Diamond Shapes: Cushion Cut Diamond

Also known as the old mine cut or the mine cut diamond, cushion cut diamond got its name from its shape which looks like a pillow. But what is a cushion cut diamond exactly? Well, these particular diamond cut are square or rectangular and unlike the princess cut diamond which has beveled corners, the cushion cut diamond has rounded corners.

Even if the cushion cut diamond is considered to be less brilliant than round diamonds, they have more fire. That’s why this cut is the third most popular diamond shape in the world. Just like any other diamonds, buying a cushion cut diamond can be a little bit tricky, that’s why in this article, we are going to breakdown the characteristics of this diamond shape and tackle the things that you should consider if you’re going to buy this diamond shape so you get the best cushion cut diamond possible. 


The history of the cushion cut diamond can be traced back to the 19th century. But back in those days, the cushion cut diamond wasn’t called like that. Because in the past, they originally referred to it as the mine cut and the old mine cut. The mine cut was a square diamond that had rounded corners and it was named after the Brazilian diamond mines. When these diamonds were discovered in South Africa, the Brazilian diamond mines became the old mines and the stone named after the mines changed its names, too. This cut has been around for almost 200 years and it was the popular diamond shape during the first century of its existence. 

Types of Cushion Cuts

Original Cushion Cut – Also known as cushion brilliant, old mine cut, or the antique-style cushion, this cut was created before the round brilliant cut became popular and cushion diamonds were the standard. The Old mine cut has 25 pavilion facets and 33 crown which means it has 58 total facets. Generally, the original cushion cut is less brilliant than the modern cushion cut because back in the days, cutters did not have the technology and skills to optimize its brilliance which requires a lot of precision when it comes to polishing and cutting.

Modern Cushion Cut – The modern cushion cut somehow resembles a cross between the old mine cut and a modern oval cut. It has a total of 64 facets and you will immediately notice that the modern cushion cut have more sparkle and brilliance compared to the old mine cuts. 

Modified Cushion Cut – This type of cushion cut differs from the classic version when it comes to the form and number of facets it has on its pavilion or bottom. There are different varieties of the modified cushion cut and they were created to reduce weight and increase the brilliance of the diamond. Modified cushion cut diamonds look like flowing water or crushed ice when you see them reflect light that’s why they are also called crushed ice diamonds.

How Much Does It Cost?

Fancy shaped diamonds such as the cushion cut are less expensive than the popular round cut diamonds. This is because the shape of the cushion cut diamond makes them more efficient at using the rough diamond compared to the round brilliants where most of the coveted rough materials are sacrificed. However, fancy shaped diamonds tend to have increased depth and more carat weight in the center of the diamond compared to its corners or sides which is where the diamond expands. That means if a 1 carat round cut will measure about 6.4 mm, the 1-carat cushion cut will only be out 5.5mm.

Cushion cut diamonds that have a ratio of 1.00 to 1.05 are considered to be square and they are also the most desirable cushion cuts but, they tend to cost more. A cushion cut diamond that has a ratio of 1.06 to 1.10 is considered to be squarish. This means that they are slightly off-square and they are often called as elongated cushion cut diamonds. Their extended length to width ratio can make them look a little larger. Cushion cut diamonds that have a length to width ratio of 1.10 or higher are called the rectangular cushion and they tend to be less expensive compared to the square cushion cuts. 

Now that you have an idea on the ratios of cushion cut diamonds, we are sure that you’re wondering what their actual price is. Just like all other diamond shapes, the cushion cut diamonds are more affordable if it’s smaller, however, keep in mind that their prices don’t increase at a steady rate. It is because it is very hard to find a rough diamond that is clear and large enough to make a quality diamond that has higher carat rates. That’s why a 2 carats cushion cut diamond may cost around 17,000 to 21,000 dollars and if you look at 4-carat cushion cut diamonds, you will clearly notice that the price skyrockets some even costs a 100 grand. But don’t worry, you can find plenty of quality stones in smaller sizes and there are a lot of budget-friendly ways to make your center diamond look larger than it actually is. 

Things to Look for When Buying Cushion Cut Diamonds

Here are a few things that you should consider when selecting a cushion cut diamond:

  • It is common for the girdle of a cushion cut diamond to differ in thickness which means that the girdles at the corners of the diamond are thicker than the girdle between the corners and the area can be vulnerable to damage and chipping if it’s extremely thin. That’s why we suggest that you should consider having the stone mounted in a bezel setting instead of a prong setting to protect the girdles of the diamond from damage.
  • Be mindful of the symmetry in the stone’s outline. Make sure that the corners and sides of the cushion cut diamond mirror each other in the amount of curve to avoid and off-shape.
  • Don’t expect the cushion cut diamond to have a sparkle of a princess cut or a round brilliant cut diamond. Cushion cuts have a different pattern of sparkle but it doesn’t mean that they are less beautiful. This is why when buying a cushion cut diamond, you should see it in person so that you will know if it meets your sparkle quotient.