rings consider diamonds graded D to H.

The cushion diamond shape is a popular alternative to round diamonds - it produces a similarly intense brilliance and sparkle, while adding a slightly alternative character with its signature pillow-like shape. Cushion diamonds are super versatile and suit most ring designs perfectly!

Joanna | Gemmologist & Design Expert

How do I choose the clarity of a cushion diamond?

Cushion cut diamonds are a type of brilliant cut, meaning they emit a great deal of sparkle which can be useful for hiding the natural flaws almost all diamonds contain. Prioritise a high colour grade and your ideal ratio over the clarity of your cushion diamond. Cushion diamonds between VS2 to SI1 will contain a tiny amount of inclusions but appear clean to the naked eye (without magnification), and strike the best value for money.

How many facets does a cushion cut diamond have?

Like most brilliant cut diamonds, cushion cuts are made up of 58 facets. The facet structure of a cushion diamond is similar to that of the round brilliant, making it one of the sparkliest diamond shapes. Although marginally less sparkly than the round diamond, cushion cuts emit greater fire due to their larger facets.

Cushion Diamond Ring Inspiration

Take inspiration from our custom made engagement rings, individually designed with us and crafted by our in-house goldsmiths.

How much does a cushion diamond cost?

Compared to other fancy diamond shape prices, cushion diamonds are dearer than some, but still retail at lower prices than round diamonds. Cushion diamonds bear great similarity to round diamonds in terms of their rich brilliance, making them the perfectly sparkly, less costly alternative.

Cushion shaped diamonds start from around £1,290 (based on 0.30ct, F, SI1). In comparison, a round diamond with the same quality grades will start at around £1,380. The higher the quality, the higher the price jump; a 0.30ct, D, VS2 cushion diamond will retail at around £1,770, compared to a round diamond at £1,890.

Are cushion cuts and old mine cuts the same?

Old mine cuts and cushion cuts differ in a number of ways, whilst appearing sister-like in similarity. The cushion cut diamonds we see today could be likened to a modified version of the much-loved old mine cut. With a similar pillow-like shape to the old mine cut, the cushion diamond blends the best attributes of the old cut with the round brilliant cut pattern. The cushion diamond boasts the intense sparkle of a modern brilliant cut, with the nostalgic, pillowy charm of the old mine cut.

What are chunky cushions and crushed ice cushions?

Cushion diamonds can be categorised by a number of terms. From classic to modified, otherwise known as ‘chunky’ vs. ‘crushed ice’, these cushion cut styles possess different, charming details. Whilst some engagement ring buyers are taken with both styles and have no preference, you may find yourself particularly drawn to one cushion cut diamond type.

Cushion cut diamonds are considered classic (standard) or modified; you could call this the ‘cushion brilliant’ vs the ‘cushion modified brilliant’. The visual differences between these cushion diamond types are minimal, the latter being the most recent modification to the cut style; neither is necessarily considered superior, nor guarantees greater brilliance.

The classic, cushion brilliant cut is most similar to the round diamond, with larger facets. The cushion modified brilliant contains an extra row of facets below the girdle. These extra facets give the modified cushion diamond its ‘crushed ice’ appearance, similar to a radiant cut diamond.


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