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Radiant vs Cushion Diamonds

by Lucy Coleman
Last updated on August 22, 2023
radiant vs cushion

Interested in diamonds with a square or rectangle shape instead of the popular round diamond for an engagement ring? You still have a lot of options to choose from! Both the cushion and radiant cut are two amazing options for a new engagement ring. If you’re debating radiant vs cushion diamonds, keep reading to learn about each diamond’s unique characteristics.

What is a Radiant Cut Diamond?

Radiant vs cushion. Noemie Ring.

Radiant cut diamonds are rectangular shaped diamonds with cut corners. They have facets similar to the round cut diamond. A radiant diamond also shares the same contours as the popular emerald cut diamond and has almost the same shape. Radiant cuts, however, have a brilliant cut instead of a step cut, which can significantly change the appearance of the diamond.

Radiant cut diamonds combine the look of emerald diamonds with the cutting technique of round diamonds, which gives them that extra sparkle and shine.

The brilliant cut of radiant diamonds masks imperfections while increasing the number of facets so the diamond will sparkle.

What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?

Claire Classic Ring. Radiant vs cushion.

A cushion cut diamond also has a square shape, but it features softer edges. Cushion cut diamonds are typically square, but elongated cushions are also popular in jewelry.

Cushion cut diamonds have rounded corners, which gives them a softer look. They also have rounded edges instead of straight lines.

Modern cushion cuts feature brilliant cut faceting so they still retain the sparkle of a traditional diamond.

The cushion diamond comes in many different styles like the crushed ice cushion, modified cushion, and chunky cushion.

Similarities of Radiant and Cushion Diamonds

Milano ring. Radiant vs cushion.

Both elongated cushion and radiant diamonds have a rectangular shape, which is popular for engagement rings.

Because of the way cushion diamonds and radiant diamonds are cut, the way they reflect light is similar. This means they will both have a high level of fire and sparkly brilliance.

You’ll often find cushion and radiant cuts featured in halo settings. A halo setting is a small row of diamonds set around a center stone, making it appear larger and more brilliant.

Differences Between Radiant and Cushion Diamonds

There are still aspects of both stones that can make a noticeable difference when you consider radiant vs cushion diamonds.

Cut Corners vs Rounded Corners

Rounded Corners vs Square Corners
Rounded Corners vs Square Corners

Both cuts have a similar shape, but the cushion cut is more round overall. Cushion cuts feature rounded corners; even round edge radiant cuts are more square and have cut corners.

Radiant diamonds are sharp, while cushion diamonds are soft and pillowy.

Length-to-Width Ratios

The length-to-width (L/W) ratio describes the proportions of an elongated diamond. The L/W ratio is the length of the diamond (from top to bottom) divided by the width of the diamond (from one side to the other).

For cushion cut diamonds, the L/W ratio is usually between 1.00 and 1.05. They are typically square, so it may be harder to find a cushion cut diamond that’s rectangular. This ratio helps maintains the diamond’s symmetry and keeps it balanced.

For radiant cut diamonds, the ideal L/W ratio is between 1.00 and 1.10, which means that the diamond is often slightly longer than it is wide. Radiant cut diamonds are more appealing and look best as a center stone when they have this elongated shape.

These ratios are just suggestions, though. You can find diamonds that are outside these L/W ratios. It’s all up to personal preference on how you want your diamond to look.

Which Sparkles More?

Leslie Ring

Sparkle and brilliance are what you really care about when looking at a diamond’s cut quality. While the brilliance of a diamond depends on factors like its cut, clarity, and color, we can still compare radiant and cushion diamonds in terms of sparkle.

Both will reflect and refract light in a similar way because they have a similar fire. They both also have a lot of facets, which increases the sparkle.

That being said, since radiant cuts have sharp angles, they tend to have a criss-cross pattern on the facets, which helps the diamond sparkle more.

Cushion cut diamonds have a softer sparkle and a more vintage look, while radiant cut diamonds have a more focused, intense sparkle.

It’s best to look at a diamond in person or compare GIA quality reports to tell if one diamond sparkles more than another. You may like the look of a specific diamond even if it doesn’t sparkle more than a different one

Other Differences

Cushion cut diamonds are generally softer. They have a rounder shape, rounder edges, and softer sparkle. Cushion diamonds tend to be more “old-fashioned” in the way they are cut because they have a long history.

They also tend to be more symmetrical because symmetry is easier to achieve with sharp corners. Additionally, radiant cut diamonds are more durable than cushion cuts because the corners are less likely to chip or break.

Cost of Radiant vs Cushion Cut Diamonds

Waverly Ring

All fancy shapes cost less than round brilliant cut diamonds, which are the most expensive. However, each diamond shape may cost you a different price for the same quality and carat weight.

The cost of diamond shapes is affected by how much rough diamond is cut away and ‘lost’ when cutting and polishing the diamond. Cutting square or rectangular shape diamonds does not waste as much diamond; therefore, those shapes are less expensive.

Cushion cut diamonds are typically harder to cut and require more skill, so they are more expensive than radiant cuts. In addition, a cushion cut diamond may look smaller than a radiant diamond of the same carat weight. This is thanks to the cushion’s larger facets and rounded corners.

Cushion cut diamonds have an open table that can show imperfections or blemishes more easily; therefore, you may need to purchase a diamond with a higher clarity grade to avoid visible blemishes on the diamond.

Overall, the price difference between radiant and cushion cut diamonds is likely not going to be large, especially if you’re looking for a high-quality diamond. Both radiant and cushion diamonds are more affordable than round diamonds. So don’t let the price stop you from getting your favorite shape if you’re deciding between the two.

Which Diamond Should You Choose?

Cushion vs radiant diamonds.
Radiant Cut Diamonds Have a Modern and Trendy Feel

Today, radiant cut diamonds are more popular than cushion cut diamonds. They have a more modern and trendy feel while cushion cut diamonds are classic and vintage.

Both diamonds are great options for any piece of jewelry you’re looking for. If you’re shopping for an engagement ring and want to compare diamonds, browse Clean Origin’s styles online. Test out the different shapes of diamonds with different bands.

Radiant and cushion diamonds have their own unique characteristics, so the best diamond for you is the one that you really love.