As its name suggests, a cushion cut is a square or rectangular shape with rounded corners that resemble a pillow. The cushion cut is usually comprised of 58 facets with a typical ratio of 1.00 to 1.05 for square shapes and 1.10 or greater for more rectangular ones. Although not as brilliant as round brilliants, cushion cuts have large facets allowing for a greater separation of white light into spectral colors.
The cushion, pillow or candlelight cut was developed in the 19th century and has undergone several transformations and developments since. The cut has greatly benefited from the invention of cleaving as this process has helped to maximize the shape’s light dispersion making it more dynamic and brilliant.
The cushion cut may be described as a cross between the old mine cut and modern oval shape. As techniques and cutting styles have evolved over the years, several variations of the cushion cut have been developed, such as the Cushion Modified Brilliant*which may have an extra row of facets on the pavilion that alter the look of the diamond.
These modified brilliants often have what is called the“sparkling water” or “crushed ice” effect, giving them greater scintillation.Other subtle alterations have also been introduced, such as adding symmetricalkite- or half-moon-shaped facets to the pavilion and below the girdle.