Cushion cut engagement rings are becoming pretty popular these days. Many celebrities are choosing the cushion shaped diamond because its one of the few diamond shapes that blends old world charm with modern day aesthetics.
The shape itself is derived from the Old Mine Cut, which is an antique cut that is no longer used since new technologies have allowed gemologists to cut diamonds in a way that offers more brilliance and sparkle than the older style cuts.
Why cushion? Because the cut stone resembles a pillow—it has a rectangular shape with curved sides and rounded corners.
And if the idea of one of the hardest substances on earth being cut into the shape of a soft cuddly pillow gets your romantic juices flowing then you will love the fact that a cushion cut is also sometimes called a candlelight diamond.
Why? Because it was created around 1830 when there was no electricity and was designed to get the most Bling! out of a diamond under candlelight.
The romantic appeal of this particular shape is stronger than ever and often seen with fancy colored diamonds. The broad cut and large facets allow the richness and beauty of colored diamonds to shine through and dazzle the eye.
Engaging Fact: Today, under electric light, some of the elements that originally made the cushion cut so appealing end up making it look dull and lifeless. New cutting techniques for the cushion shape have brought this diamond's Bling! back under electric light.
There is no real set proportion or standard for this particular shape. For squarer cuts, the ratio between length and width should be around 1 for more rectangular shapes 1.3 or so is the way to go.
The modern version of the stone has 58 facets which is one of the changes made so that it would have more glitz under electrical lighting.
The cushion cut has a bit of an antique vibe overall and works great with vintage or vintage-style pieces and personalities.
Not surprisingly many old gems are cushion cut including the 45.5 carat Hope Diamond which after a long and colored history now lives at the Smithsonian.
Because a cushion cut diamond traditionally has fewer facets than modern rings—the diamond's sparkle and fire is less than round diamonds or other precisely cut shapes. This makes clarity a key C to consider when looking at a cushion shape. Even minor flaws will be more noticeable. Similarly, the color of the stone (or lack of color if it a white diamond) is also a crucial characteristic of its quality.
Setting a cushion cut is also a big consideration. Since its not a precise shape depending on the ratio of length to width of the stone, and not a clearly defined one with its rounded corners, a squarer shape can end up looking rounder (like the Hope diamond), or more rectangular depending on the setting and vice versa. So you need to look at the combination of the stone itself and the setting before deciding on a cushion cut engagement ring.
For those who want to know which celebrities were proposed to with cushion cut engagement rings, the list includes Jennifer Gardner, Ivanka Trump, Ashley Judd, Ashlee Simpson, Brooke Shields...just to name a few.