What is the best setting for a cushion cut diamond?

Apparently September is National “Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring” Month and nobody bothered to tell me… probably because that’s not actually a real event, but I sure have helped a ton of people buy cushion cut diamond engagement rings this month! And 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?

Because halo engagement rings are extremely popular right now! And really like the design of this one in particular because the milgrained edge that frames the diamond and runs along the outer edge of the ring is quite pretty! The center stone pictured in this particular ring is one of the new Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamonds which I have evaluated several times over the past few months and am absolutely in love with!

Where to Buy Cushion Cut Diamonds Online:

One of the things which I love about the Brian Gavin Signature Cut Diamond is that it features a symmetrical facet structure which creates a level of light return and visual performance that actually rivals the round brilliant cut diamonds which I recommend. The diamond also exhibits a stunning pattern of Hearts & Arrows, and has a symmetrical girdle edge which makes it easier to set than the majority of cushion brilliant cut diamonds and modified cushion brilliant cut diamonds that I find. If you’d like to know more about the design features which set the Brian Gavin Signature Cut Diamond apart from other cushion cut diamonds, I recommend reading their article “The Science Behind the Sparkle“.

Of course there are other cushion cut diamonds which I find quite attractive and which are cut to different standards than Brian’s Signature Cushion. For instance, I’ve found quite a few stunning Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut Diamonds on Blue Nile and will be happy to provide advice as your Personal Diamond Shopper.

Blue Nile Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut Diamond in ring holder, not an actual settingThe largest cushion cut diamond which I helped source this month is this 3.50 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Cushion Modified Brilliant from Blue Nile and it was simply gorgeous! How do I know? Because the client brought it to me for personal evaluation after he received it from Blue Nile, and I helped him coordinate having it set in a custom version of this Split Halo from Brian Gavin. It is pictured to the left set in a temporary ring-like diamond holder which sets the diamond up for presentation purposes, but which should never be worn as an actual ring because the diamond will pop out! I took this picture with my camera phone, it doesn’t do the diamond justice. This diamond was really pretty in a cracked ice sort of way, it sparkled like a disco ball and exhibited a lot of small flashes of light which I commonly refer to as “pin fire” brilliance and dispersion.


Now personally, I prefer the Brian Gavin Signature Cushion which exhibits broad flashes of brilliance and dispersion, with a high degree of scintillation, and I’m not fond of the crushed ice look which a common feature of most cushion modified brilliant cut diamonds, but I have to admit that this was a really pretty looking cushion cut diamond, and it happens to be exactly what she wants! And at the end of the day, that’s the important thing… right? Right. You should have seen this puppy in diffused sunlight! It sparkled like crazy!

Solitaire Settings for Cushion Cut Diamonds:

Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamond RingsTechnically speaking, a traditional solitaire setting does not have any accent diamonds, but people keep telling me that they’re looking for a solitaire setting with pavé set diamonds in the band, so I thought that this picture might help clarify things… the ring pictured to the far left is not a “solitaire” it is a pavé set diamond engagement ring. The ring pictured to the far right is a designer solitaire designed by Brian Gavin to commemorate the launch of his new Signature Cushion Cut Diamond. Even though it has a pattern overlay, it is still considered a solitaire, which is the tem used to describe any thin band which is built to accommodate a single center stone.


Pave Settings for Cushion Cut Diamonds:

The term Pavé is used to describe any setting which contains small diamonds which are prong set using extremely small prongs, it originates from the French term “Pave” as in to pave a street with cobblestones. The concept is to encrust the band with small diamonds set in straight rows with very small prongs, so that the entire ring shimmers.

Pavé diamond rings can be extremely simple, like the single row pave set diamond ring from Brian Gavin which is pictured above, or more intricate, like the custom designed halo style ring designed by Brian Gavin which is pictured below. Rings can even contain multiple rows or sections of pavé set diamonds, you are essentially only limited by your imagination and the size of your pocketbook.

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

Designing a Custom Ring for a Cushion Cut Diamond:

CAD Rendering for a Ring Custom Designed by Brian Gavin for a Cushion Cut DiamondOf course there is the possibility that you might not find exactly what you’re looking for in the designs which are readily available for cushion cut diamonds, and you might want to have Brian Gavin Custom Design a Ring. The picture to the right is a screen capture of a Computer Aided Design (CAD) Rendering of a pave set diamond ring which Brian Gavin designed to accommodate one of his Signature Cushion cut diamonds as a center stone. Most designer jewelry is created using CAD.


Modifying a Stock Setting for a Cushion Cut Diamond:

Most people do not realize that the majority of rings featured in jewelry stores and online are stock settings which can be adapted to accommodate center stones of different shapes by simply changing the head, which is the prong section that holds the center stone in place.

Most rings are designed so that the head configuration can be soldered in-place and changed for different shape diamonds. So if you see a setting that you like and think that it might look good with a cushion cut diamond, just ask the vendor if the head can be switched out to accommodate the cushion cut diamond that you are buying.

For example, most of the ready made engagement rings that you’ll find on Blue Nile can be adapted for a cushion cut center stone, in fact you can determine whether they will lend themselves to a cushion cut diamond, simply by changing the shape of the center stone using the option featured at the top of the page. When Blue Nile orders the ring, they will simply ask the manufacturer to set a head into it which is designed for a cushion cut diamond.

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)
Todd Gray


Professional diamond buyer with 30+ years trade experience in the niche of super ideal cut diamonds. In my free time, I enjoy freediving & photography.
The incredible #story behind the Sirisha diamond necklace by @BrianGavin 71 #Diamonds cut to order #Amazinghttps://t.co/dHOo1T99xT - 3 years ago

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