Cushion Cut Engagement Rings – A Bit Of History

Cushion cut engagement rings are considered to be very romantic and often are in a vintage style. The reason for such nostalgia is that the cushion cut diamond evolved from one of the very first diamond cuts. It remains a favorite among couples who prefer the antique look.

Diamond Roots

Cushion cut engagement rings have grown recently in popularity, but this style is anything but new. The cushion cut diamond was first introduced in the 17th century. It was revolutionary at the time, when most diamonds were being cut with long straight facets like the emerald cut.

The cushion cut diamond was one of the first “brilliant” style diamonds, a french term to describe the radiance and sparkle that this new technique produced.

First Generation

The cushion cut diamond was preceded by the old mine cut diamond, which had fewer facets and much steeper angles than modern styles. The top of the diamond, or the crown, featured a very small table (the facet at the top of the stone) and a flat culet (the facet at the bottom of the stone).

Today’s cushion cut engagement rings are set with either a square or rectangular shaped diamond with rounded corners. Cushion cut diamonds are more refined, with brilliant facets, more subtle angles and a larger table for greater light return.

What’s In A Name

The name cushion cut stems from the outline of the diamond’s shape. A cushion cut diamond is reminiscent of a pillow or chair cushion, with a square or rectangular shape, rounded corners and sides. Some designers have variations on the cut called a pillow cut.

Cutting Quality

In general, cushion cut engagement rings have less brilliance than a round brilliant cut or princess cut diamond. What draws people to the cushion cut diamond, though, is the unique sparkle that it displays. Because of its deep cut and broad facets, light is returned in large flashes which stand out from other engagement rings.

The cushion cut diamond looks great when accented by tiny brilliant diamonds, providing a striking contrast. For this reason, you’ll see many cushion cut engagement rings with pavé or micro-pavé settings.

Famous Cushion Cut Diamonds

The Regent Diamond is one of the most famous cushion cut diamonds in history. At a whopping 140.5 carats, the Regent Diamond has a long and interesting history, at one point, it was placed into ceremonial sword of Napoleon, worn in a crown by Charles X of France and used as a hair ornament by Empress Eugenie.

Like the Regent, the Hope Diamond is another massive cushion cut diamond with an extraordinary history. Today this 45.52 carat blue diamond is on display at the Smithsonian.

The Right Choice

Cushion cut engagement rings are ideal for couples who appreciate the traditional cutting style and subtle flash. Cushion cut diamonds are often considerably less expensive than more brilliant styles such as the round or princess cut diamond.

The cushion cut diamond is very feminine in appearance and looks best in delicate settings. Many cushion cut engagement rings feature fine details such as hand engraving, filigree, or tiny accent diamonds.

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