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The Cushion Cut – a Brief History

Ah, the cushion cut diamond. A longstanding favorite among our clients (as well as us–we love the cut!). But how did the cushion cut come to be? What gives it such a captivating appeal? Let’s take a look at how this stunning cut came to be.

First, what is the cushion cut exactly?

Well its shape is somewhere between the rectangle and the oval shape. And while it may seem like a modern cut, it actually has quite the history. Cushion cuts were very popular from a good portion of the 19th century until the early 20th century.

The core of the cushion cut is the “old mine cut” (a square cut with round corners), generally with a high crown, a small table and large facets. This “old mine cut” usually possesses 33 crown facets and 25 pavilion facets.

So what is the modern cushion cut then?

Consider it a cross between the old mine cut and a modern oval cut. But instead of the old mine cut’s  58 facets, the modern cushion cut possesses 64 facets. The cushion cut also has an open culet (which is the bottom of the gem) and more of a rectangular to square shape, with rounded corners and a facet plan that provides the gemstone’s depth.

The cushion cut should not be confused with today’s brilliant cuts, intended to maximize the light returned to the human eye. While the cushion cut is not quite as brilliant or fiery as other modern cuts, it contains within it a classic, romantic look that maximizes a gem’s luster.

How about some examples?