Cushion cut diamonds are one of the oldest shapes and have stood the test of time for centuries. They are known for their iconic soft and feminine pillow shape and have evolved into a variety of different facetting styles. The four cushion cuts used in engagement rings today are old mine, brilliant, cushion modified "crushed ice," and cushion modified "hybrid."
Old Mine Cushions
Old Mine Cushions, have the oldest cushion cut faceting style, and is known for having "chunky," and geometric facets. This cut dates back to the 1700s, and its defining characteristics are a high crown, deep pavilion, and larger culet.
Brilliant Cut Cushion
Brilliant Cut Cushions are cut for the most exceptional brilliance and maximize the diamond's light return. When compared to the other cushion cuts, cushion brilliants look larger in diameter for their carat weight, and their brilliance seems very similar to a brilliant round diamond. As technology for cutting diamonds advanced, the cushion brilliant was born after the old mine.
The last two cushion faceting styles we will be going over are both in the Cushion Modified Brilliant category. On GIA certificates, they are just described as Cushion Modified Brilliants. However, there is quite a difference in the look between cushion modified brilliant, "crushed ice," and cushion modified brilliant, "hybrid." Our company, Princess Bride Diamonds, has defined the difference in cushion modified brilliants to make it easier for our clients to understand the difference to achieve the look they want for their engagement ring.
Cushion Modified "Crushed Ice"
Cushion Modified "Crushed Ice" is one of the most recent developed cuts for the cushion shape. What makes a cushion a modified cut different than a brilliant or old mine cushion are the shortened star facets. The star facets are what you can see when looking at the bottom of a diamond's map. The star facets resemble the look of the arms of a star. When they are modified and shortened, it gives the cushion cut the "crushed ice," look. These cushions are the most common type of faceting style you will see because they save the most original diamond crystal. Due to the way they are, they also are more bottom-heavy and tend to look smaller when compared to a brilliant or hybrid cushion of the same carat size.
Cushion Modified "Hybrid"
Cushion Modified "Hybrid" is the most recently developed cut for the cushion shape. We call this a "Hybrid" cut because it combines the facet style of the brilliant and "crushed ice" cushion facet patterns. In the photo below you can see there are four-star facets that will touch the girdle of the stone, and a mix of modified facets in-between the star facets. The "Hybrid" has a much larger look for its carat size, much more similar to the cushion brilliant.
Comment below which cushion cut is your favorite!