Cushion Cut vs Round: What’s the Difference?

Cushion and round are two of the most popular diamond cuts for all diamond jewelry from engagement rings and earrings to everything in between. Both of these diamond cuts offer scintillating sparkle and versatile wear. And if you opt for lab grown diamonds, you can get both of these popular cuts at a fraction of the cost. 

Cushion cut engagement ring and round cut engagement ring side by side

It’s true that these diamond cuts have some similarities, but it’s important to know their differences if you plan to purchase either one. If you don’t know which diamond shape is best for you, this blog post can help. However, keep in mind that the best diamond cut will come down to personal preference. In this guide to cushion cut vs round cut, we’ll explore both varietals and what sets them apart.  

The Cushion Cut Diamond

The cushion cut diamond, also referred to as the “pillow cut”, was named for its resemblance to a pillow cushion; it is square in shape but has rounded corners that create a puffed-up appearance. Unlike a princess cut diamond, a cushion cut engagement ring will have softer corners and a rounder appearance. Originally, the antique cushion featured 58 facets, but modern cushions often feature as many as 64 facets, which give them a brilliant and sophisticated sparkle. 

This cushion shaped diamond cut can stand alone in a solitaire setting or be amplified by a halo or three-stone setting. Whichever way you wear it, it will surely exude glamour and grace.  

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The Round Cut Diamond

The round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular of all diamond shapes. There are many reasons for this, but a few of the most notable are its timeless shape, its incredible sparkle, and its versatility. This cut looks beautiful in any setting, from simple and modern to vintage and ornate, and often appears larger than its carat weight would suggest. 

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Cushion Cut Diamond vs Round Cut Diamond: The Differences

You can’t go wrong with a cushion cut diamond or a round cut diamond, but if you are making a selection for your engagement ring, knowing how these two popular cuts differ will help you make the right choice. Remember, while there may be pros and cons to each cut, the biggest pro that outweighs all cons is that you love it and long to wear it. 

Shape

The round cut diamond is, well, round. Its 58 facets are cut in a way to produce a perfectly symmetrical circle. This diamond shape is classic, elegant, and universally flattering, which is part of what makes it so popular among brides, in particular. 

Cushion cuts, on the other hand, can vary greatly in shape, depending on how they are cut. Some have a more square shape while others are more round. They can be more elongated and oval, sharp and square, or anywhere in between. Where it can get confusing is when you have an elongated cushion cut diamond, which may appear more like a round or oval cut diamond. Because cushion cut diamonds can vary greatly, it’s important to know what shape you are looking for before you begin shopping for an engagement ring. 

Sparkle

Both cushion cut diamonds and round cut diamonds sparkle beautifully due to the brilliant facet pattern they share. As long as the cut is ideal, either one of these diamond shapes will catch the eye of passersby. One thing to note with cushion cut diamonds, however, is that there are different types that give off different levels of sparkle. A crushed-ice cushion will give off more sparkle than a brilliant cushion, and a round brilliant cut will give off more sparkle than a brilliant cushion. 

Size

Carat for carat, a round brilliant cut diamond will appear larger than a traditional square cushion cut diamond. However, an elongated cushion cut can appear larger than a round cut diamond of the same carat weight.  

Quality

For both cushion cut diamonds and round cut diamonds, cut is the most important of the 4Cs. An ideal cut will ensure your stone has optimal symmetry and sparkle. Sacrifice the quality of the cut, and you will sacrifice the overall appearance and brilliance of the diamond. In terms of clarity, both cushion and round diamonds hide inclusions well because of their incredible sparkle, so a lower clarity grade will still appear flawless. 

Where round cut diamonds outplay cushion cut diamonds is in color. While round diamonds hide color extremely well, cushion diamonds aren’t as forgiving. If you opt for a cushion cut diamond, you will need to choose a high color grade for the diamond to appear colorless. 

Cost

Round diamonds don’t win out in every regard. Cushion cut diamonds cost considerably less than round cut diamonds. In part, this is due to the high demand for round cut diamonds. As we mentioned above, however, round cut diamonds will appear larger than cushion cut diamonds with the same carat weight. While you may be able to save on the cost of a round diamond by decreasing the number of carats, you won’t make up as significant a difference in price as you would by opting for a cushion diamond instead.  

Whether you are looking for a round cut or a cushion cut stone, you can reduce the cost of both the stone and the overall diamond engagement ring by purchasing a lab grown diamond. At 12FIFTEEN Diamonds, we offer a wide range of lab grown diamond engagement rings to suit every style. 

Sources: 

Brides

Diamond Nexus

GemSociety

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