Cushion cut diamonds have a long history. They were developed as a way to brighten diamonds with then-current technology. Earlier versions may have names like Old Mine cut or Old European cut. The cut appears today in jewelry both antique and new.
When fashioning diamonds, cutters must balance the desire for brilliance with preserving as much weight as possible. Before the advent of diamond saws and other tools, the process was even more challenging. Cushion cuts served as a compromise between sparkle, size and available techniques.
A cushion cut diamond has no fixed shape. They’re often a cross between a square and a circle, resembling their namesake pillow. Other versions may be more oval in form. While there is no set facet pattern, all variants share the same goal, brightening the stone.
The cushion cut diamond is sought out for its carat retaining properties. The cut is classic, while also standing apart from more popular shapes. It’s also appealing to those who want a vintage look for their jewelry. The brilliant design attracts still more who enjoy sparkle.
When looking for your perfect cushion cut diamond, gently rock the stone. A well-designed jewel will have a pattern of light and shadow you find pleasing. Flecks of colored light, known as fire, should also be present. Other qualities to look for are symmetry, depth and girdle thickness. All factors should lead to a diamond you find beautiful.