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Cushion cut guide for dummies?

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luckystar112

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I feel like I''ve read every single thread regarding cushion cuts on here--including the most recent (long) thread, and yet I still don''t feel like I know a single thing about cushions!
The percentages, angles and everything else just confuse me to death!

I would like to give my boyfriend a "guide" since I know that he is about to start looking, and I figure since cushions are so diverse is there anything I can tell him to stay away from?

I''m looking for a 1.3-1.5ct cushion that is more rectanglar than square. (1.13-1.15 ratio?)
Does anyone know how many mm this should be?
I would like it to look more chunky as opposed to the crushed ice. Is the cushion modified brilliant the facet pattern that gives the crushed ice look? Should he stay away from that?

How low on color can he go? I''ve heard that the lower colors face up more on cushions...but does the same flour rule apply? The reason I ask is because I saw a 1.5 L colored cushion on the diamondsbylauren website and it said with the medium fl. it faced up white. L seems VERY scary to me...even with that fluor.

Anything else I should know? Scary table sizes to stay away from? Girdle thickness recommendations?

Does the cut grade matter as much for cushions as it does for rounds? For instance, this cut grade is labeled as "good" on the james allen website, yet it looks pretty good in the pic:
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamond.asp?cid=131&item=1020252

And every whiteflash cushion cut I''ve ever looked up has only has 1 star. Is this because it''s only a matter of perspective?

And FINALLY...last question, I hope...
Someone in another thread said that a cushion should be at least 1.5cts or else it will just look like a warped round cut from far away. Is this true with the more rectangular cut cushions as well? The reason why I ask is because I doubt my boyfriend will spend more than $5500 on a diamond....$6000 if I''m LUCKY. So, if we can''t afford it, I guess I''ll go for a lower ctw round, but I really want a cushion! The prices on JA seem very reasonable, but then again I have no idea if I''m looking at good diamonds or not!

Thank you everyone in advance. I''m going to print out the information you guys give me for my boyfriend to study.
 

Rachie

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Luckystar ~ I am by no means a cushion expert but I just went through the same questions that you are going through. I asked similar questions and everyone said that you really need to see them in person and that is very true. Even though I knew that I would be buying my diamond online, I went to some local jewelry stores to see them so that I would have a better idea.

My cushion is a modified brilliant and it has nice chunky facets and is very sparkly. Mine is I color with strong blue fluorescence so it is icy white and not milky at all. I don''t think that I would go as low as L. Mine is also rectangular and it does not look like a warped round. (See pic below) I would have purchased mine from JA but I found the same exact diamond on adiamor.com, which was great to work with, that was a few hundred less and they also have the 30 day return policy. I was told by JA that the diamonds that they have pics of on their website are ones that they have in their possession and the ones that don''t have pics are still at their distributor.

As far as tables and depths and all that, I referred to the cushions that I liked on here that people had and used their numbers as benchmarks. Was this the best thing to do? I don''t know, but it helped me while I was searching, b/c it got very overwhelming. I will tell you that the woman that is designing my ering did comment on the depth of my cushion and said that it was good b/c many cushions will carry their weight in their "middles" which will make them face up smaller than they are. I hope some of this info helps, and I hope that you find a beautiful cushion that you are very happy with! Good luck!


Here''s my cushion. The specs on it are 1.05ct, I, VVS2, 6.79x5.25x3.67, 69.9% depth, 54% table, very small culet, thin to slightly thick girdle, very good sym and polish, strong blue fluorescence.

new cush543.jpg
 

Mrs Mitchell

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How low on color can he go? I've heard that the lower colors face up more on cushions...but does the same flour rule apply? The reason I ask is because I saw a 1.5 L colored cushion on the diamondsbylauren website and it said with the medium fl. it faced up white. L seems VERY scary to me...even with that fluor.

Ha! I just posted in another thread to say I was eyeing up a DBL cushion - it was that one! I love love love the warmer colours and I personally wouldn't be scared of it. If it's any help, I've just received a pear cut from DBL- I know it isn't a cushion, but the color is an M and I am very pleased with it (faint flou).

It does have a slight tint in some lights and at some angles, but it is quite a lemony tint, and to me anyway, very very pleasing. I love it, but it is personal taste - it doesnt look like an icy white diamond.

Hope this is some help- can't wait to see what your BF picks out! This must be a really exciting time for you both.

Jen

ETA: Rachie, your cushion is beautiful!
 

luckystar112

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Thank you very much guys. I still hope some others can chime in with answers to my other questions. Rachie, I never thought to compare the same stone on multiple websites before! You will NEVER believe what I found!!!!!

I have found the same exact diamond on 4 (so far) websites.

Carat: 1.5
Color: J
Clarity: SI2
Cut....this is where it gets interesting.
GIA: 15257687
Measurements: 6.92x6.37x4.51
Ratio: 1.09
Fl: Medium blue


All of the websites have different cut grades?!?!?>

James Allen gives it a "good" cut grade. Their price is $4610
But, they have a picture of it. I think it's perty. And it's affordable, and I think I want it.

Engagement Rings Direct gives is a "very good" cut grade. Their price is $4309

Union Diamond gives it a "fair" cut grade!!!!!!! Their price is $4603

Adiamor gives it a "very good" cut grade. Their price is $4349



So I guess cut IS a matter of perspective.


AND PRICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

boston_jeff

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Hi Luckystar,

For background on cushions (different types, some general guidlines as to specs, etc.), you should visit here
 

Cehrabehra

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honest opinion? If you''ve read everything there is to read here about cushions, I would make it your mission to find your own cushion. Or give your boyfriend the phone number for whiteflash and get a round. Or make him read everything you''ve read.

Otherwise, vegas may have better odds ;-)
 

luckystar112

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Date: 3/10/2007 8:20:15 PM
Author: Cehrabehra
honest opinion? If you''ve read everything there is to read here about cushions, I would make it your mission to find your own cushion. Or give your boyfriend the phone number for whiteflash and get a round. Or make him read everything you''ve read.


Otherwise, vegas may have better odds ;-)
Well, that was the point of this post. I feel like I grasp rounds pretty well, but I''m having a hard time with cushions. My boyfriend wants to do everything himself, and I just want to make sure he isn''t ripped off, which is why I was asking advice. I didn''t think my questions were too in depth, just general guidelines to follow.

Maybe I''m being overly sensitive, but this is the second time I''ve felt like you''ve been sort of...well....mean to me. Hopefully I''m just lost in translation here...



Boston Jeff, thank you for the links. I will definitely try to go over them again.
 

luckystar112

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While looking through the threads, I found a link to another thread that didn''t show up in my original search...and it is helping me out a lot more, as things seem to be in simpler terms. So, wish me luck as I study some more.
 

dianne

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Hi luckystar---I wish you the best as you continue your search. I felt the same confusion as you but you will find this site so helpful and it appears you are doing your research...good for you! What I did was ask Mark at Engagment Rings Direct to be my eyes and pick a beauty. I gave him the criteria that I wanted to use and my budget. After a few emails and phone calls, and some tweaking of the 4C''s (better than I was originally looking for) I ended up with a beautiful stone. Sorry, I don''t have a way to post photos, maybe soon, but I am totally happy. Have you considered letting a vendor be your eyes?
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/10/2007 8:44:30 PM
Author: luckystar112

Date: 3/10/2007 8:20:15 PM
Author: Cehrabehra
honest opinion? If you''ve read everything there is to read here about cushions, I would make it your mission to find your own cushion. Or give your boyfriend the phone number for whiteflash and get a round. Or make him read everything you''ve read.


Otherwise, vegas may have better odds ;-)
Well, that was the point of this post. I feel like I grasp rounds pretty well, but I''m having a hard time with cushions. My boyfriend wants to do everything himself, and I just want to make sure he isn''t ripped off, which is why I was asking advice. I didn''t think my questions were too in depth, just general guidelines to follow.

Maybe I''m being overly sensitive, but this is the second time I''ve felt like you''ve been sort of...well....mean to me. Hopefully I''m just lost in translation here...
Mean? Twice? I don''t even remember talking to you before.... I didn''t see another thread in your history that looked familiar... ??? Anyway - no, I''m not being "mean" to you - I have no reason to be mean to you and no desire to be mean to you. I don''t *know* you!!! I am being a little blunt.... this is the hardest diamond to buy... and there are no guides... no easy answers.... the best way for you to get a cushion, if you''re not going to do it yourself - is to turn over the pricescope searches to your boyfriend and have him read ALL of this stuff himself. Have HIM come here and ask the specific questions that help him. This is not an attempt to be "mean" or even *dismissive* of you - just realistically if he is going to be the one doing the search, HE is the one that needs to be learning this stuff.

But hey, if you can compile an all purpose cushion buying guide for him, I really do hope you post it because thus far it just doesn''t exist!! But seriously - I do not even feel grumpy toward you let alone bitchy or mean... I''m a little flippant in a humorous (attempted anyway) way.... but I don''t even know what other post you''re talking about.
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/10/2007 8:12:51 PM
Author: boston_jeff
Hi Luckystar,

For background on cushions (different types, some general guidlines as to specs, etc.), you should visit https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/cushion-question-for-cehrabehra-and-others.58597/

and repost the questions I gave you in the first link above...

things to think about:
**you can go really low in color for antique cushions and they look great because they look antique - or you can stay really high. I prefer the warmer colors for them, but really there''s no wrong answer here.
**do you want fluorescence? Total preferece - get verification it is okay if it is very strong
**do you want a culet? I was actually disappointed mine wasn''t larger... I had fantasies of being able to stand it on end and even still I get the urge to have it filed down to a larger size but I''m resisting LOL you can barely see mine and even then not in all situations.... and it is "slightly large". "slightly large" is a pretty big range though so if you get "medium" it''s probably going to be difficult to see.
**what ratio do you like? I personally think the most classic ratio for cushions is 1.15:1 The truly square looks too square and mine (which is 1.26) is a bit long (but I like it that way). I''ve even seen them closing in on 1.40:1 that looked good.
**clarity - big facets mean less places for inclusions to hide - EVEN the clear/white type. My stone is VS2 but it is a very high vs2 and I think a regular VS2 and *possibly* an SI1 would be good but the SI1 would have to be examined. They won''t hide like in a round.
**CROWN HEIGHT - this isn''t listed on the certs but IMO it is important to know.... the bigger this is the better IMO. Particularly if you''re looking for fire over brilliance. I always say my stone doesn''t have any brilliance but that''s not really true... it does, it just isn''t insane like you see in rounds. The color however IS insane! Sometimes with cushions you''ll find really large tables and flat crowns - I wouldn''t go under 15% (which is standard for ideal rounds - but in cushions you can find some really weird combos) but if you can get closer to 20 or over that could be very interesting!!
**table - diagem and I agree pretty much that small tables are good things. I wouldn''t look at anything over 55% for an antique cut - for the modern cuts I''d go to maybe 60-62 TOPS but I''ve seen them go to 74!!
**depth - this is a crapshoot.... good luck finding pavillion angles or even being able to make sense of them if you do LOL Overall depth is dependent on so many things but I wouldn''t go under 60% - this is a trust your eyes thing though for sure. (not that any of them aren''t haha)
 

Cehrabehra

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okay so this was bugging me so I went back over all of your posts LOL .... are you talking about the bow tie thing?? I don''t know how I was mean to you there... I guess I was defending bowties because they''re somewhat frowned upon but I personally think they''re awesome! Well, maybe if I was a brunette I wouldn''t like them... I don''t love mine when I''m wearing a black sweatshirt... but usually I''m wearing something colorful that contributes to the look of the diamond having those big facets - plus they just have nice big flashes of fire! But I''m not offended if people DON''T like bowties... and the modern cushions that are brilliant cushions that are ofset don''t have bowties and they are really spectacular but very different... the cushions like mine are more like an oval (and if you like ovals now THERE is a stone where you can get *serious* spread for your money!!!) I''m not trying to be mean, I''m not even upset... when I''m upset everyone knows!! Otherwise, its just LIT (lost in translation)
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/10/2007 10:12:10 PM
Author: boston_jeff

Date: 3/10/2007 9:59:03 PM
Author: Cehrabehra... But I''m not offended if people DON''T like bowties...

offended when people dis the bowties!!!
okay weeeeeeee little bit - but more I''m exhausted from your thread! I have nothing left to give, I''m squeeeeeeeezed dry!!!!! lol
 

luckystar112

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Cehrabehra- I found the other post and I can''t really explain why it rubbed me the wrong way, but I guess it doesn''t really matter anyway. I thought bowties were bad, you knew they weren''t...you said something about how comments like mine were why people think they are bad...and I probably overeacted. (Again)
I have read your old posts and in the beginning you seemed just as lost as me, but you have picked things up a lot quicker. When I read the Boston-Jeff thread, I''m still confused, hence the "guide for dummies" title of this thread.

Anyway, I would love my boyfriend to come on here and read up on diamonds but that isn''t something I see him doing. Especially a thread that is 6 pages long. However, he could surprise me. I mean this as lovingly as possible, but is it bad to assume that I don''t think he''ll "get it"? He''s more of a hands on/smart, while I am the brainy bookword smart. I think if I don''t get, he won''t either.

I understand that there are a trillion differences in cushions, however I feel like the questions I asked are kind of universal to cover all different types of cushions, and they are mostly yes or no questions. I also know that some of my questions don''t have a right or wrong answer. For example, the color question. I just want some guidelines...a ballpark range... advice on what would be considered unacceptable in a cushion...anything! For instance, in a princess I know you should stay away from thin girdles since they chip, but in a cushion should I steer clear from thick girldles since people like to hide weight there?

I just wish someone would humor me in answering my original questions, no matter how broad they might be



I think what I''m going to do, is what dianne said and let a vendor be my eyes. I just don''t know if my boyfriend is willing to buy on the internet. This is big part of why I asked these questions. If he isn''t willing to buy off the net, I would at least like to be able to give him some good advice on how not to be duped in the form of a one page list of things to look for and things to steer clear of. And I can''t give him this information if I don''t know it.
 

boston_jeff

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Date: 3/10/2007 10:21:04 PM
Author: Cehrabehra
okay weeeeeeee little bit - but more I''m exhausted from your thread! I have nothing left to give, I''m squeeeeeeeezed dry!!!!! lol
Hey, I''ve given you a few days off!

Hopefully you recharge your batteries tommorrow, because I may have a few pictures/specs on Monday!
 

luckystar112

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Date: 3/10/2007 9:59:03 PM
Author: Cehrabehra
okay so this was bugging me so I went back over all of your posts LOL .... are you talking about the bow tie thing?? I don''t know how I was mean to you there... I guess I was defending bowties because they''re somewhat frowned upon but I personally think they''re awesome! Well, maybe if I was a brunette I wouldn''t like them... I don''t love mine when I''m wearing a black sweatshirt... but usually I''m wearing something colorful that contributes to the look of the diamond having those big facets - plus they just have nice big flashes of fire! But I''m not offended if people DON''T like bowties... and the modern cushions that are brilliant cushions that are ofset don''t have bowties and they are really spectacular but very different... the cushions like mine are more like an oval (and if you like ovals now THERE is a stone where you can get *serious* spread for your money!!!) I''m not trying to be mean, I''m not even upset... when I''m upset everyone knows!! Otherwise, its just LIT (lost in translation)

Yeah.

At the time I guess I just felt kind of stupid afterwards because I had always thought bowties were bad too. However, I never knew the thing about brunettes...I''M a brunette! Maybe I should try to find a minimal bowtie? EEEK!
 

luckystar112

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Date: 3/10/2007 9:49:43 PM
Author: Cehrabehra
Date: 3/10/2007 8:12:51 PM

Author: boston_jeff

Hi Luckystar,


For background on cushions (different types, some general guidlines as to specs, etc.), you should visit https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/cushion-question-for-cehrabehra-and-others.58597/


and repost the questions I gave you in the first link above...


things to think about:

**you can go really low in color for antique cushions and they look great because they look antique - or you can stay really high. I prefer the warmer colors for them, but really there's no wrong answer here.

**do you want fluorescence? Total preferece - get verification it is okay if it is very strong

**do you want a culet? I was actually disappointed mine wasn't larger... I had fantasies of being able to stand it on end and even still I get the urge to have it filed down to a larger size but I'm resisting LOL you can barely see mine and even then not in all situations.... and it is 'slightly large'. 'slightly large' is a pretty big range though so if you get 'medium' it's probably going to be difficult to see.

**what ratio do you like? I personally think the most classic ratio for cushions is 1.15:1 The truly square looks too square and mine (which is 1.26) is a bit long (but I like it that way). I've even seen them closing in on 1.40:1 that looked good.

**clarity - big facets mean less places for inclusions to hide - EVEN the clear/white type. My stone is VS2 but it is a very high vs2 and I think a regular VS2 and *possibly* an SI1 would be good but the SI1 would have to be examined. They won't hide like in a round.

**CROWN HEIGHT - this isn't listed on the certs but IMO it is important to know.... the bigger this is the better IMO. Particularly if you're looking for fire over brilliance. I always say my stone doesn't have any brilliance but that's not really true... it does, it just isn't insane like you see in rounds. The color however IS insane! Sometimes with cushions you'll find really large tables and flat crowns - I wouldn't go under 15% (which is standard for ideal rounds - but in cushions you can find some really weird combos) but if you can get closer to 20 or over that could be very interesting!!

**table - diagem and I agree pretty much that small tables are good things. I wouldn't look at anything over 55% for an antique cut - for the modern cuts I'd go to maybe 60-62 TOPS but I've seen them go to 74!!

**depth - this is a crapshoot.... good luck finding pavillion angles or even being able to make sense of them if you do LOL Overall depth is dependent on so many things but I wouldn't go under 60% - this is a trust your eyes thing though for sure. (not that any of them aren't haha)

I remember reading this in the Boston Jeff thread...
I know I like the 1.15 range
I want my diamond to appear white, but NOT icy white but NOT yellow either. I like a hint of warmth, so I guess an H or I or J with fl? I just remember reading that an H cushion will appear more yellow than an H round due to the facets. So my color question was basically, at what point will a cushion start to look "yellow". Warm is okay.
Does the culet even make a difference in the outward appearance of the diamond? I've never understood that.
 

Gothgrrl

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I heard nothing but raves for Mark at ERD. From what I know, he really knows the cushion cut. Try calling him and give him your guide lines to what you want and don''t want. He will find you your cushion.

Like cehrabehra said, you have to really look for a cushion as there are no guide lines. My first cushion was a modified brilliant. After spending time looking at all the cushions on PS, I came to realize that this wasn''t the shape I wanted. I wanted something more square and slightly large to large culet, with chunky facets. So I talked to my diamond guy and told him I wanted to upgrade.

I know, looking for a cushion can be very confusing. Just take a breath and look. You will find one. Good luck.
 

luckystar112

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Date: 3/10/2007 10:41:28 PM
Author: Gothgrrl
I heard nothing but raves for Mark at ERD.
I''ve heard this too, and I would really like to get in touch with him, if I can convince my boyfriend. I''m just afraid he''s going to tell me that I won''t be able to afford a 1.2-1.5 cushion with our $5000-$5500 budget. Which there are plenty of cushions on that site within that budget, but I''m afraid he''s going to tell me they are all duds.

A stupid fear, I know.
 

Gothgrrl

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Here is my cushion

dlk10.jpg
 

Gothgrrl

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I like that cushion you posted. Well, you have nothing to lose. The worst he can say is he can''t find you one. But try anyways. ERD, Good old Gold, and Whiteflash have gotten really good reviews on PS. I think you can go H-I as long as it has some fluor. in it. Should still be white enough.
 

Gothgrrl

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boston_jeff

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Date: 3/9/2007 11:42:06 PM
Author:luckystar112
I feel like I've read every single thread regarding cushion cuts on here--including the most recent (long) thread, and yet I still don't feel like I know a single thing about cushions!
The percentages, angles and everything else just confuse me to death!


I would like to give my boyfriend a 'guide' since I know that he is about to start looking, and I figure since cushions are so diverse is there anything I can tell him to stay away from?
The problem is that cushions vary so much that there really aren't guidelines to apply to all cushion cuts. I know this might be hard to believe, but it is true. People could be more helpful in general if you decided whether you are looking for an antique-cut or a more modern cut.

Broadly speaking I would avoid stones with depths under 60% and tables over 62%, large culets, and extremely thick girdles. But that will only eliminate a few odd stones.

I'm looking for a 1.3-1.5ct cushion that is more rectanglar than square. (1.13-1.15 ratio?)

Does anyone know how many mm this should be?
It will depend greatly on the depth of the stone. If your stone is not too deep and you do not have an XTK girdle, I wouldn't worry too much about how the stone faces up in mm, that will take care of itself. Do a PS search for a 1.4 ct cushion with a reasonable girdle and depth around 64% and that will give you a 'ballpark' figure.

I would like it to look more chunky as opposed to the crushed ice. Is the cushion modified brilliant the facet pattern that gives the crushed ice look? Should he stay away from that?
This quick answer is yes. There are a few exceptions, but this would be a very helpful thing to tell your boyfriend, as most modifieds have more of a crushed ice look.

How low on color can he go? I've heard that the lower colors face up more on cushions...but does the same flour rule apply? The reason I ask is because I saw a 1.5 L colored cushion on the diamondsbylauren website and it said with the medium fl. it faced up white. L seems VERY scary to me...even with that fluor.
Color is more visible in cushions, but I think antique-cut cushions tolerate color better. If you are not that color sensitive, I would say and I color is likely to be OK, especially with MB flour. That stone might face up with a little warmth, but nothing yellow. Approach this on a case-by-case basis with a vendor you can trust.

Anything else I should know? Scary table sizes to stay away from? Girdle thickness recommendations?
see above... In the low 60s, case-by-case... Your BF should probably reject anything else if he doesn't know much and does not want to educate himself.
Does the cut grade matter as much for cushions as it does for rounds? For instance, this cut grade is labeled as 'good' on the james allen website, yet it looks pretty good in the pic:

And every whiteflash cushion cut I've ever looked up has only has 1 star. Is this because it's only a matter of perspective?
Cut matters just as much, but the cut grades used on the vendors websites are probably not all that helpful in most circumstances, as few vendors specialize in cushions and may apply the same few criteria to all cushions. Anything that is in the Very Good or Good categories of cut is probably worth looking at.

As far as Whiteflash is concerned, I think they only give 1 star to stones that are not in-house. Since they have not seen the stone, they do not really give it a grade (just assign 1 star).

And FINALLY...last question, I hope...

Someone in another thread said that a cushion should be at least 1.5cts or else it will just look like a warped round cut from far away. Is this true with the more rectangular cut cushions as well? The reason why I ask is because I doubt my boyfriend will spend more than $5500 on a diamond....$6000 if I'm LUCKY. So, if we can't afford it, I guess I'll go for a lower ctw round, but I really want a cushion! The prices on JA seem very reasonable, but then again I have no idea if I'm looking at good diamonds or not!
That 1.5ct rule is baloney. I think that is true even if the stone is more square, but the elongated stones will be even more recognizable. Also, even if some random person thinks your nice cushion is a "warped round" from far away, who cares? What matters is what you want, and when you show it off people will know it is not a round.
 

boston_jeff

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Do you have the cert for the stone you posted? I could be more helpful with that.
 

luckystar112

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Only what was scanned---barely readable.
I''ll upload it to my photobucket and post it. Maybe you could decipher? It''s sort of blurry.

BRB!
 

luckystar112

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YIKES! So I guess it''s a cushion modified brilliant afterall, huh?
Does that mean I like them?
How come this one doesn''t look crushed-icy? Is it because of the color and clarity?
SO CONFUSED!


I''m seriously surprised, because the person who this diamond belongs to does nothing else but sell diamonds, (a very reputable online vendor) yet he said he didn''t recognize the facet pattern? Isn''t this a pretty common pattern?
 

boston_jeff

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623
Honestly, it looks like a typical cushion modified to me, although I am no expert in that particular cut.

For example, here's one from James Allen that looks very similar. Do you see any difference? here. You might want to ask the vendor what makes this cut different/unique.

To my eye, this is the "crushed ice" look. It is not as extreme as it can be, but compared to the 4 and 8 pavillion main cushion brilliants this stone does have smaller/more splintered facets.

There is nothing wrong with liking the "crushed ice" look, by the way. It is not my taste, but based on the amound of stones cut in that fashion it must be popular on the market.
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,324
I don't think it's attractive. Definitely crushed-ice.
 
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