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Your Guide to Cushion-Shaped Engagement Rings

by Haley Anhut
Last updated on November 4, 2020

Diamond is the hardest substance in the world. Perhaps this is one reason why cushion-shaped diamonds are so popular; the rounded edges are juxtaposed against the unyielding strength of the diamond itself. This paradoxical dichotomy of soft and strong has helped make cushion-shaped engagement rings a timeless classic that has remained consistently popular for as long as diamond shapes have existed.

Let’s take a closer look at this brilliant shape, and whether it’s right for you.

A History of the Cushion Shape

We mentioned that the cushion-shaped diamonds have been around for a long time. That’s definitely true, but they weren’t always called “cushion-shaped.” In fact, this shape’s origins date back to the 1700s, with the early brilliant shape known as the “old mine cut.” Old mine diamonds were originally cut by hand, and thus share little in the way of standards. However, their general shape — a squared girdle with rounded corners — carried over into today’s cushion shape. The old European shape (featuring a circular girdle rather than a squarish one), introduced in the 1800s, is another earlier influence of the cushion.

New diamond cutting techniques introduced in the 1900s eventually made possible increased complexity in rounded cuts. The result is the Cushion Modified Brilliant diamond.

Features of Cushion-Shaped Diamonds

Cushion-shaped diamonds range in shape from square to rectangular. They feature large facets (as many as 64), and are some of the most brilliant diamonds around. But even more than their brilliance, cushion-shaped diamonds are known for their fire. Wearers can expect an absolutely dazzling display as this intricate cut fractures and disperses light into all of the colors of the rainbow. 

Cushion shapes also manage to avoid most issues related to clarity. Because of the unique shape of the cushion, nearly any inclusions within the diamond are hidden from sight. So while the diamonds themselves are still rated on their clarity (with VVSI1 and VVSI2 featuring minimal inclusions and SI1 and SI2 featuring slightly more inclusions), the differences are all-but-invisible to the naked eye. This is particularly true if you decide on a cushion modified brilliant “crushed-ice” rather than a cushion brilliant “antique”.

Finally, it’s worth noting that — thanks to the size of their facets — cushion-shaped diamonds often appear larger than their actual carat weight. Thus, for those who want something striking, but feel as though they can’t afford a large diamond, the cushion shape provides a solution.

Symbolism and Meaning of Cushion-Shaped Diamonds

The cushion’s history and shape both play a significant role in its accompanying symbolism. The subtle design belies its powerful style and represents tender feelings displayed without embarrassment. This shape is a good choice for bold romantics who want to show the world just how powerful their love is.

Additionally, the antiquity of the design (and similar designs which came before it) brings with it an air of class, sophistication, timeless elegance, and perhaps even opulence. After all, the brilliance and fire of this shape are extremely eye-catching; The edges are subtle — the scattered light is anything but. A cushion-shaped engagement ring is one that screams to be shown off. 

Customizing a Cushion-Shaped Diamond

Cushion-shaped diamonds are highly customizable, making them a top choice for couples who are interested in customizing or designing their own engagement rings. Couples can choose from two facet patterns: antique or crushed ice. Antique features a clearly defined facet pattern, while crushed-iced styles are more fuzzy and less definite. Both styles are highly prized and make beautiful engagement rings, so choosing between the two is simply a matter of preference. 

Cushion-shaped diamonds also feature a wider range of sizes and shapes than traditional square diamonds. Rectangular options allow for more freedom in ring design and can create some truly stunning configurations.

Choosing the Cushion-Shaped Diamond that’s Right for You

Clean Origin offers a wide variety of cushion-shaped diamonds so that you can find the perfect stone to represent your love. And, because all Clean Origin diamonds are lab grown, you’ll not only be able to bask in the knowledge that your diamond is ethical and eco-friendly, but you’ll also enjoy 20-30% lower prices than traditionally mined diamond options. 
So enough “cushion” talk. Take a look at our selection of cushion-cut, lab grown diamonds, and see if this timeless classic is right for you.