Brian Gavin Signature Cushion vs. Round Hearts and Arrows:

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August 22

“Hi Todd, I’m trying to decide whether I should buy a Brian Gavin Signature Round or Signature Cushion. My girlfriend says that both look pretty, but I’m not sure which one is going to sparkle more.”

“It seems like you’ve had the opportunity to review both (shapes) in-person, so I’m hoping that you can shed some light on the subject. My budget is around $10-12k and my GF wants to maximize size over clarity, but doesn’t want the diamond to look yellow. Any advice you can give is appreciated. – M. Moore”

Thank you for your inquiry, I have had the opportunity to compare Brian Gavin Signature Rounds and Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamonds several times over the past few weeks… I find them to be virtually identical in terms of the volume of light return and sparkle! In fact, the other day I showed one of each to my girlfriend, and asked her which one she thought sparkled more, and she told me that she couldn’t see a difference between the two, and that she’d be happy with either one, while flashing me that playfully wicked smile and laughing at my apparent naivete… Whoops! That might not have been the smartest thing to do…

Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamond, AGS #104066516007Anyway, one of the things which makes the Signature Round Diamonds from Brian Gavin so amazing, is that they are cut to a level of precision that is incredible, and the proportions of the diamond are optimized for maximum light return, as can be verified by the fact that each diamond is graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 on the Platinum Light Performance grading platform, which actually uses their proprietary Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool (ASET) to determine how each diamond is making use of the light which is available to it within the room, and breaks it down into colors that enable us to quantify it.


The picture above is the ASET image for this 1.417 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamond which looks absolutely stunning! All of the red is a really good thing, it represents the brightest light in the room, and is a clear indication that this is going to be a very bright looking diamond… you want to see just a little bit of green, and it is important that those arrows are a nice bright blue.

The primary inclusions within this diamond consist of small diamond crystals, groups of pinpoint size diamond crystals called “clouds” and long, thin diamond crystals called “needles”, all of which are of no consequence. This diamond is currently selling for $10,998.00 with an additional discount available for payment via cash / wire transfer, and it represents a great bargain because it enables you to get close to the 1.50 carat mark, without incurring the price per carat increase which occurs between the 1.49 – 1.50 carat marks.

Brian Gavin Signature Round Brilliant Cut Diamond, AGS #104061069021So the largest “comparable” round brilliant cut diamond that you can buy in that price range is this 1.225 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Round Brilliant Cut Diamond which is selling for $10,918.00 ~ so clearly you can pick up a little extra carat weight by going with the Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamond… and I think that they are just as bright & sparkly!


This diamond is graded by the AGSL with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 and has proportions within the center of the range designated for the zero ideal cut proportions rating. It exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows, which is an indication of superior optical symmetry.

Superior optical symmetry is a critical factor of sparkle in round brilliant and cushion cut diamonds, because it results in a higher number of virtual facets, which will produce larger flashes of light, and more sparkle… All of Brian’s Signature Diamonds and the round brilliant cut diamonds featured in his “Brian Gavin Blue collection” (diamonds with blue fluorescence) are designed to exhibit superior optical symmetry.

Both of these diamonds are going to be “eye clean” and represent an excellent balance of carat weight, color and clarity… They represent diamonds that are typical of something that I would purchase if I were selecting a diamond for an engagement ring, they will both face up a crisp, clean, white, and enable you to maximize carat weight without sacrificing anything in terms of how the diamond is going to look.

Now you can drop down in price a little bit, if you pick up something like this 1.282 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Round, which is selling for $10,037.00 and might not be able to see the difference in color, but I find the G/H color range to be pretty safe… it really all depends on your individual sensitivity to color, but actually diamonds are graded for an absence of color, and I find that most people can begin to see “a little bit of color” in the range of I-color to J-color, so I tend to draw the line at the G/H range when people tell me that they don’t want to see any color in their diamond, with the understanding that I can actually see “color” in D-color diamonds, so it’s kind of relative.

I also want to mention a few options that are available within the Brian Gavin Blue collection, which are diamonds that exhibit blue fluorescence when exposed to black light or strong ultra violet light, because they can save you a bit of money, and deliver the same degree of light return and sparkle as the Brian Gavin Signature diamonds without fluorescence… after all, they are produced on the exact same production line, by the same diamond cutters, with the same attention to detail.

For instance, this 1.235 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Blue round brilliant cut diamond, which exhibits strong blue fluorescence is selling for $10,337.00 and you could drop down one clarity grade and pick up this 1.234 carat, G-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Blue round brilliant cut diamond, which also exhibits strong blue fluorescence for only $9,216.00 and they are going to look exactly the same to the naked eye! The only difference is going to be the visibility of the inclusions as seen through 10x and higher magnification… I realize that you really wanted to spend $10-12K on the diamond, but maybe you won’t mind saving a little money 😉

About the Author

Dive deep into the glittering world of diamonds with Todd Gray, the CEO of Gray Matter Development, LLC. Todd has 35+ years of experience as a diamond buyer and trade consultant. He ghostwrites content for several online vendors and is an avid Freediver, currently exploring the Cenotes of Yucatan, Mexico. Dive into brilliance with Todd Gray!