The Cushion cut is a modern version of the old mine cut which was the standard diamond cutting style for diamonds before the turn of the century. A cushion cut is a square or squarish-rectangular cut with rounded corners and brilliant-style facets. Cushion cuts are a little less brilliant than modern round brilliants but have more fire. Traditional cushion cut diamonds have steep crown and pavilion facets, usually a large culet and a small table and return light in a chunkier pattern than modern cuts. The cushion cut style has been refined over time, shrinking the culet, enlarging the table, and improving the cut angles for increased brilliance. The standards for cushion cuts vary more than most other shapes.
The modern Brilliant Cushion cuts also have better symmetry, proportions and polish and can be the most similar to brilliant cuts in appearance with a more unusual shape.
The Modified Brilliant Cushion adds an extra row of facets to the pavilion or bottom of the diamond. This gives them a “crushed ice” or needle-like facet pattern, more similar to a radiant cut than a traditional cushion cut.
Cushion cut diamonds come in various shapes from those almost square to very rectangular. There is no right answer so personal preference should dictate the choice. Rectangular cuts have less symmetry than squarer cuts and need greater depth (which translates to higher carat weight) to achieve similar brilliance so squarer cuts are more cost-effective. With rectangular cuts, if the cut of the diamond is not correct a bow tie shadow will be evident across the centre of the diamond (similar to an oval cut). You need to examine the diamond in person under varying light conditions to ensure you do not have a persistent dark bow tie pattern.
Coloured diamonds are often cut as cushions as this shape maximises colour saturation.
Rim settings will accentuate their unusual shape while claw settings will make them appear more square/ rectangular. Cushion cuts with more rounded corners are often set with double claws as they hold the diamond more securely. Cushion cuts are nearly as versatile as round cuts and can look very effective with various options of sides stones in trilogies and as a centre stone in halo rings.