Cushion cut and round cut diamonds are two very popular diamond shapes. While they share some similarities, each is distinctly unique in appearance and characteristics. We thought we'd take a look at both cuts to give our readers an idea of the subtle differences between them, as well as the things that make each diamond cut a unique option.
On the contrary, cushion cut diamonds feature a distinctive, vintage-style silhouette. Contemporary cushion cut diamonds evolve from an old-fashioned shape: the old mine cut. Cushion cut diamonds are squares with softly curved corners (resembling a cushion), just like old mine cut diamonds, but they feature forward-looking brilliant cut faceting.
Round and cushion cut diamonds are equally beautiful. However, because of contouring into different shapes, they shine in a slightly different way.
When a diamond catches light, it reflects and refracts that light, then emits it. This is what causes a diamond's sparkle. Technically, the sparkle emitted from a diamond is its scintillation. A diamond’s scintillation is actually made up of two types of light: white light (called brilliance) and rainbow light (called fire).
Round cut and cushion cut diamonds have varying amounts and types of scintillation. Round cut diamonds are without a doubt the most brilliant diamond shape, which may explain their popularity. Round diamonds generate a higher amount of sparkle, hence a cushion cut diamond is not as brilliant as a round cut, but it does emit more fire.
CHOOSING A SIZE
Next, let's tackle the size of cushion cut and round shapes. You may have heard that different diamond shapes can look like different sizes, even if they contain an equal carat weight. This is owing to the fact that some diamond shapes have a higher table surface area (the section on the top of the diamond), due to their form.
Usually, most fancy shapes appear larger than round stones. However, in this situation, it's a bit of a tie. Cushion cut diamonds have a slightly bigger table (top) per carat than round brilliant diamonds. Furthermore, they have larger facets, which can make them appear larger. However, round diamonds still contain more brilliance.
Which diamond cut is more expensive-cushion cut or round cut? A round cut diamond is the more expensive option. The round shape leads to disproportionately more diamond waste when compared with other shapes like a cushion cut, so diamond cutters must charge more for the additional labor it takes to shape. Another reason is the popularity of round brilliant cut diamonds leads to higher prices.
So for instance, a cushion cut diamond of the same carat weight and quality as a round diamond would cost about 25%-50% less. Cushion cut diamonds are becoming more popular, thus pricier, but they’re still one of the most affordable shapes.
In a nutshell, the main differences between cushion cut vs round diamonds are their shape, sparkle and fire. Round cut diamonds are more brilliant while cushion cut diamonds emit more fire.