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What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?

What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?

What is cushion cut diamond? The cushion cut diamond is one of our favorite diamond shape options. It can be square-shaped or rectangular-shaped but is soft like a pillow. Cushion cut diamonds are a very forgiving cut and hide imperfections, meaning that you can choose a cushion cut diamond that has a lower clarity yet still have a diamond that sparkles.

How Did the Cushion Cut Diamond Get Its Name?

The cushion cut diamond got its name from its cushion-like appearance. When looking at the diamond, it is a square or rectangular diamond with rounded edges or corners like a cushion.  

The cushion cut diamond is its modern name. Before this modern cushion was called the cushion cut diamond, it was named the old mine cut. This ancient cut was first found in Brazil in the 1700s. Stonecutters chose the old mine cut because it showed the most facets and maximized carat retention without taking away from the diamond. The old mine cut had 58 facets and instantly became the preferred diamond cut because of its softness and brilliance.  

Over time, stonecutters learned how to maximize the brilliance in the diamond by changing the way they cut the stone; thus, the modern cushion cut was born.

The modern cushion begins with an old mine cut and incorporates cutting techniques found in round and square diamond cuts. This gives the cushion cut diamond brilliance and sparkle.

Learn: The Different Types of Cushion Cuts

Cushion Brilliant and Cushion Modified Brilliant

A cushion cut diamond will be either a standard or modified cushion diamond. You likely have a personal preference for how you want the shape of the center stone to look. Still, we recommend knowing the difference between a cushion brilliant and a cushion modified brilliant, especially while you shop for the perfect diamond engagement ring.   

Cushion Brilliant

A cushion brilliant is extremely similar to a round brilliant diamond. The facets of a cushion brilliant diamond begin at the center and extend toward the diamond's outer edge (girdle). A cushion brilliant diamond has larger facets and resembles a round cut diamond. It does not have a crushed ice appearance.

Cushion Modified Brilliant

A cushion modified brilliant contains an extra row of facets below the girdle. Unlike the cushion brilliant that resembles a star pattern, the cushion modified brilliant resembles a flower pattern. The cut of a cushion modified brilliant has a crushed ice appearance, giving it exceptional sparkle. If you want a more affordable cushion cut diamond that has exceptional sparkle, you should choose a cushion modified brilliant.

The Cushion Cut Diamond Color

While the clarity of a cushion diamond cut can be forgiving, can the same be said for the color?

Cushion cut diamonds will show color extremely well. When you’re choosing a center stone for cut diamond engagement rings, this may not be good news. Even a cushion cut diamond that has a white color grade or the same color grade as a white round cut diamond can appear yellowish.

So, how can you avoid this?

We recommend choosing a cushion cut diamond with a color grade of H or higher. When pairing a color grade H cushion cut diamond with yellow gold, the color of the diamond will not appear as yellowish. However, if you plan on choosing a cushion cut diamond with a white gold or platinum ring setting, you may want to go up a color grade.

A color grade of H on a white gold or platinum ring setting may cause the center stone to look yellow. For this, we recommend choosing a cushion cut diamond that has a color grade of G. This will help the diamond look more white and less yellow against the white gold or platinum ring setting. 

What Size Carat Should I Choose for a Cushion Cut Diamond?

The carat is how much the diamond weighs. A carat is one-fifth of a gram. The surface area of a diamond is measured in millimeters. For a cushion cut diamond, a one-carat diamond should have a good surface diameter. The lesser the depth, the better the surface of the diamond will be to see.

How Does the Pricing Vary Between Cushion Cut Diamonds?

A cushion cut diamond that has the least number of flaws and the whitest color will be the most expensive option, but there are ways to get around this if you know what to look for.

Like we mentioned at the top of this article, cushion cut diamonds are very forgiving for hiding flaws and imperfections. If a white diamond is important to you, then you should choose a cushion cut diamond that has the best color grade with a lower clarity grade. The bright white color will be apparent, and the diamond will still sparkle without the flaws and imperfections being as obvious.  

We also recommend choosing an off-size carat. This is a size that is just under a full carat size. Often, a 1.00ct or a 2.00ct will cost more because it’s a magic size carat; meaning, it’s a desirable size that customers often look for when shopping for an engagement ring.

However, you can choose a 0.90ct or a 1.90ct diamond and be unable to tell the difference between the 0.90ct and the 1.00ct or the 1.90ct and the 2.00ct. This can save you money without sacrificing clarity or color in the diamond. 


If you’ve never considered a cushion cut diamond for your engagement ring, now is the time. A cushion cut diamond has a forgiving clarity that sparkles and shines from the many facets that are cut in the stone.

If you’re torn between choosing a round or princess cut diamond, we recommend the cushion cut diamond. It will give you the center stone shape you want with a softer, rounded edge and a radiant cut.