Cushion Cut Diamond Guide - (With Examples & Ideal Proportions) (2023)

Cushion Cut Diamond Guide - (With Examples & Ideal Proportions) (1)

Cushion cut halo diamond engagement ring I bought. More details below…

The cushion cut (also known as the pillow cut) is a traditional diamond shape that has seen a massive resurgence in popularity recently. They typically comprise of 58-64 facets and have distinguishable curved corners which give them a classy, pillow-like appearance.

So, if you are thinking about buying a cushion cut diamond engagement ring, you have come to the right place. In this write up, you will discover the insider tips to choosing a beautiful diamond that’s full of sparkle and brilliance.

You will also find out what are the things to look out for to avoid poorly cut diamonds and the ideal proportions to help you narrow down your selections. I’m even going to show you the full details of a cushion cut halo diamond that I recently purchased.

Let’s dive in…

Here is a list of topics we will be covering:

  • A Quick Historical And Technical Overview
  • Different Types of Cushion Shaped Diamonds in the Modern Market
  • Best Proportions For a Cushion Cut Diamond
  • Length to Width Ratios For Cushion Diamonds
  • How Much Does a Cushion Cut Diamond Cost?
  • Recommended Color and Clarity Ratings for Cushion Diamonds
  • Case Study: How I Bought a Halo Cushion Cut Engagement Ring
  • Video Reviews of the Diamond Ring I Received
  • Best Engagement Ring Settings For Cushion Diamonds
  • Summary And Recap: Where to Buy Cushion Cut Diamonds

A Quick Historical And Technical Overview

Until the early 20th century, the cushion cut diamond was the de facto diamond shape. With its centuries of history, the cushion cut is ubiquitous when you take a look their prominent occurrences in the various royal family jewels.

If you take a look at a list of the most renowned or the largest cut gemstones, you will see that the cushion cut is surprisingly well represented. In fact, the world-famous Hope Diamond happens to be a cushion cut diamond too.

Throughout the history of the diamond industry, we had seen continually changing trends and cutting styles that had continuously evolved. Interestingly, cushion cut diamonds actually went “out-of-fashion” in the last century when the modern round cut was introduced.

It was only in recent times where the vintage cuts came back in vogue. From old European cuts to old miner cuts, these long-forgotten retro designs are finding their way back into the mainstream market today.

Different Types of Cushion Shaped Diamonds in the Modern Market

As polishing techniques and cutting styles evolved over the years, variations of the cushion cut have been developed. When shopping for diamonds, you may come across the “Cushion Modified Brilliant” which usually feature an extra row of facets on the pavilion.

Cushion Cut Diamond Guide - (With Examples & Ideal Proportions) (2)

Old Miner Cuts – Vintage

(Video) The Consumer's Guide to Purchasing a Cushion Cut Diamond

Cushion Cut Diamond Guide - (With Examples & Ideal Proportions) (3)

Modern Cushion Cut – Present Day


Antique cushions are popular with customers because of their romantic and classic shape appeal. Steeper crowns, smaller tables, and larger culets are all characteristic features of the vintage cushion cutting style.

On the other hand, modern day cushion cutting styles typically have small or no culets at all and take on anappearance that is closely associated with theround brilliant cut.

Instead of broad chunky facets patterning seen in older cutting styles, modern cushion cuts usually portray a more splintery looking appearance. Here’s an example of a modified cushion brilliant cut that has good light return.

Feel free to click on the image below to interact with the diamond and examine it under magnification for yourself…

Recommended Proportions for Cushion Cut Diamonds

Unlike round cut diamonds, cushion cut diamonds aren’t assigned a cut grade from GIA and this makes it harder for inexperienced shoppers to choose stones with better performance.

However, there are some specific proportions that you can use as a guide to avoiding poorly cut diamonds. You may refer to these parameters below:

ExcellentVery GoodGoodFair/Poor
Table %60% – 65%57% – 68%55% – 70%Outside Ranges
Depth %65% – 69%62% – 71%59% – 73%Outside Ranges
Polish/SymmetryExcellent – Very GoodGoodOutside Ranges
Length to Width1.00 – 1.051.06 – 1.201.21 – 1.35Outside Ranges
Girdle ThicknessThin – Slightly ThickV. Thin – ThickOutside Ranges
Culet SizeNoneVery SmallSmallOutside Ranges

* Note: The proportions table is meant as a general guideline for people who are buying blind. If you can see the diamond in person or via videos, that will always take precedence instead of trying to judge a fancy cut based on numbers. I also highly recommend that you use an ASET scope to check for optical performance and use this knowledge to help you make better decisions.

From experience, well cut cushion diamonds with better fire and brilliance tend to have depth ratios between 65-69% and table sizes between 60-65%. These numbers are much higher compared to those of round diamonds and that’s perfectly fine because of the intrinsic facet structure of cushions.

To give you a better idea of the kind of diamonds that you should look out for in terms of cut quality, here are 2 examples of cushion cut diamonds with superb light performance and contrast patterning. For more real-life examples of poorly cut and well cut comparisons of diamonds, click this link.

Cushion Cut Diamond Guide - (With Examples & Ideal Proportions) (5)

Cushion Cut Diamond Guide - (With Examples & Ideal Proportions) (6)


Browse through thousands of cushion cut diamonds online with 360° videos at James Allen and Blue Nile to find your perfect engagement ring. Both vendors are highly recommended for their competitive pricing and consumer orientated sales policies.

How Much Does a Cushion Cut Diamond Cost?

Compared to round cut diamonds, the price of cushion diamonds are generally 20-30% lower and this means you get better mileage for your buck. Depending on the specific quality of the diamond (i.e. 4Cs), prices can vary significantly. Check out the price table below…

(Video) Ultimate Guide to Princess Cut and other Squarish Shaped Diamonds (part 1)

Cushion Cut Diamond Guide - (With Examples & Ideal Proportions) (7)

Price chart comparison of GIA certified 1ct cushion diamonds.

From the table above, you can easily discern that a diamond with better specifications in color/clarity would cost more. And the price increases in an exponential manner when you get to the higher tiers of clarity and color grades.

But here’s the thing.

Diamonds are priced according to their material properties and you don’t require a D/IF rating to get a beautiful looking diamond. If you are on a budget or don’t need the symbolic meaning of a D/IF grade, you can save a lot of money with a lower color/clarity diamond which can look just as good.

Length to Width Ratios for Cushion Cuts

Cushion brilliant cuts can exist in a variety of shapes ranging from squarish to rectangular shapes. This is largely a matter of personal preference andalsodependent on the type of ring setting to be used.

Cushion Cut Diamond Guide - (With Examples & Ideal Proportions) (8)

The most popular l/w ratios for a cushion cut lie between 1.00 to 1.05 where the diamond takes on a squarish looking appearance. If you are someone who likes a more traditional appearance, stick with ratios close to 1:1.

Recommended Clarity And Color Ratings for Cushion Diamonds

When it comes to color and clarity grades, you need to understand that it is entirely up to personal preference on what you prefer. Speaking from a practical perspective, eyecleanliness is the most important thing I look out for when buying a diamond.

For cushion cut diamonds, the majority of VS2 and SI1 diamonds will be eyeclean and have their inclusions masked by the sparkle and scintillation of the diamond. The caveat here is that the diamond MUST be well cut and that you utilize a video listing to check how the inclusions look like.

To illustrate this, I want you to click on the following images and check out these 2 SI1 diamonds graded by GIA. With the interactive videos, can you tell which would be the better diamond to get?




Video listings from James Allen easily reveal the eyecleanliness of SI1 diamonds.

As for color, I recommend at least a G color for people who are color averse and are looking for an icy white appearance. Again, I want to stress that the choice of G color is largely subjective. If you like warmer tones or yellow colored settings, lower color grades like J or K would be perfectly OK for you.

Speaking from experience, most people who buy cushion cut diamonds actually prefer warmer colors over cool colors. The most popular ratings that people buy cushion cuts in are G, H and I colors.

Case Study: How I Bought a Halo Cushion Cut Engagement Ring

Cushion Cut Diamond Guide - (With Examples & Ideal Proportions) (11)

(Video) The Importance of Diamond's Depth & Table

Buying cushions can be a tricky affair due to the lack of cut information that you can obtain from the grading report. You see, when it comes to fancy cuts, 2 diamonds with the same depth/table proportions can look totally different from each other.

That’s why it’s extremely important to have factual information like videos or ASET scope data to help you assess the diamond. I’ve recently purchased a cushion cut halo diamond ring from James Allen and the shopping process is very straightforward.

Using James Allen’s video technology, I could easily cherry-pick the BEST diamond in terms of light performance out of 100s of available options. I ended up with the 0.52ct E color VS1 cushion cut diamond below.

To complete the ring, I selected a pave setting design with a halo to enhance the overall bling factor of the ring. The choice of metal was 14k white gold for practical reasons; lower costs and higher durability.

Video Reviews of the Cushion Cut Diamond Ring I Received

Separately, I’ve made 2 videos to showcase the craftsmanship of the engagement ring and how the diamond looks in real life. If you want to see how the cut quality of the diamond translates into real life sparkle and brilliance, make sure you watch them in full below!





If you are interested in checking out full details of the diamond ring above, this was the diamond I bought and this is the beautiful halo setting I selected to build the ring.

Best Engagement Ring Settings For Cushion Diamonds

Classic and versatile, the cushion cut diamond looks good in many different types of setting designs. Whether it is set as a solitaire or mounted in a halo setting, there are plenty of great looking designs to pick from. Here are some of my favorite designs…

Cushion Cut Diamond Guide - (With Examples & Ideal Proportions) (14)

The thin shank is studded with melee diamonds which accentuate center stone and increases the sparkle factor.

This luxurious design features a split shank and halo to add multiple dimensions of brilliance.

(Video) How to Choose Between Round or Cushion Diamond? Brilliant vs Crushed Ice EXPLAINED

A simple and evergreen 4 prong solitaire ring design that showcases the classic appearance of the cushion cut.

A beautifully crafted platinum ring that showcases a reverse split shank with melee diamonds.

If you want to look at more designs, head over to Blue Nile and James Allen to explore their extensive selection of cushion cut engagement rings. There are more than a hundred ring settings that include romantic, antique inspired designs and classic solitaires to choose from!

Summary: Where to Buy Cushion Cut Diamond Rings

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A modern 1 carat cushion modified brilliant diamond.

To recap, here are my recommended guidelines for buying a cushion cut diamond:

Depth: 65% to 69%
Table: 60% to 65%
Polish/Symmetry: Very Good or Excellent
Length to Width Ratio: Within a range of 1.00 to 1.05

Color: G or better
Clarity: SI1 or better

Just like other fancy shape diamonds, the proportions and parameters are just a tool to help you weed out poorly cut diamonds. And as I said before, there is no guarantee you will get a great looking stone even if the “statistics” on a grading report look promising.

Nothing on a certificate would tell you whether the cushion diamond has a vintage appearance or a crushed ice appearance. The certificate also can’t tell you if the shape is off. Ultimately, you will need to rely on visual data like videos to help you make the final selection.

Now, in my opinion, physical retailers are some of the worst places to shop for a cushion cut diamond ring because of their limited inventory and poor curation standards. With fancy shapes, you need a larger pool of selections to cherry pick from and that is something that only the online retailers can provide.

With cushion shape diamonds, the best places to buy your engagement ring would be Blue Nile and James Allen. Both are highly reputable and offer HD videos that allow you to inspect your diamond upclose. More importantly, they have excellent risk-free sales policies and provide a superb selection of GIA and AGS graded diamonds.

I hope this article has helped and if you have any questions or need a second opinion on a diamond, feel free to leave a note below or get in touch via email. Good luck!

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FAQs

What is the ideal ratio for cushion diamond? ›

For the optimal length-to-width ratio of a square cushion, we suggest a diamond between 1.00 and 1.09 times as long as it is wide. For a more rectangular cushion, opt for a diamond between 1.15 and 1.5 times as long as it is wide.

What is a good ratio for cushion cut? ›

Traditionally cushion cut diamonds are square, with the most common ratio (length divided by width) from 1.00 to 1.10. However, you can also find them in elongated shapes with a ratio of up to 1.50 and above.

What are the measurements for a cushion cut? ›

Cushion Cut Diamond - Cut Guide

While the classic cushion cut diamond is a square (with a length to width ratio of 1.00), they are often found in slightly rectangular shapes as well. The most popular shape is a slight rectangle of 1.10-1.20 length to width, however personal preference should dictate choice.

What is the most common cushion size? ›

Traditionally the most common size and shape for a cushion was the square, and this is available in sizes from 30cm x 30cm (12inch x 12inch), 40cm x 40cm (16inch x x16 inch), 45cm x 45cm (18inch x 18inch) and 60cm x 60cm (24inch x 24inch).

What setting makes your diamond look the biggest? ›

If you select a setting with a slim band and slim prongs, your center diamond will look larger in comparison. On the other hand, if you choose a wide band with bulky prongs, your diamond will look smaller. So if you want your center stone to look as large as possible, always select a slim, delicate setting.

What is the best ratio for elongated cushion cut? ›

Typically, an elongated cushion cut with a square-ish shape will have a ratio of 1:1 or 1:1.5, meaning that one side is only slightly longer than the other. Rectangular elongated cushion cuts typically have a ratio of 1:2, where one side can be twice as long as the other.

Why do cushion cut diamonds look smaller? ›

Cushion cut diamonds look smaller than some other shapes. Cushions “face up” smaller than some other diamond shapes , which makes them look smaller when seen from the top. As they are cut deeper, they carry more of their weight on the bottom of the stone, where it can't be seen.

How many faces does a cushion cut have? ›

A cushion cut diamond with 58 facets will have the traditional “chunky” cushion cut look. Cushion cut diamonds with more facets, arranged as double rows of facets, will have what's called the “crushed ice” look.

What is the formula for a cushion cut diamond? ›

To calculate the average size of cushion cut diamonds we simply multiply the diamond's length and width (both measured in millimeters) to create surface area. We also calculated the average length of cushion cut diamonds and list that below in millimeters. 0.3 ct. 0.4 ct.

How do I choose a good cushion? ›

Here are some cushion styling ideas to try for your sofa and some key quality elements you should look for.
  1. Opposite Cushions Attract. ...
  2. Go tonal with your cushions. ...
  3. Choose textured cushions. ...
  4. Mix and match your cushions. ...
  5. Choose cushion designs that match your personality.

Which looks bigger cushion or oval? ›

When it comes to overall appearance ovals will always look larger than a cushion cut diamond if you compare identical weights side by side. This is due to the elongated appearance of an oval taking up more space length wise therefore giving the illusion of a larger diamond.

How do you make a cushion cut diamond look bigger? ›

Use a Platinum Prong Setting

The setting can be a big factor in helping your diamond appear larger. Platinum prongs blend seamlessly with a diamond and work best if you have a yellow gold band setting. Many jewel designers use this trick to accentuate the center diamond.

What is the classiest diamond cut? ›

1. ROUND BRILLIANT DIAMOND. By far the most popular cut is the Round Brilliant, with it's fifty-seven perfectly aligned facets it's brilliance really does out-shine the others. Total internal reflection is the key here; light travels through the stone giving optimum sparkle and scintillation.

Do 4 prongs or 6 prongs make diamond look bigger? ›

Four-prong mountings make diamonds look larger, while six-prong settings make the stones look a bit smaller in comparison since more of the gemstone surface is covered with metal.

What is most important for cushion-cut diamond? ›

You'll want to look at the length-to-width ratio (L/W) for cushion cuts. Square shapes should have an L/W of 1.00 to 1.05. Rectangular shapes should be significantly — but not overly — elongated, with L/W of 1.15 to 1.20. Avoid the L/W "awkward zone" of 1.06 to 1.10.

What are the best dimensions for elongated cushion? ›

The elongated are about 5.55mm x 6.00mm and 5.50mm x 6.60mm.

Do elongated cushion cuts look bigger? ›

The elongated cushion will enhance the size of the stone, making it appear bigger than it actually is. However, they are more expensive because they are more desirable to most individuals. There is no right or wrong when picking the perfect shape cushion for you, it's all about what appeals to your eye.

What color and clarity is best for cushion cut diamond? ›

Recommended Clarity And Color Ratings for Cushion Diamonds

For cushion cut diamonds, the majority of VS2 and SI1 diamonds will be eyeclean and have their inclusions masked by the sparkle and scintillation of the diamond.

What does cushion cut ring say about you? ›

Cushion Cut: You Are Romantic & Timeless

You have a natural elegance that shows in everything you do. Your combination of sense and sensibility is the perfect match to the cushion cut, a fashionable shape with a touch of vintage romance.

Why does my 2 carat diamond look small? ›

That means that some fancy shapes look larger than a round brilliant of the same weight and some look smaller. A two-carat round brilliant is about 8.1mm across. A two-carat Asscher cut is about 7mm square so it doesn't look quite as large.

What is a modern cushion cut? ›

Modern cushion-cut diamonds are distinguished by their square or squarish-rectangular shape. They're known for their curved sides that are usually rounded or have ever so slightly pointed corners.

Does a cushion cut sparkle more? ›

However, the price of cushion diamonds can change depending on popularity, as with any other diamond shape. Cushion-cut diamonds often have a softer, more subtle sparkle than round-shaped diamonds, which may be more appealing to some diamond shoppers. Like round diamonds, they typically have 58 facets.

Is a cushion or princess cut better? ›

Cushion cut diamonds feature soft, rounded edges which lend to a more romantic feel. In contrast to the understated romance of a cushion cut, princess cut diamonds offer a more modern and geometric look to engagement ring settings.

What are the measurements for a 2 carat cushion? ›

If you choose a 2-carat cushion cut diamond, know there are certain measurements for the stone that are ideal. We recommend having a 7.34mm x 7.34mm Surface for 2 Carat Diamond.

How big should sofa cushions be? ›

Narrower chairs may only need a single 45 x 45cm cushion. On your sofa, place a 60 x 60cm or a 50 x 50cm cushion at the back (in the corner,) and add a lumbar in front. On your window seat, nook or bench place a 60 x 60cm or a 50 x 50cm cushion at the back, layer a smaller cushion 50 x 50cm or 45 x 45cm in the front.

How big is a 1 carat cushion? ›

1 Carat Cushion (5.83×5.83×3.73mm)

How big is a 2ct cushion cut diamond? ›

If you choose a 2-carat cushion cut diamond, know there are certain measurements for the stone that are ideal. We recommend having a 7.34mm x 7.34mm Surface for 2 Carat Diamond.

How much is 3 ct cushion cut diamond? ›

3 carat cushion cut diamond price

At the time of writing (2nd August 2022), the cost of a 3 carat cushion cut diamond can vary from $18,000 to $120,000. $18,000 to $120,000 is a significant range, and the price you will pay will depend on the color, clarity and the 'make' if the stone ie.

How much fabric do I need for a standard cushion? ›

You will need: Fabric — the amount of fabric you need depends on the size of your cushion – this is a standard throw cushion 40cm x 40cm – so you'll need ½ metre of fabric. Sewing machine. Cushion pad.

How many prongs does a cushion cut diamond have? ›

Cushion cut diamonds are yet another category that requires four prongs. The square-shaped diamonds need just four prongs to hold the diamond.

Is a 2.5 carat considered big? ›

As we've said before, size is not the only factor to consider when selecting a ring. For many brides-to-be, things like cut or clarity may be more important than actual carat size. For the average person in the U.S., any diamond at least between 2 and 2.4 carats is considered “big,” i.e., way more than enough.

What is most important for cushion cut diamond? ›

You'll want to look at the length-to-width ratio (L/W) for cushion cuts. Square shapes should have an L/W of 1.00 to 1.05. Rectangular shapes should be significantly — but not overly — elongated, with L/W of 1.15 to 1.20. Avoid the L/W "awkward zone" of 1.06 to 1.10.

Does cushion cut diamond give a good sparkle? ›

Because modern cushion cut diamonds are faceted with the brilliant cutting style, they give off a lot of sparkle. Since almost all diamonds have some inclusions, this is very helpful for a clear looking diamond.

What is the most sought after diamond cut? ›

Not only is a round diamond the most expensive diamond cut to manufacture, but it's also the most in-demand stone shape for diamond engagement rings and many diamond jewelry styles. In fact, nearly 75% of all diamonds sold worldwide are round brilliant cuts.

How many cushions look good on a sofa? ›

Too many cushions and your living room could look cluttered, and they may even make the sofa less comfy. As a general rule, we reckon a two- or three-seater sofa needs a maximum of three cushions. If your sofa's larger then you can get away with more. Think six or more on a large corner sofa.

How thick is the average sofa cushion? ›

The foam core is usually anywhere from 4″ - 6″ thick and is typically wrapped in a dacron polyester fiber. The fiber wrapping is generally 0.5 - 1.5" thick on the top and bottom of the cushion.

How do you calculate fabric yardage for cushions? ›

Start by measuring the length and width of an individual cushion from the furniture piece. Multiply the length by two to account for both the cushion's top and bottom faces, and add an inch to the length and width to account for the seams.

What are the best cushion settings? ›

Two of the best settings that work for a cushion are the prong and halo. For the prong setting, you want to aim for a four-prong. These settings allow the most light to enter the diamond helping the cushion show its brilliant dispersion. For more rectangular cushions, you can go for a six-prong or double-prong setting.

Does 4 prongs make a diamond look bigger? ›

However, there is more space between 4-prongs so the light can enter the diamond and reflect from it better. The light performance in the diamond creates more sparkle, so the stone looks bigger. On the other hand, the 6-prong settings are thinner as there are more prongs so they grab more space around the stone.

Videos

1. Explaining Cushion Cut Diamond Variety
(Lauren B Jewelry)
2. Understanding Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut Diamonds
(Good Old Gold)
3. Ultimate Guide to Princess Cut and other Squarish Shaped Diamonds (part 2)
(JANNPAUL Diamonds)
4. Cushion Cut Diamonds Depth Comparison: Lauren B Diamond Education
(Lauren B Jewelry)
5. Which Diamond SHAPE is Right for You? | Round vs Cushion vs Oval vs Pear Gold Platinum Solitaires
(By Bonnie Jewelry)
6. Beautiful Ideal Cut Cushion Diamond With GIA Cert
(Dianoche Diamonds)

References

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