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Birthdays, anniversaries, and wedding proposals become extra special if you hand your loved ones an exceptional gift. A diamond ring may not be too practical for some, but you can buy one at a lower cost. The trick here is picking the right cut that suits your budget.
Cushion cut diamonds are one of the most affordable types of jewels in this category. It has a more modern take of a round cut pattern with a classic diamond look. The edges are softer and closer to a rectangular shape.
It is a favorite pick for engagement rings and fashion accessories because of its elegance and price. Thus, learning more about it is essential for future references. Who knows? You might be picking one later, if not sooner.
To help you know more about this diamond cut, we enlisted the top picks available in the market. They come in various features. Thus, it would help if you take note of each detail.
Table of Contents
Top 7 Best Cushion Cut Diamonds Reviewed
- Astor 1.01-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond by Blue Nile – Best Overall
- 1.20 Carat Cushion Modified Diamond by James Allen – Best Value
- 2.27 Carat Cushion Modified Diamond by James Allen – Editor’s Choice
- 1.00-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond by Blue Nile
- 5.07-Carat Cushion Diamond by James Allen
- 1.52-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond by Blue Nile
- 0.50-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond by Blue Nile
#1. Astor 1.01-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond by Blue Nile – Best Overall
- Cut: Astor by Blue Nile Ideal
- Color: H
- Clarity: SI1
- Depth %: 69.7%
- Table %: 57.0%
- Carat Weight: 1.01
Blue Nile’s Astor collection offers rare and brilliant cuts of diamonds. Each of its jewels explodes with light, making it one of the most attractive collections in the market. We ranked Astor’s 1.01-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond on the top list because it exceeds expectations regarding cut, color, and clarity.
Astor’s ideal cut is like no other. Only less than 1% of diamonds can pass its standards because it requires precise proportions, polish, and symmetry. Thus, this diamond ring is a head-turner on any occasion because of the light it illuminates. Indeed, it would make you look more sophisticated.
More than the cut, it is also fitting to appreciate its color and clarity. You get a piece with a Grade H quality, which is nearly colorless. It also has an SI1 clarity rating, making its details slightly visible to an unaided eye. Thus, its beautiful aspects are quite apparent in a single look.
Despite these features, this cushion-cut diamond has great value for money. It may not be the cheapest, but it is not too expensive that would leave your bank account to a halt. You can buy this piece at around $5000 in Blue Nile, which is not bad for its distinctive features.
|Precise proportions, polish, and symmetry||The carat has a smaller face-up size|
|Visible details and almost colorless||Blemishes can still be apparent|
|Perfect for engagement rings|
|Illuminates light well|
|Best value for money|
- Cut: Ideal
- Color: I
- Clarity: VS1
- Carat Weight: 1.20
James Allen’s 1.20 Carat Cushion Modified Diamond is another force to reckon with in this category. It garnered the second spot because it has outstanding features that men and women would adore. You will love how its flower-shaped look and sparkling water glow accents with your overall appearance.
The piece’s ideal cut exhibits a balance of fire and spark evident in its radiant design. It illuminates all the light that enters the diamond and produces a rainbow-like reflection. Its glamorous feature makes it ideal for any high-end occasions.
The brand is also proud of this item’s clarity. Flaws are very slightly included (VS1), making them less visible to the naked eye. Since it has less than two carats, the blemishes are close to invisibility unless you magnify them up to ten times.
However, its color falls short compared to Blue Nile’s Astor collection. Upon closer look, you will see that it has a faint color belonging to the Grade I category. Some buyers opt to purchase nearly colorless and flawless jewels. The upside of this feature is the exceptional value you get when it comes to price.
Thus, this jewelry has a lower cost than the first one we featured. Indeed, it is one of the many products that reflects James Allen’s vision. That is to offer diamonds to its clients at the most reasonable prices.
|Produces a rainbow-like reflection because of the light it emits||The color grade is lower.|
|It has excellent polish and symmetry.|
|Flaws and blemishes are less visible.|
|Glamorous look and sparkle|
|More affordable price|
#3. 2.27 Carat Cushion Modified Diamond by James Allen – Editor’s Choice
- Cut: Good
- Color: H
- Clarity: VS2
- Carat Weight: 2.27
If you opt for a diamond with a heavier carat weight, you might want to check James Allen’s 2.27 Carat Cushion Modified Diamond. While its price falls to the five-digit category, it has several features that can offset the amount. Plus, the brand also offers installment payments without any interest.
The cut is not the best asset of this jewelry. It only has a ‘Good’ rating, which means it is not as polished and symmetrical as other diamonds with higher ratings. Nevertheless, it still has that sparkling finish that can catch anyone’s attention.
Color and quality are the redeeming qualities of this piece. Like Blue Nile’s, it has a Grade H color quality, which signifies that it is nearly colorless. The VS2 clarity is its best asset because the blemishes are less noticeable. But since the diamond’s weight is more than two carats, some minute flaws may be detected by the naked eye.
As said, this piece is quite pricey than the rest. It costs around $16,000, which might surprise you. However, it ensures a flashy look that your significant other deserves to have. Plus, James Allen is a known and reliable brand when it comes to pieces of jewelry.
|Flashier look with its bigger size||The price is too expensive for its features.|
|Higher color and clarity rating||The cut is not too polished.|
|An elegant and timeless piece|
|Offers an installment price|
|Heavier carat weight|
- Cut: Very Good
- Color: J
- Clarity: SI2
- Depth %: 67.6%
- Table %: 59.0%
- Carat Weight: 1.00
Cushion-cut diamonds are gaining more attention in recent years because of their classy look and valuable price. Blue Nile’s 1.00-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond is another perfect example of this category. Its lighter weight and other fine features make up for its lower price.
This Blue Nile product has a cut with a ‘Very Good’ rating. It exudes brilliance and fire closely similar to that of a diamond with an ‘Ideal’ grade. This piece has clearly defined patterns that you can easily notice as you look down into the table while the diamond’s orientation faces upwards.
An unaided eye can slightly detect the diamond’s color because it falls to the J category. However, thanks to its smaller carat weight, it becomes less noticeable. Clarity is another point that affects a diamond’s price. This one has an SI2 grade, making blemishes quite apparent when you look at it closely.
This piece is best partnered with rings that have thinner shanks for the stone to stand out. We cannot say it is the least expensive, but it is one of the most budget-friendly market options with reasonable features. For less than $2500, you can already gift your wife, partner, or child a decent diamond ring.
|The small carat weight makes the color less visible.||Flaws are quite noticeable.|
|Perfect for rings with thinner shanks||The size is too small.|
|Fire and sparkle are apparent.|
|The cut is exceptional.|
- Cut: Very Good
- Color: F
- Clarity: VS1
- Carat Weight: 5.07
An exquisite and one of a kind gift do come with a price. If you want to leave a mark on someone’s memory, you can give them a 5.07 Carat Cushion Diamond from James Allen. It has the finest qualities that you can ever find, but it also has one of the most expensive market costs.
What are the 4Cs that you can get from an almost $100,000 diamond piece? Its cut has a ‘Very Good’ grade that affects the fire and sparkle it illuminates. The precision and symmetry found in this expensive item are close to perfection. Plus, it has a medium fluorescence that makes the diamond emit a soft glow when exposed to UV light.
Calling it a rare gem is fitting because it’s a colorless diamond with an F grade. It may not be purely transparent, but only a trained gemologist can identify its color. For an ordinary person like most of us, this diamond is as crystal clear as water.
Clarity is another aspect that makes it a unique item. With a VS1 rating, its flaws are very slightly detectable. They are too minute that identifying them is quite difficult. Finally, the carat weight has a massive impact on its price. A five-carat diamond is equivalent to one gram, which explains why you have to cash out more for this piece.
This James Allen diamond will leave anyone feeling overwhelmed. While it is not the most practical pick, we still allotted a spot because someone is willing to buy this precious item for their loved one somewhere out there.
|Only a trained gemologist can see its color.||Failed to achieve the 'Ideal' cut rating|
|It glows when there is a UV light.||The price is too impractical.|
|The cut has a higher rating.|
|The flaws are not visible.|
- Cut: Very Good
- Color: G
- Clarity: VVS2
- Depth %: 65.8%
- Table %: 59.0%
- Carat Weight: 1.52
From a quite expensive pick, let us tone down a little bit. Blue Nile has a 1.52-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond with the same consistent quality as the first products we highlighted. However, this one has a bit of an edge when it comes to color and clarity.
Your assessment for a diamond should be based on cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. A ‘Very Good’ cut rating signifies that the stone has proportionate corners and symmetrical lines expected from a cushion-cut diamond. Thus, you can expect it to shine brilliantly because of its precise depth and polish.
More than its cut, this piece has a better color and clarity rating than the rest of Blue Nile’s products in this article. It has the highest near-colorless degree at G grade. More patrons prefer the G-H variation because they look warmer and more intricate. Plus, the VVS2 quality includes minuscule blemishes that even a trained eye cannot identify.
The carat weight is the only aspect that we consider a downer for this piece because it is quite small. However, we still find this diamond a balance of excellent quality and a reasonable price because it has exceptional qualities that you cannot find from others.
|The price is reasonable for the outstanding quality.||The carat weight is too light for the price.|
|Flaws are not visible to the naked eye.|
|Precise proportions and symmetry|
|It has an almost colorless feature.|
|Fancier and crystal clear look|
- Cut: Very Good
- Color: F
- Clarity: VS2
- Depth %: 67.3%
- Table %: 61.0%
- Carat Weight: 0. 5
For people who do not want to exceed their budget beyond $1000, Blue Nile’s 0.50-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond is a suitable choice. You might think it has the cheapest quality because of its price, but you will be stunned by how sophisticated this last item can be. Its color quality and clarity can even outshine the rest of the diamonds in this article.
The carat weight is the main reason why its price is not too expensive. However, the brand ensures that it did not compromise the diamond’s other features. Like the rest of Blue Nile’s products, this piece is quite delicate because of its ‘Very Good’ cut rating.
Its color quality is even better than the one we labeled on the top list. The latter only has an H grade, but this 0.5-carat cushion diamond is at F grade. Thus, you can expect it to look more colorless, but with a warm and sparkly look.
You may notice some flaws easily because its clarity has only a VS2 rating. However, it is not something you will regret because of the price you paid. If you and your recipient are not too meticulous, you may not even notice that it has blemishes.
Indeed, this diamond is a piece of evidence that luxurious items do not need to be extra expensive. In the end, the sincerity of your feelings is the most precious gift you can present to someone. Giving them a diamond is only a bonus that they can cherish forever.
|It has a better color rating than the other expensive pieces.||Not as crystal clear as other Blue Nile products|
|Best for people who do not want too flashy items||The size is too small.|
|Maintains precise proportions and symmetry|
|Fewer blemishes are noticeable.|
Top Pick – Best Cushion Cut Diamond
A diamond is a timeless piece. It makes an excellent gift or investment as its value increases over time. While most are undeniably expensive, it is not impossible to find one that will suit your budget.
If you are looking for a diamond piece that will not considerably hurt your accounts, you can begin with the cushion-cut diamond pieces. They are elegant, and their carat weight, cut, color, and clarity fall into categories with great value for money.
With too many choices in the market, you might get overwhelmed with what to pick. We highly recommend Blue Nile’s Astor 1.01-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond because it has an excellent balance of all positive characteristics that one will most likely look for in a diamond.
It has an Astor Ideal cut that ensures the most precise measurements. Plus, the H Grade for color and the SI1 rating for clarity are enough features to complete its near-colorless and flawless look. It may not have the highest quality or the most expensive price, but its balanced features and cost make it the best pick.
Best Brands to Find a Cushions-Cut Diamond
James Allen is an expert in maintaining the happiness and satisfaction of its clients. The brand has four founders who are jewelry enthusiasts, into business, and loves to innovate. Today, the brand is the melting pot of diamonds with the best value.
The story began when one of its owners, James, was looking for an engagement ring online. He later discovered that he got a high-quality diamond for half its market value. Michele, the ring’s recipient, and two others joined the team, which later became a success story.
James Allen is not your ordinary online jewelry shop. Its products are meticulously handpicked. As you visit its website, you will appreciate the 360° Diamond Display Technology it utilizes to provide a real-life preview of its products. It has more than 200,000 customizable gems that come at various quality and prices.
For almost two decades of serving its target market, it has already attended more than 150,000 couples worldwide. Its community is growing more and more each day without compromising the quality of its products. Indeed, James Allen deserves the loyalty of its patrons.
Revolution is at the heart of Blue Nile. The company started developing diamonds and other priceless gems in 1999. After learning a lot in each step, it has now become one of the most reliable sources of engagement rings online.
Its founders want to provide couples with the perfect pieces. That is why they are constantly adapting to modern innovations while keeping their products’ sophisticated quality. Confidence over their gems is what they guarantee to their customers. They handcraft each piece with the highest quality to achieve their maximum sparkle.
More than its desire to sell, education is also at the heart of Blue Nile’s values. They want their clients to learn more about diamonds and other pieces of jewelry before buying. Plus, its customer service lines are available 24/7 to assist your concerns, whether they are big or small.
Thing to Keep in Mind When Buying a Cushion Cut Diamond – A Buyer’s Guide
If you have not guessed it yet, cushion-cut diamonds have that name because they resemble a pillow’s shape. It ranks third of the most popular diamonds because of its quality and price.
Unlike the round-shaped and princess cut diamonds, this one has a rectangular shape with softer edges. They may not be as brilliant as the two mentioned, but cushion-cuts have more fire, making them a special diamond category. For people who are not too demanding in terms of features, design and price might be their only qualifiers.
However, there is more to it than how it looks and how much it costs. If you want to be a smarter buyer, you must know how diamond grades work and what makes one better than the other. It even has safe ratings to ensure that you have a high-quality piece on hand.
Got no time? We will break them all down in simpler terms to help you learn more about diamonds.
Three Essential Considerations When Buying a Diamond
#1. Make Sure That the Diamond has a GIA Certification
As one of the world’s finest stones, diamonds have a specific laboratory responsible for evaluating their quality. The Gemological Institute of America covers this task. Each diamond in the market must undergo GIA’s process to quantify the diamond’s weight and grades.
If it is your first time buying this precious piece, look for the GIA certification before proceeding. No matter how the seller describes the product, the certification has all the details you need to know about the diamond.
There you will find its quality in terms of cut, color, and clarity. You will learn more about the grades of these categories as you continue reading this article. Each has an equivalent quality, which would explain if the diamond’s value equates to its market price.
#2. Identify the Grades of the Diamond in Terms of Cut, Color, and Clarity
Typically, a diamond has 4Cs. It represents the terms cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, which all justify the diamond’s value. In this consideration, we will delve into the first three characteristics.
The cut is about the proportions and symmetry of a diamond. Its grade range is between Good, Very Good, and Ideal. Having the right precision affects the light and sparkle a diamond emits. Thus, it is best if you go with an item that has an ‘Ideal’ rating.
However, it also means that the diamond has a higher market value because the demand for these items is quite low. Most buyers prefer Good to Very Good ratings because they still have premium quality and spark, even if they do not have the best proportions and edges.
The valuation of a diamond depends on the absence of color. Cushion-cut diamonds have a reputation for retaining colors poorly. Thus, jewelers consistently suggest picking a diamond with a grade H or higher.
What does each letter represent? Extremely rare diamonds have a D grade because it has the purest form among all. They are colorless and has the most expensive price in the market. Only 8% of the total number of diamond buyers go for this category. Grades E and F follow D’s footsteps.
The nearly-colorless categories fall to grades G, H, I, and J. They only vary in the shade found in the diamond when a gemologist looks into it closely. However, with an unaided eye, they look transparent and sparkling. Diamonds with faint colors fall to grade K. They are the most budget-friendly pieces, but they have more chances of fading over time.
A diamond’s color can go down from L to Z, but these grades are not advisable for cushion-cut items. Again, the safest pick is between G to J.
It is best to pick a diamond with SI1 or SI2 clarity to have the best value. SI means that the diamond has slightly included flaws, but they are not too noticeable. They look clean in the naked eyes, which makes them sufficient for most buyers. However, better grades are also available.
You can pick between Very Slightly Included (VS1 to VS2), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS 1 to VVS2), and Internally Flawless (FL to IL). They all represent several blemishes found within the diamond. The higher rating it gets, the more impeccable it becomes.
Some diamonds also fall into the Included category, which is the lowest in the grading system. They have noticeable blemishes that are less appealing to customers. That is why most jewelry shops limit or prohibit selling these diamonds.
#3. Carat Weight is Only One of the Essential Features of a Diamond
A higher carat weight means a more expensive diamond. Thus, it highly affects its price valuation. However, it will help if you keep in mind that it is not the sole basis for its value.
People who do not know enough about diamonds fall trap into picking a piece based on carat weight. While we do not invalidate this feature when picking a diamond, it is only a puzzle piece to the entire picture.
In a nutshell, these are the major considerations that you must review when buying a diamond. It may sound a lot, but all you have to remember are the safety nets required to have a diamond with the best value. Again, GIA certification is the key to know everything about your chosen piece.
Picking a cushion-cut diamond sounds easy until you find out that it has several considerations. But this should not discourage you from buying one because it is the most precious gift you can give to your loved ones. Whether it is a ring or a necklace, a diamond is a valuable piece that would symbolize your feelings towards someone.
To cut things shorter for you, we already listed the top cushion-cut diamond picks in the market. We included their distinct features to compare them easily from the rest. Again, we recommend the Blue Line’s Astor 1.01-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond because of its balance in price and quality.
If you opt for an item with bigger carat weight, you might want to check James Allen’s 2.27 and 5.07-Carat Cushion Diamonds. If you are after a cheaper price, some budget-friendly pieces are also available.
In the end, what matters is you find the diamond with the best value to your budget. Luxurious items do not mean you should cash out your entire bank account. Identify your limit, so you can also pick the most suitable cushion-cut diamond for you and your recipient.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What does GIA mean?
GIA stands for the Gemological Institute of America. It evaluates and analyzes a diamond’s quality to precisely identify its market value. They follow a tedious process every time a piece of diamond is sent to their laboratories.
However, you should note that GIA does not certify diamonds. They grade them instead. Terms like ‘GIA-certified’ or ‘GIA-certified diamonds’ are technically incorrect. However, these terms are quite common to all jewelers in guaranteeing the quality of their gems.
What does 4Cs mean?
In picking a diamond, you will always encounter the words cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. These are the four main characters that you must check when picking an item. Each ‘C’ has a grade, except for the weight, where you can qualify if the diamond deserves its price.
Carat weight is also essential because it is the literal size of a diamond. The more massive a carat weight is the higher its price.
Can you ask James Allen and Blue Nile to customize your diamonds?
Yes, you can. When you visit the stores’ websites, there is an option where you can customize the settings of your diamond before you can check them out. Personalize how you express your love through these options.
They only want you to find the best engagement rings with the best value. Thus, you should be allowed to modify your chosen gem.