You’re probably thinking, “What?? I love cushion cuts and there’s nothing wrong with them because they’re beautiful!!!”
The cushion cut diamond (also known as pillow-cut diamond) is a very unique and beautiful stone. A cross between vintage and modern, the cushion cut has been popular for over 300 years.
The “Problem” With Cushion Cuts
The “problem” with cushion cut diamonds (and something most jewelers don’t tell the customer, or don’t know themselves) is that the majority of them are cut from undesirable diamond rough. In other words, the rough they would rather not use to cut a round, princess, or any other more desirable fancy shape diamond. They’re often cut shallow and suffer from a severe lack of brilliance because of this. Who cares about the VS clarity and D color if it doesn’t sparkle??
Remember, I said the majority are poorly cut stones. There are good cushion cuts, and there are a lot of bad ones. This is why the prices for cushion cuts are usually 25-50% lower than round brilliant diamonds.
When looking for a cushion cut, it’s very important to find one that is really well cut. Brilliance is really the most important aspect of any diamond. I do not recommend buying a cushion cut diamond without seeing it in person first. Also, remember that ANY stone is going to have SOME sparkle to it when it’s under the lighting system of a jewelry store and perfectly clean. Take it into natural daylight and make sure you still see a good amount of brilliance, as it will decrease some when the stone gets dirty.
Choosing the shape of your Cushion Cut
Cushion cuts actually come in a variety of different shapes, from square cuts that look like a princess with rounded corners, to very rectangular cuts that look like a squared oval cut.
If you are looking for a cushion cut diamond that’s more square in shape, choose one with a length-to-width ratio of 1-1.05. For one that’s more rectangular I suggest a length-to-width ratio of 1.20 to 1.30.