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September National Cushion Cut Diamond Month

What Is the Best Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring?

Given that September is National “Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring” Month I think a feature article is in order.

Anita Halo Setting

Before you run off to Google this epic event, you should know that I just made that up. Be that as it may, September shall henceforth be the month for Cushion Cut Diamond engagement rings.

Consequently, I can't wait until one of the news services picks up on this little event. With this in mind, you should remember that you first heard about it right here.

Be sure to tell all your friends that September is National Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring Month at Nice Ice.

September is National Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring Month at Nice Ice. Discover the Secret to Buying Cushion Cut Diamonds for Maximum Sparkle Factor. #diamonds #diamondsareforever #engagementrings

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Cushion Cut Diamonds Are Trendy Because They're A Brilliant Choice:

Many people wonder whether cushion cut diamonds are trendy because they are popular. At the same time, you might wonder whether cushion cuts are popular because they are trendy. Although this may be true, you might might decide it doesn't matter if you really like the shape.

After all, the simple truth is that different diamonds shapes enjoy popularity throughout history. With that in mind, the most popular diamond shape of all time is the round. However, as you can see below, princess and cushion cut diamonds are the next most popular shape.

Popular Diamond Shapes.

The percentages of popularity for the diamond shapes above is a reflection of Ritani orders online. As can be seen, the relevant amount of people buying cushion cut diamonds is considerably higher than most other shapes.

What Is The Most Popular Diamond Shape?

As shown above, the following percentages reflect the preferences of people buying diamonds from Ritani. By and large, the modern round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular shape of diamond. However, it's abundantly clear that princess and cushion cut diamonds are running neck and neck for second place.

  • 57% of People Prefer Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds (RBCD).
  • 16% of People Prefer Princess Cut Diamonds.
  • 14% of People Prefer Cushion Cut Diamonds.
  • 3% of People Prefer Asscher or Emerald Cut Diamonds.
  • 2% of People Prefer Oval, Pear or Radiant Cut Diamonds.
  • 1% of People Prefer Marquise Cut Diamonds.

Under those circumstances, it's not surprising why so many people ask me to help them search for cushion cut diamonds. By the way, If be sure to read how diamond shape affects the price if you're considering a fancy shape.

Meet the Cutter Who Is Cutting the Brightest Cushion Cut Diamonds:

The demand for cushion cut diamonds has been steadily rising for the last few years. Although this may be true, the vast majority of fancy shape diamonds are not fashioned well. In the first place, the majority of diamond cutters focus on retention of carat weight more than sparkle factor.

At the same time, the lack of optical precision and consistent facet structure creates more light leakage. As a matter of fact, most diamond dealers don't provide ASET or Ideal Scope images for fancy shape diamonds. For one thing, the majority of cushion and fancy shape diamonds are not cut for light performance.

Diamond Cutter Brian Gavin

Another key point to remember is that some people are better at polishing diamonds than others. Fifth-generation diamond cutter, Brian Gavin is well-known for producing diamonds which are truly A Cut Above. As a matter of fact, we were buying A Cut Above™ Diamonds from Brian Gavin back in 1998.

Of course, everybody knows that Black by Brian Gavin and his Signature Collection represent the next generation in light performance. With this in mind, it seems obvious that Brian Gavin's newest production is A Cut Above the Rest. Brian Gavin recently updated the design of the cushion cut diamond to increase the sparkle factor. As a result, you'll see that Brian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamonds exhibit broad-spectrum sparkle which is more vivid and intense.

Meghan Markle Inspired Engagement Ring with Brian Gavin Signature Diamond:

Meghan Markle Inspired Ring

In the event that you love Meghan Markle's 3-stone engagement ring, then you're in luck! Because this Meghan Markle inspired engagement ring by Brian Gavin is absolutely stunning.

As can be seen on the left, the ring features a Brian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamond in the center. Not to mention the two Brian Gavin Signature round hearts and arrows diamonds that accent the center stone. Imagine how incredible this ring is going to look on your finger given the light performance that these diamonds deliver. My son's engagement ring is from Brian Gavin Diamonds and I assure you that the sparkle factor is off the charts! I probably don't need to point out that my trade status enables us to buy from anywhere.

Why Are Cushion Cut Diamonds So Popular?

One thing is for certain, the cushion cut diamond is more popular than ever since being given the prominent position of center stage in Meghan Markle's engagement ring. At the same time, it's obvious that the new Brian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamonds looks better than all the rest.

For one thing, the BGD Signature Cushion exhibits stronger contrast brilliance due to the higher degree of optical precision. As an illustration of this fact, just look at how amazing the BGD Cushion looks in the newspaper article above. To be sure, that cushion cut diamond is leaping off the page! In view of that fact, imagine how a diamond like that is going to look on her hand.

At the same time, one of the most common questions is “what is the best setting for a cushion cut diamond?” to which I most often respond “Uh, didn’t your girlfriend give you a picture of what she wants, or something?” and most guys reply back with “Uh yea, but I can’t find it… what do you recommend?” Great let’s make it Todd’s fault if “we” get this wrong! Any chance it looked like this Custom Halo Engagement Ring from Brian Gavin?

How to Select Cushion Cut Diamonds:

Contrary to what you might think, it's not possible to select cushion cut diamonds by the numbers. For one thing, most cushion cut diamonds are not as symmetrical in shape as a round brilliant. That is to say that there isn't any sort of consistency in the shape or outline of the stone.

The Most Common Cushion Modified Brilliant Facet Patterns:

Cushion Cut Diamond Plotting Diagrams.

At the same time, you'll find that cushion cut diamonds are available with a wide variety of facet structures. Suffice to say that each of these unique designs will produce a completely different look.

As a matter of fact, all of the cushion cut facet structures on the left will reflect light in different patterns. In other words, light will bounce around and reflect off the facets in accordance with the design.

In addition, the facet structure will dictate the size and intensity of the sparkle. For the most part, deciding which version of cushion cut diamond to buy is a matter of personal preference. However, you want to be sure to choose one which exhibits the highest volume of light return.

In my experience, the best option is the Brian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamond featured at the top. Although this my be true, you might be wondering why I keep circling back around to Brian Gavin.

The fact of the matter is that I represent most of the more popular online diamond vendors. By the same token, practically all of them offer a wide variety of cushion cut diamonds with traditional facet patterns.

Be that as it may, the reality is that I know from firsthand experience that nothing compares with Brian Gavin. Even so, you don't have to take my word for it because I can prove it. So long as we can find a few cushion cut diamonds with the ASET and Ideal Scope images necessary to verify light performance.

Do Cushion Cut Diamonds Sparkle Like Rounds?

People frequently ask me whether a cushion cut diamond offers the same light performance as a round. Given the obvious differences in outline and facet structure, it's reasonable to conclude that both shapes reflect light differently. At the same time, I must say that the Brian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamond is the best I've ever seen. Once again, you don't have to take my word for it because the reflector scope images prove my point.

Black by Brian Gavin Cushion.

The images on the left are for this 1.078 carat, G-color, VS-1 clarity, Black by Brian Gavin Cushion cut diamond. As you can see, Brian Gavin provides all the details necessary for you to feel confident about your decision.

  • AGS Light Performance DQD.
  • High Resolution Video.
  • Clarity Photograph.
  • ASET Scope image.
  • Ideal Scope image.
  • Hearts & Arrows photograph.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Consequently, this means that you have everything you need to verify the light performance of this diamond. One look at the ASET/Ideal Scope images on the left and you immediately know that this diamond rocks! All that red indicates that this diamond exhibits the highest volume of light return.

In contrast, you'll discover that most other cushion cut diamonds leak light like a sieve. Which is why it's difficult to get ASET/Ideal Scope images for them.

Are Cushion Cut Diamonds Good? (In comparison to what?)

Lots of people ask me whether cushion cut diamonds are good. For the purpose of providing them with the best answer, I usually respond by asking in comparison to what? After all, the eye only sees what the mind is ready to comprehend. Although this may be true, I don't think that Robertson Davies was referring to diamonds when he wrote Tempest Tost.

Cushion Modified Cut Diamond.

At the same time, his understanding of how human beings perceive quality seems to be spot-on. In my experience, most people assume that a diamond is good if the lab report indicates that it's excellent.

When in fact, most diamond grading reports tell us absolutely nothing about light performance and sparkle factor.As an illustration, look at the ASET/Ideal Scope images for this 1.02 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, cushion modified brilliant cut diamond from Blue Nile.

According to the GIA, this diamond has polish and symmetry grades of Excellent. However, both the ASET and Ideal Scope images reveal extensive light leakage. In this case, the diamond is leaking light all the way around the edge of the table facet. That's what all the transparent windows visible on the left represent.

At the same time, the center of the diamond shows a lot of red which means that area will be very bright. By the same token, the pattern of light reflecting throughout the diamond is fairly even.

It's important to realize that most modified and traditional cushions leak light even more than this. To put it differently, the reality is that this specific diamond is not that bad for this particular shape. Be that as it may, it doesn't hold a candle to the Brian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamonds.

As a matter of fact, I think that the Brian Gavin Signature Cushions are in a class by themselves. Although this may be true, the labs are going to call it as they see fit because of the cushion-like outline.

The Anita Halo Setting by Brian Gavin:

Anita Halo Setting

Since halo engagement rings are extremely popular right now, you should check out the Anita Halo by Brian Gavin. After all, it only makes sense to buy the diamond and engagement ring at the same time. Especially since the accent diamonds set in this ring offer the same sparkle factor as other Brian Gavin Diamonds.

In other words, the accent diamonds in this ring offer the same light performance as the center stone. In addition, I love the design of this ring and all the many details. Namely the little hearts that adorn the center stone within the framework of the ring. To say nothing of how stunning and comfortable this ring feels as a whole on the finger.

Brian Gavin Signature

Where Are the Best Places to Buy Cushion Cut Diamonds Online:

By this point, I'm sure you'll agree that Brian Gavin Diamonds are uniquely in a class of their own. As can be seen above, the facet structure of the BGD Cushion is one of a kind. One of the reasons why it is different from the rest is because it is a hybrid blend of sorts.

BGD Hearts Arrows Cushion

In the event that you study the facet structure closely enough, you'll see a blend of round and cushion characteristics. Under those circumstances, I must say that Brian Gavin's a true alchemist because blending those traits is no easy task.

The first thing to realize is that what you're seeing here is a round brilliant crown on a cushion pavilion. At the same time, every single facet requires adjustment to transition from a round to a cushion. And consequently, the facets must align perfectly to produce the hearts pattern seen here. Be sure to read "The Science Behind the Sparkle" this remarkable achievement.

Given these points, it's rather obvious that Brian Gavin Signature diamonds are the best. Although this may be true, it's also important to acknowledge that people have different preferences. In which case, I recommend searching the following sites for cushion cut diamonds:

James Allen True Hearts Cushion Modified Brilliant:

James Allen True Hearts

Look at the James Allen True Hearts Cushion modified brilliant on the left and see how it reflects light. In the first place, I want you to notice how the pattern of light fans out from the center. At the same time, you might be aware of how the facets split the light apart into different size pieces.

I'm pointing all this out as an illustration of how the facet structure affects the sparkle factor of a diamond. Although this may be true, you'll notice that I'm not saying whether this is good or bad. The reason is because deciding which cushion cut diamond to buy is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people will prefer sparkle which is larger and bolder in size. While other people might prefer the crushed ice effect created by sparkle that is smaller in size.

ASET Scope Image for James Allen True Hearts Cushion Cut Diamond:

ASET James Allen Cushion

The ASET Scope image on the AGS Diamond Quality Document (DQD) shows a lot of red which indicates brightness. With this in mind, we know that this James Allen True Hearts Cushion cut diamond will be very bright. At the same time, there are large patches of green which indicate secondary brightness.

One of the benefits of ASET is that it enables us to determine how evenly the diamond is reflecting light. In other words, we can use ASET to see whether light is reflecting evenly throughout the diamond or not. With this in mind, we can see that there are some variances in the distribution of colors. At the same time, I have to say that it's pretty common for this particular shape.

ASET Scope images like this provide the most compelling insight into light performance for cushion cut diamonds. As can be seen, ASET enables you to quickly determine how evenly a diamond is reflecting light.

Blue Nile Cushion Set In Split Halo Setting by Brian Gavin:

From time to time, I get to coordinate some pretty interesting projects and play with some big diamonds. I found the 3.50 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Cushion Modified Brilliant from Blue Nile for one of my clients. As can be seen, this is a truly stunning diamond. And as fate would have it, I actually got to see it in person because I was in the area!

Blue Nile Cushion

As you can see, the diamond on the left is sitting in a temporary ring holder. Of course, the only thing holding the diamond in place is a little bit of tension. Under those circumstances, the temporary ring holder should never be worn out in the real world.

The photograph on the left was taken with my camera phone and doesn't do the diamond justice. As a matter of fact, you should have seen it in the sunlight because it was a sight to see.

At the same time, if I'm being perfectly honest, I still prefer the BGD Signature Cushion. It stands to reason that my preferences are jaded by the perception of 30+ years of experience. For my part, I prefer the larger, bolder, brighter, more vivid sparkle of Brian's latest creation. While the facet structure of this cushion from Blue Nile gave off more of a crushed ice disco ball effect.

Solitaire Settings for Cushion Cut Diamonds:

Cushion Cut Solitaire

Technically speaking, a traditional solitaire setting does not have any accent diamonds. At the same time, people keep telling me that they're looking for a solitaire setting with pavé set diamonds. With this in mind, the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words seems appropriate.

The Legera setting on the left is not a solitaire since there are pavé set diamonds in the ring shank. While the ring on the right is the designer Lace Solitaire from Brian Gavin. Generally speaking, a solitaire is any thin band which is built to accommodate a single center stone. By the same token, the overlay of the lace pattern makes this ring more unique. Which means that a solitaire can still reflect your unique style and let the diamond speak for itself.

Are Pavé Settings Good or Bad for Cushion Cut Diamonds?

All right, so the other day, somebody asked me whether pavé settings are good or bad for cushion cut diamonds. In the first place, I have to admit that this question initially spun me for a loop. Because from a technical perspective, I don't see how pavé setting diamonds in the ring might affect the center stone.

But then, I realized that what they were actually asking is whether pavé settings are good for cushion cut diamonds. In the same way that you might wonder whether a cushion cut diamond looks good in a halo setting. In other words, whether or not there are accent diamonds in the setting should have no effect on the center stone.

Legera Platinum Cushion

With this in mind, the decision to choose a pavé setting is strictly a matter of personal preference. By the way, the term Pavé describes any setting that contains accent diamonds held in place by tiny prongs.

The term pavé set originates from the French term "Pave" which refers to paving a street with cobblestones. The concept is to encrust the ring shank with small diamonds set in straight rows with delicate. That way, the ring appears to shimmer from every vantage point. As a matter of fact, that's a pretty good way to describe the Legera setting by Brian Gavin on the left.

What Are The Different Types of Pavé Settings?

Brian Gavin Split Shank Halo

In the first place, Pavé diamond engagement rings can be very simple or extremely elaborate. As an illustration, the Legera setting above is on the simpler side of things.

While the split shank halo setting on the left is more intricate. The center stone, by the way, is the 3.50 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, cushion cut diamond from Blue Nile. The setting is a custom modification of Brian Gavin's original design for a round which was modified to accommodate the cushion.

Pavé diamond rings can also contain multiple rows or sections of pavé set diamonds. You are essentially only limited by your imagination and the size of your pocketbook.

In addition, you might also run across rings which are described as micro pavé. Which means that the diameter of the diamonds being pavé set range in size from 0.005 to 0.01 carats.

How to Design a Custom Ring for Your Cushion Cut Diamond:

Custom Ring CAD

Brian Gavin offers an extensive selection of engagement rings. At the same time, it's important to realize that you still might not find exactly what you're looking for. In which case, you might want to have Brian Gavin Custom Design Your Engagement Ring.

The picture on the right shows a Computer Aided Design (CAD) rendering of a pavé setting custom designed by Brian Gavin. The center stone in the middle is a model of a Brian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamond.

Modifying a Stock Setting for a Cushion Cut Diamond:

Most people do not realize that the majority of engagement rings are stock settings stamped out on a production line. In which case the only customization occurs when the jeweler switches out the head to fit the center stone. As a matter of fact, most engagement rings are assembled in this way by piecing together various components.

Cushion Split Shank Halo

On the other side of the spectrum, you have the option of custom designing your ring to your exact specifications. Brian Gavin custom modified his Split Shank Halo setting to fit this 3.50 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Cushion modified diamond. As you may recall, this is the diamond that one of my clients bought from Blue Nile.

The Anita Halo setting by Brian Gavin is another example of a custom order ring inspired by one of my clients.

With this in mind, the possibilities are endless in terms of how you can set a cushion cut diamond. Even if you see a ring which contains a round center stone, it might easily be modified to hold a different shape. Under those circumstances, it certainly can't hurt to ask.

I hope that you enjoyed this article on cushion cut diamond rings. Please leave a comment below and share this post on social media using the buttons below. And by all means, feel free to take advantage of our Diamond Concierge Service.

About the Author Todd Gray

Todd Gray is a professional diamond buyer with 30+ years of trade experience. He loves to teach people how to buy diamonds that exhibit incredible light performance! In addition to writing for Nice Ice, Todd "ghost writes" blogs and educational content for other diamond sites. When Todd isn't chained to a desk, or consulting for the trade, he enjoys Freediving! (that's like scuba diving, but without air tanks)

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