ROUND CUT VS. CUSHION CUT


When it comes to choosing a diamond, the options can seem endless. But when you narrow it down to the two most popular shapes – round and cushion – the decision becomes a little bit easier. Here's a quick rundown of the differences between these two classic cuts.



ROUND CUT VS. CUSHION CUT DIAMOND: STYLE


First, consider the differences in style between round and cushion cut diamonds.


Round diamonds feature a highly classic and traditional diamond shape. Round diamonds are also the most commonly used diamond shape for engagement rings, diamond rings, and various other types of diamond jewelry. Round brilliant diamonds account for roughly half of all diamonds sold today.


Cushion-cut diamonds, on the other hand, are considered a one-of-a-kind, vintage-style shape. Cushion cut diamonds are a modernized version of an antique diamond shape known as the old mine cut. Cushion cut diamonds, like old mine cut diamonds, are shaped like a square with cut corners (or a cushion), but they have modern brilliant-cut faceting. Cushion-cut diamonds are considered a vintage style because they evolved from this ancient diamond shape.


Additionally, cushion cut diamonds have a very different look than many other rectangular or square-shaped diamonds, such as princess cut, emerald cut, radiant cut, and Asscher cut diamonds. Like cushion diamonds, emerald and Asscher cut diamonds have a vintage look. Their style influences, however, are very decade specific. Emerald cut diamonds have a vintage retro style (think old Hollywood), whereas Asscher cut diamonds have an Art Deco vintage style (think: The Great Gatsby). Cushion-cut diamonds, on the other hand, have a more romantic, antique vintage appearance.


In contrast, cushion cut diamonds are distinct from princess cut diamonds and radiant cut diamonds. Princess and radiant cut diamonds are both very modern.


When comparing the styles of round and cut cushion diamonds, remember there is no "best" style. Choosing the best style for you is a simple matter of personal taste. If you want an ultra classic diamond, go with a round diamond. If you love the romantic, vintage look of the cushion cut shape, then opt for a cushion cut diamond.



ROUND CUT VS. CUSHION CUT DIAMOND: SPARKLE



Both round-cut and cushion-cut diamonds are stunning, brilliant diamond shapes. However, how they're cut causes them to sparkle uniquely.


When a diamond captures light, it reflects and refracts it before emitting it. This reflecting & refracting is what gives a diamond its glimmer. The sparkle emitted by a diamond is known technically as scintillation. The scintillation of a diamond consists of two types of light: white light (called brilliance) and rainbow light (called fire).


The amount and type of scintillation in round and cushion-cut diamonds differ. Round diamonds have more scintillation than other shapes. They are the most brilliant diamond shape by far, which is why they are so popular. Cushion-cut diamonds are still very bright but not as bright as round diamonds. However, because of their larger facets, they emit more fire.


Many people prefer the high fire of a cushion-cut diamond, while others prefer round diamonds' high overall brilliance.

 


CHOOSING A SIZE


Next, consider the size of round and cushion cut diamonds. You've probably heard that different diamond shapes can appear different sizes, even if they're the same carat weight. This difference in size is because of their shape; some diamond shapes have a larger table surface area (the area on top of the diamond).


We are frequently asked if cushion-cut diamonds look larger than round diamonds because most fancy-shaped diamonds appear larger than round diamonds. But in this case, it's a toss-up. Cushion-cut diamonds can have a slightly larger table (top) per carat than brilliant round diamonds. They also have larger facets, which can make them appear larger. On the other hand, round diamonds are more brilliant than cushion-cut diamonds, and our eyes tend to perceive greater brilliance as a larger size. As a result of all of these factors, cushion cut and round diamonds of the same carat weight appear to be the same size.


We recommend prioritizing diamond cut grade if you want a cushion cut or round diamond that appears as large as possible without increasing the carat size. Choose a diamond with a Very Good or Excellent cut grade to ensure that it sparkles brightly, maximizing visual size. Another option is to go with a halo setting rather than a bezel or prong solitaire setting. A halo setting will give the impression that your center diamond is larger than it is, regardless of whether it is round or cushion cut.



THE SELECTION PROCESS


Keep the Four Cs in mind when shopping for a diamond, whether for your diamond engagement ring or other diamond jewelry. The GIA's 4Cs of diamonds are diamond clarity grade, cut, color, and carat weight. The diamond-cut indicates how well a diamond is cut; diamond color indicates how white a diamond is, diamond clarity grade indicates how flawless a diamond is, and diamond carat is a simple weight measurement. These four-diamond elements reveal a lot about a diamond's quality and appearance.


To understand the qualities of a round diamond, you only need to look at its 4Cs. However, when shopping for a cushion-cut diamond, there are some additional diamond properties you should be aware of to select a high-quality diamond that you will adore. For example, when choosing a cushion cut diamond, four special considerations must be considered: ratio, depth percentage, table percentage, and faceting.


First, consider the cushion cut diamond length to width ratio. Cushion cut diamonds have different length-to-width ratios than round diamonds, which are always perfectly round. The ratio of a perfectly square cushion cut diamond is 1.00. (though up to 1.05 will look square to the eye). Then, anything greater than 1.10 will appear noticeably rectangular. Although the ratio is a matter of personal preference, it is important to note that not all cushion-cut diamonds have the same ratio.


Then there's the depth percentage and table percentage, both of which are quality concerns. For example, a cushion-cut diamond with an excessive depth or table percentage will sparkle poorly. To avoid this, we recommend selecting a cushion cut diamond with a depth percentage of less than 70% and a table percentage of less than 70%.


Third, there's the issue of facet pattern, which is a personal preference issue. Cushion-cut diamonds can have more facets than brilliant round diamonds, which have a standard number of facets (58). A cushion cut diamond with 58 facets will have the classic "chunky" cushion cut appearance. Cushion-cut diamonds with more facets, arranged in double rows of facets, will have a "crushed ice" appearance. (Note: Technically, the GIA classifies this type of cushion cut diamond as a "modified cushion cut" diamond.) When shopping for a cushion-cut diamond, consider which look you prefer and choose your diamond accordingly.


In addition to these three diamond properties, you should know that one of the four Cs is more important for cushion-cut diamonds. Cushion-cut diamonds have a high color saturation. This is fantastic news if you're looking for a colored cushion-cut diamond or a colorful cushion-cut gemstone. However, you should be cautious if you want a white cushion-cut diamond. Cushion-cut diamonds appear slightly yellower than round diamonds of the same color grade. To avoid getting a cushion-cut diamond that is noticeably yellow, we recommend going with a color grade of H or higher. You might want to go with a white setting (such as white gold or platinum) to make the stone appear whiter and brighter.


As you can see, choosing a cushion-cut diamond necessitates a little more knowledge than choosing a round diamond. However, if you follow our advice above, you should have no trouble finding a stunning cushion-cut diamond that you will adore.



ROUND CUT VS. CUSHION CUT DIAMOND: PRICE


Finally, consider the price difference between round and cushion diamonds. Cushion cut diamonds squarely beat round diamonds in this area. The most expensive diamond shape is a round brilliant cut diamond. One reason is that creating a brilliant round diamond generates more raw diamond waste, forcing diamond cutters to charge higher prices. Another reason is that brilliant round diamonds are highly sought after. Because round diamonds are so popular, diamond companies charge more for them, which means jewelers must do the same.


So, how much less expensive are cushion-cut diamonds compared to round diamonds? If two cushion cut and round diamonds have the same carat weight and qualities, the cushion cut diamond will cost anywhere from 25% to 50% less. On the other hand, cushion-cut diamonds are becoming more expensive as they become more popular. Nonetheless, they are easily one of the most affordable diamond shapes.



WRAPPING UP


When it comes to the round cut vs. cushion cut debate, there is no clear winner. It depends on your personal preference. When shopping for a diamond, if you prefer a more traditional look, go with a round-cut diamond. If you're looking for something a little different, go with a cushion-cut diamond. And if you're on a budget, choose a cushion cut diamond—they're more affordable than round diamonds.


We hope this article has helped you understand the differences between these two popular diamond shapes. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help you choose the right diamond for you!