The Cushion shaped diamond is one of the most popular cuts of the fancy-shapes. Many people are still unfamiliar with the cushion diamond, but the cushion cut has been around for over 100 years! Celebrities such as Jennifer Garner, Giuliana Rancic, Catherine Giudici, Kelly Rowland, and Ivanka Trump's engagement rings all feature a cushion cut diamond which has helped the cut gain more popularity. When looking at cushion cut diamonds and deciding if it is the right stone for you, there are many important factors you should take into consideration.
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Faceting and Symmetry of the Cut
As far as diamonds, the cushion is one of the trickier cuts in terms of the facets and finding a really "nice make" or in other words faceting and symmetry.
There is the "crushed ice" look versus the more desirable "cardinal cut" where the facets of the diamond are more defined.
Depth of the Diamond
The depth of a diamond is another important factor to consider. You want to be sure that the diamond is not too deep or too shallow. This will create one of two things.
- Too Deep: A diamond that looks a lot smaller than its actual carat weight. When a diamond is too deep, this would be a case where there isn't more too love! It is not ideal in the case that this will make the diamond appear a lot smaller because all of the weight is at the bottom of the diamond versus being spread towards the top of the diamond giving a more large diamond appearance. You would not want to get stuck with a 2.00 carat diamond that looks like a 1.25 carat diamond (yes, it's possible)!
- Too Shallow: A diamond that looks like there is a dead spot in the center due to the light leaking through the bottom of the diamond versus reflecting back up and creating more brilliance. The ideal diamond will have the perfect proportions that will allow the light not only to enter the diamond but to reflect back to the top giving that gorgeous sparkle and shine!
A brilliant diamond will fall into a very good to excellent cut grade for rounds, and for fancies, a good to excellent polish an symmetry grade. Although a good and above cut grade is important for light return, there are other factors far more important such as hue and luster. To the human eye, a Good/Very Good grade may look better than an Excellent grade depending on a combination of factors such as hue and luster as well as "spread" of how big or wide the diamond may appear with a good and above cut grade.
Hue and Luster
One of the most important factors in any type of diamond is the brilliance and luster of a diamond as well as it's hue or color tint. In the trade, this is referred to as BGM (Brown, Green, and/or Milky). A diamond may look perfect on paper, with D-Flawless features and a triple Excellent cut grade, but if it appears to have a milky or opaque look or a chocolate / brown tint, it would certainly not shine as bright as a diamond free from those features. Hue and Luster are not graded on a certificate currently, so it is very important to be able to identify and compare it properly. This also explains why, when comparing apples to apples on a diamond, there is a large range in price points for the same grades on a certificate. The Classic Gem considers BGM as a 5th component to the 4C's! Read more about BGM here: Beyond the 4Cs of Diamond Buying; Critical Factors That Make a Diamond Stand Out.
If you are considering some similar cuts, alternative to the Cushion cut, there are other fancy cuts such as the Radiant cut and the Princess cut which all have four sides and a unique but similar type of brilliance.