The Definitive Guide to Cushion Cut Diamonds & Engagement Rings


What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?

Cushion cut diamonds merge the beauty of the Princess cut and Round brilliant-cut diamond shapes. A cushion cut is a square or squarish-rectangular cut with rounded corners and 58 brilliant-style facets that resembles a pillow shape—giving rise to the name of this distinctive diamond shape. Cushion-cut diamonds are listed amongst the well-known diamond shapes available for engagement rings and diamond jewellery, most closely related to the classic round brilliant-cut and the popular Princess cut.

Round, Cushion and Princess Cut Diamonds Compared

Comparison of three popular diamond cuts. 0.70cts round brilliant-cut (left) Cushion cut (middle) and Princess cut (right).

The Origin of Cushion Cut Diamonds

‘Cushion’ is the generic name of the Old Mine Cut developed before the turn of the century. Most Cushion-cut diamonds available today are newly cut diamonds rather than antique diamonds. Many of the Old Mine Cut diamonds removed from antique jewellery exhibit the nicks and chips associated with vintage gemstones. Newly cut diamonds tend to be pristine without any signs of damage or wear. In addition, most of the new Cushion-cut diamonds have improved symmetry due to modern diamond cutting techniques. 

Cushion cut diamond line drawing

When Cushion diamonds were first cut the rough was not cleaved into two pieces as happens today. Instead, rough diamond were ground down as one stone and the final polished diamond was thick and lumpy. By comparison, Cushion cuts feature very thin girdles and bigger culets than today’s brilliant cut diamonds.

Cushion cut diamond side view

Cushion Cut Diamonds for Engagement Rings

Cushion cut diamonds are very popular in Vintage style diamond halo rings, used as centre stones. Alternatively, Cushion cut solitaire engagement rings feature the single diamond without any additional diamonds. Both styles are popular, appealing to individual tastes. In addition, we have crafted Cushion cut diamonds in three, five and seven stone designs.

Cushion cut diamond engagement ring with a shaped wedding ring

Example of a small cushion cut diamond within a halo of diamonds. Note the wedding ring has been shaped to fit around the setting. 

Cushion Cut Engagement Rings with a Diamond Halo

Many popular Cushion-cut halo engagement ring feature a Cushion-cut diamond at the centre, encircled by a single halo smaller diamonds. These are typically round brilliant cut diamonds because cushion cut diamonds are rarely cut in very small sizes. A variety of halo designs exist, but a Cushion shaped halo will compliment the shape of the centre diamond. Look out for designs with a wedding-ring-friendly setting to make life easier when you add your wedding ring.

Examples of cushion cut diamond engagement rings

Three beautiful designs. Eclipse features a rub-over setting with a Cushion cut diamond, whereas Solette features a Cushion cut diamond with elegant Milgrain detail. Finally, Royale features a round stone, with a Cushion shaped halo setting.

Eclipse halo diamond engagement ring

Are Cushion-cut Diamond Engagement Rings Popular?

The most popular diamond shape is a round brilliant-cut. Cushion cuts are rarer and there are fewer cushion cut engagement rings available. Cushion cuts vary so much in their dimensions and proportions, they are much more difficult to fit into standard setting sizes. For this reason, fewer jewellery stores offer cushion cut diamond engagement rings.

Which comes first, the setting or the Cushion diamond?

If you are considering a Cushion-cut diamond for an engagement ring, it is more than likely your first step will involve looking at ring designs. Once you have an idea of your preferred ring style, the next step involves sourcing a suitable diamond. Part of our work involves sourcing the very best diamond to suit both your design and budget. We give consideration to your ring design and match your budget to the best selection of diamonds. Buyers who purchase directly from our website typically expect to receive their completed ring within 4 weeks of placing their order. During this time we source a suitable diamond whilst we work on the ring mount itself.

Close up of a Cushion cut 0.70ct diamond

Close up of a GIA certified Cushion cut diamond (0.70cts measuring 5.3mm square) – this photograph was taken for one of our clients helping with their choice of diamond.

What happens if you have a round diamond but love the Cushion halo design?

If you are limited by diamond choice (Some clients possess an existing diamond) don’t despair. There are many designs featuring a Cushion-shaped halo around a round diamond or Sapphire. We have included an example above, set with a blue Sapphire. The ‘Royale’ design is available with a diamond, Ruby, Blue, or Pink Sapphire.

Cushion Cut 3 Stone Engagement Rings

Three stone cushion cut engagement rings - Cushion and Princess 3 Stone and Cushion and round three stone

Wedding ring friendly three stone engagement ring settings, featuring Cushion cut diamonds with rounds and Princess cut diamonds.

It is possible to find many beautiful three stone engagement rings set with a Cushion cut diamond. The two outer diamonds are typically smaller—often matched to either round diamonds or Princess cut diamonds to create a matching set. Designed with a wedding ring friendly setting, a Cushion cut trilogy ring makes an excellent alternative to solitaire and halo designs.

Do you have an idea? If you’re looking to create the perfect Cushion cut engagement ring—whether this is a solitaire single stone, a halo design or a three stone Cushion design, please get in touch with us. We’ll be delighted to help.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.

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