Princess Bride Blog
April 3, 2016
Cushion Cut Diamonds, the Old and New Classic
The cushion cut diamond is one of the oldest shapes and cutting styles, and has continually ranked high in popularity for engagement rings. Over the cushion’s long history there have been many evolved takes on the cutting style. The first diamonds being cut in the cushion style date back to the early 1700’s. This cutting style is known as the Old Mine cut, named after the origin, the Brazilian Diamond Mines. In that time with limited technology, it was a very difficult process to cut a diamond, so the main priority for most diamond cutters was to save time and money. Thus many of the diamonds being cut are meant to retain as much rough weight as possible. The defining characteristics of an Old Mine cut diamond are a squarish shape with a high crown (top), small table, deep pavilion (bottom), and a large culet.
As faceting technology continued to evolve, more precise cuts were able to be developed throughout the 20th century. Modern day cushion brilliant cut diamonds are square or squarish-rectangular shapes with curved sides and either rounded or pointed corners. Typically, this cut will have four or eight mains, which are kite-shaped facets between the girdle and the culet. Sometimes the cut is modified to include extra facets on the crown or pavilion, in which case the cut is called modified cushion cut brilliant. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has made distinctions of these 2 kinds of cushion based on technical faceting standard. These standards and differences should be taken into consideration, and the client should choose the diamond that is most aesthetically pleasing to them.
The cushion brilliant is the predecessor of the cushion modified, and one of its defining characteristics are the pavilion mains touching the girdle(outer edge) of the diamond. This faceting arrangement is very similar to a round brilliant diamond, where pavilion mains play a huge role in the diamond’s fire. The cushion brilliant can have 4, 6, 8, or 10 pavilion mains and 57 facets total like a round diamond. Having more pavilions will result in a more refractive and fiery diamond. This is the most requested cutting style of cushion at our store, and is much rarer to find in comparison to the cushion modified. The diamond below is our 1.52 F VS1 Cushion Brilliant Diamond. This is one of our Premium Ideal diamonds, because of its exceptional brilliance and is at the top of its category.
Cushion Modified Brilliant
The Cushion Modified Brilliant is a variation on the original cushion brilliant shape. This type of cushion is the most commonly seen in the market. Diamond cutters save more weight when cutting them from a rough diamond crystal, and will usually be less expensive than a cushion brilliant of the same quality. This cutting style has 4 shortened pavilion mains with an extra row of facets between the pavilion mains and girdle. In a diamond, pavilion mains generate the bold flashes of light and make a really diamond pop. When the mains are shortened so is the returning amount of light. Instead of driving the light all the way out it results in short sparkles giving it the “crushed ice” look.
Cushion Hybrid Brilliant / X Factor
The Cushion Hybrid Brilliant takes the best from both worlds. The cutting style of this cushion features 4 extended pavilion mains, and has extra faceting next to each main. These additional facets provide more sparkle and fire to the diamond while the top of the diamond still features larger faceting like the brilliant round cut. With this cut, diamond cutters are now able to create cushion cut diamonds that retain the carat weight and appearance of a modified cushion with the look of a classic cushion brilliant. This results in a more brilliant appearance while still having short sparkly light streams. The diamond pictured below is another one of our premium ideals.