Cushion cut diamonds are one of the most appealing stones on the market. They wow crowds with their brilliance and make standout centerpieces on both contemporary and vintage pieces. But what is a cushion cut diamond? It refers to the how the diamond is cut. When cushion diamonds first hit the market, they were cut using step facets. These facets are elongated and placed in rows reminiscent of a mirrored staircase. Modern round brilliant cuts are cut perpendicular instead of horizontal and the facets resemble triangles. This style was pioneered by Marcel Tolkowsky, who found that it produced more brilliance and fire in the stone.
When it comes to shopping for a cushion cut diamond it is important to note that there are three types of cuts -Cushion Brilliant, Cushion Modified, Hybrid Cushion Brilliants- to choose from. Based widely on personal preference, the shape is easy to distinguish but most customers don’t understand the differences between the two. Let’s break it down.
Cushion brilliant diamonds
These stones are very similar to round brilliant cut diamonds. The facets in the pavilion extend from the center to the outer edge and have been said to resemble a star. “Cushion” diamonds got their name because they resemble round cut diamonds, but are in a cushion, pillow-like shape.
Cushion modified brilliants
If you’re looking for subtle variations, cushion modified brilliants contain an extra row of facets below the girdle (outer edge) that give the cut a flower-like appearance. If you’re going for sparkle, a cushion modified brilliant is perfect for you. Because of the additional cuts and sparkle, this look is said to have a “crushed ice”-like appearance similar to a well-cut radiant diamond. Cushion modified brilliants tend to cost a little less than cushion brilliants because they are not in as high demand and cutters save weight when cutting them from a rough diamond crystal.
Hybrid cushion brilliants
This somewhat new technique can appeal to those who want the best of both worlds. Maybe you want a classic look with well-cut facets, but you want a little more pizzazz and sparkle. These stones are often still considered cushion-modified brilliants, but ask your jeweler and they will be able to point you in the right direction and are well-familiar with these cuts. You can distinguish these diamonds by finding its four pavilion facets that extend from the center to the girdle and have modified facets in between them. This look allows you to retain the carat weight and appearance of the modified cushion while still giving you a classic look.
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