The Cushion Cut Diamond

A beautiful scintillant square antique Diamond with rounded corners, the origin of the Cushion-Cut Diamond goes back to the nineteenth century. A step in the development of the Brilliant based on its predecessor, the “Mine-Cut”, with the invention of electric lighting and new cutting tools such as the Diamond saw, the faceting process was improved. The main changes made were the shrinking of the culet (increasing the scintillation of the Diamond) and the widening of the table along with subtle improvements in terms of symmetry meant the resultant Cushion-Cut Diamond reflected light considerably better than faceting patterns used before. Each stone still retains that desirably unique personality seen in hand cut gems and that we look for. The image below, taken from Harry Emanuel's book published in 1867 shows the ideal 55 facets...

Cushion cut diamond

'Prior to the patenting of the first, steam-driven bruting machine in 1874, diamond cutters simply took an octahedron--the most common shape for gem diamonds which consists of two four-sided pyramids attached base-to-base--and manually rounded off the corners to create a cushion-shaped stone. They then faceted the diamond from what was left, creating what today is known as an old mine cut.' National Jeweller

The general characteristics are as follows:

  • A roughly cushion or octahedral shape with good symmetry
  • Large, chunky facets
  • A distinctive culet (the 'extra' facet at the base of the stone)
  • A larger table (the table is the facet at the top of the Diamond)
  • A thicker, unpolished girdle (the girdle is the sides of the Diamond)  

Main image from Brilliant Earth.

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