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There's more than one reason why cushion-cut diamond engagement rings are so popular. The unique shape and rounded corners of cushion-cut stones increase the facet size, meaning they give off an elegant and sophisticated sparkle. Classic and versatile, these stones look just as good solitaire as they do in a halo or three-stone setting. Plus, no two cushion-cut diamonds are exactly the same. Some rocks are a bit rounder, others tend to look more like a square, and some can even come in an oval shape.
What Is the Cushion Cut?
The cushion cut is defined by its rounded corners and 58 brilliant-style facets that resemble a pillow shape. They have been favored by brides-to-be since the 19th century.
We consulted with industry expert Nicole Wegman to gain insight on all of the best tips and tricks to know when selecting cushion-cut bling. Discover everything from the history of cushion-cut stones, the pros and cons, what to look for, and how to care for your ring so it stays looking flawless.
Meet the Expert
- Nicole Wegman has blurred the distinct line between jeweler and influencer as the founder and CEO of Ring Concierge.
History of the Cushion Cut
Originating in the 18th century, this cut was once known as the "mine cut" after the Brazilian miners who cut these diamonds by hand. The cushion cut was extremely popular in the 19th century, when most gemstones, not just diamonds, were cut in this manner. (The famous "Tiffany diamond" is actually cushion-cut!)
Due to its popularity during a former era, this diamond cut is often regarded as antique and speaks to old-world style, even though it's been refined. Many modern cushion-cut diamonds actually include 64 facets instead of the original 58.
Pros and Cons of Cushion-Cut Diamonds
The cushion-cut diamond is one of the most classic and recognizable diamond shapes to date. "One of the most special features of the cushion-cut diamond is how many different ways they can be cut, causing their appearance to range greatly," Wegman says. From elongated and square, sharp and defined, to soft and pillowy, cushion-cuts allow for versatility and the ability to select a ring that aligns with the bride's personal style. "This is what makes each cushion truly unique."
For the bride who believes bigger is better, keep in mind that this cut will not give off the illusion of a larger stone. "Square cushions tend to appear smaller than other shapes," says Wegman. Her clients often request elongated cushion shapes in order to combat this characteristic. "However, they are very difficult to find and you may have a smaller selection to choose from."
What to Look for in a Cushion-Cut Diamond
- How can I tell if the ring is high quality? As with any diamond, you should look for quality. Clean cuts and clarity, as well as any authenticity certifications, are of utmost importance. Cushion-cut diamonds, however, are unique in a few ways. Due to the way they're cut, these diamonds give off a softer glow than other styles, so if you want a shinier look, go for more facets. Symmetry is also important—make sure the four corners are as identical as possible.
- What settings pair best with a cushion-cut stone? Since it is an older style, cushion-cuts are perfect for vintage-inspired settings, but they easily look right at home in more contemporary settings like east-west, two-stone, and double-band. The rounded edges make this style a softer one, so while it looks great in platinum or white gold, it can just as easily shine in a romantic rose gold setting or mixed-metal ring.
If you're an alternative bride seeking a unique engagement ring, opt for a yellow, pink, or blue cushion-cut diamond. This cut naturally holds color better than others, and its vibrancy won't diminish over time.
How to Care for a Cushion-Cut Diamond
As one of the most cherished pieces of jewelry you'll ever own, it's important to keep your ring looking just as pristine as the day you said "yes." With any diamond cut, Wegman recommends removing your engagement ring before activities that include contact with dirt, water, or sweat. "This will both protect the setting and diamond and help keep it clean," explains Wegman.
Getting in the habit of establishing a regular care routine for your ring is the best way to ensure long-lasting shine. "To keep your diamond sparkling, clean it weekly with jewelry cleaner, like our Foam Jewelry Cleaner, or scrub with a soft toothbrush using warm water and dish soap," Wegman says. "Make sure you get under your diamond to remove any trapped dirt."
Ahead, scroll through 20 of the prettiest cushion-cut engagement rings on the market.
Vrai The Signature Engagement Ring
This timeless solitaire engagement ring features a prong-set cushion-cut diamond on a simple 18k white gold band. This ring is fully customizable, so you can choose a yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum band instead. It's designed to sit low on the finger and draw in light for a brilliant sparkle.
Bario Neal Avens Asymmetrical Diamond Cushion with Champagne Ombré Ring
For the unique bride, there's this cushion-cut diamond asymmetrically set in 14k gold with ombré-effect diamonds on either side. The center stone is available in .5, .75, and 1-carat weights, while the band also comes in rose gold, white gold, and platinum, with the choice of a matte or shiny finish.
Vera Wang Love Collection 1.25-Carat Cushion-Cut Diamond Frame Engagement Ring
For the bride who craves a glamorous three-stone look, there's this cushion-cut engagement ring set in 14k white gold with a black rhodium plate. Each of the three stones features a diamond halo with additional diamonds lining the shank. For an extra romantic touch, the gallery features two princess-cut sapphires symbolizing faithfulness and everlasting love.
Gillian Conroy Cushion White Rose-Cut Diamond & Yellow Gold Bezel Ring
For the minimalist bride seeking vintage charm, this cushion-cut white diamond is bezel-set in a simple yellow gold band. The band is also available in rose gold, white gold, and platinum, and you can choose from a matte or a high-shine finish.
Ashley Zhang Collet Engagement Ring
This unique engagement ring features a mixed-metal setting for the unconventional bride. The 1-carat cushion-cut diamond shines in a platinum Georgian collet setting, while the yellow gold band provides a lovely contrast. You can customize your look by choosing a rose or white gold band instead.
Allurez Cushion Cut Halo Opal & Diamond Engagement Ring
Available in an array of stones and metals, this cushion-cut engagement ring allows you to optimize your own personal style. If you're seeking a distinct piece that truly captures a variety of stunning colors, opt for the 2.60 carat opal center stone.