Cushion Cut Diamond Ring | How To Choose The Best One In NZ

Cushion Cut Diamond Ring | How To Choose The Best One In NZ Cover Photo
9 min read16 December 2022

If the Princess cut and Round cut had a baby, you would get the Cushion cut. It is a little bit round and a little bit square. It is one of our more popular cuts and is a great choice as a solitaire.

But how do you know if you are getting a good Cushion cut diamond? It’s not just about the 4Cs.

In this article, we will go over the pros, the cons and what we recommend if you are looking to buy one.

Why Are Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Rings So Popular?

They look amazing, are sparkly, and you typically get good bang for your buck.

Cushion Solitaire Engagement Ring

They are really sparkly

The great thing about having broad open facets is that they let in a lot of light. And this also means that they are super sparkly. And who doesn’t like sparkle?

Three Stone Cushion Triology Ring

They are versatile

Cushion cut diamonds do not have any sharp edges. It has the squarish look of a Princess cut diamond and the rounded edges of the Round cut. This has two advantages:

  1. Cushion cut diamonds are less likely to chip off because they do not have any pointy edges
  2. Because it is subtly round, it won’t get entangled in clothes or hair. It’s just way less of a hassle.

Cushion Cut Bridal Set with 14k Gold

No two cushion cuts are ever really the same

Cushion cuts are like buying a pillow. There isn’t really a grade or standard and it ultimately does come to a matter of taste and seeing the diamond (online or in person). Cushion cuts do not have an official cut grade because there is so much variability. Different length-to-width ratios, faceting patterns to the angles in which the corners are shaped, there are just so many different ways a cushion can be cut. This means that even the shape of a Cushion cut can be different.

Variety of different Cushion Cut designs

Break Traditions with Elongated Cushions

Don’t want a traditional square-ish-looking stone? Some Cushions are elongated and look similar to an Emerald cut or Radiant cut diamond. These can look stunning, but are also extremely difficult to find, making them a unique and rare cut to incorporate into a design.

Elongated Cushions are becoming a hot trend due to their soft rounded corners and slender appearance, which helps the stone look much bigger on hand, similar to an Oval cut.

But there are trade-offs with choosing super elongated Cushion diamonds. The longer the stone the less sparkly it is as the facets are spread over a longer surface area. This means the crushed look is strongly emphasised.

When searching for elongated cushions, we recommend a length-to-width ratio of around 1.20 or higher. Anything between 1.0 - 1.05 will ensure you get the classic square look.

Different ratios of a solitaire Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Challenges of the Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

You got to be hitting the bullseye in terms of the quality of the diamond, and your designs. You can also be sold a dud if you don’t know the difference between Crushed Ice Cushion and Non-Crushed Ice Cushions. So when we work with our clients, we ensure that we work with you and the best diamonds that the eye can see before making your ring.

You can’t hide behind colour and inclusions

The Cushion cut diamond retains its body colour more visibly than other cuts. We recommend that you choose anything from colour grade G and up (D, E, F or G).

The Cushion cut also has broader open facets. This means that it is not the best in hiding inclusions. We recommend getting a VS2+, especially if you are looking at something over 1 carat.

Cushion Cut Engagement Ring with Halo and Pave in a Platinum Band

There Are Two Types: Crushed & Non-Crushed Cushion Cut Diamonds

You should know that there are multiple types of Cushion cuts. This is important because grading reports don’t have a standardised cut.

The two styles of cut you need to be aware of are crushed ice and non-crushed.

Crushed Ice Cushions

Crushed Ice Cushion cuts have small facets that show little flashes or shimmers of sparkle. As the name suggests, they have features similar to pieces of crushed ice. The best way to identify one is visually (via photos of the stone or a video).

Crushed Ice Cushion Cut Diamond

We tend not to recommend this style unless a customer explicitly wants one or is trying to incorporate a coloured diamond or gemstone.

This is because, diamond manufacturers intentionally cut Crushed-Ice Cushions to maximise carat weight, rather than trying to maximise light performance (or sparkle). They can lack contrast and sparkle when viewed in a face-up position.

While with coloured stones, this style of cut helps emphasise colour, which can sometimes be lost with a sparkly stone.

Non-Crushed Ice Cushions

For customers who prefer Cushions, we recommend this style. These Cushion cut diamonds are made to sparkle. They have bigger facets meaning on hand, they produce larger flashes resulting in a much better diamond.

The key difference is there is a visible cross extending on each corner of the diamond (these are the four main pavilion facets).

Non-Crushed Ice Cushion Cut Diamond

At Four Words, we ensure that our customers are informed of this before they buy a diamond. We do this by showing you the diamond before purchasing.

The Cushion Cut and the 4Cs


There is no standard when it comes to cut. The best way to ensure you are getting a sparkly diamond is to see it before you buy it. Make sure you ask your jeweller about the different types of cut.

Depending on the style of ring you’re after, we recommend requesting non-crushed ice Cushions They have broader facets, making them sparklier and much better value for the price.


Just like Ovals, Cushion cuts do not hide inclusions well, especially towards the centre. We recommend you buy from VS2 and above. The larger the stone, the more attention you need to pay to clarity.


If you are going for a colourless or white shine stone, we recommend a diamond from the colour grade G and up.

For anything larger than a 2ct, pick F or higher.

Consider going for a crushed ice cushion if you are working with a coloured diamond or gemstone.


The larger the carat size, the more attention you need to pay to colour and clarity.

How we design Cushion cut engagement rings

The first thing we do is help our customers choose a diamond. This is because there is so much variability when it comes to them. If our clients want to go more square, we will ensure that they are aware of the Princess cut. If they would like to go more elongated, then we will ensure that they are aware of Ovals and Emeralds. It is not that we discourage Cushions. We just want to ensure our clients know what is possible.

Pavé is your friend

Pavé are small diamonds running along the band. This is an example of a simple, elegant design with pavé running down three-quarters of the band, with a slightly elongated Cushion cut.

Elongated Cushion Engagement Ring with Pave

Unique Elongated Cushion Designs

If you are wanting to push the boundary even more here is an example of an elongated coloured Cushion Diamond working really well with a twisted platinum pavé band.

Three Stone Triology Engagement Ring with Green Diamond Cushion Centre

Get the perfect fit with your wedding band

Cushion cuts can also complement wedding bands quite nicely with the wedding band following its shape. This works really well if your engagement band can sit flush against the wedding band.

If you have an existing engagement ring, we can 3D scan your ring to ensure any wedding band you craft will sit perfectly flush.

Cushion cut bridal set with flush wedding band

Crushed Ice Coloured gemstones look amazing

Crushed Ice Cushion diamonds look amazing with darker gemstones. They hold their colour well, and only sometimes, it is not about the sparkle.

The four prongs hold more square Cushion cuts firmly in place. But prongs can also be part of the design.

Emerald Cut Cushion Cut Engagement Ring

This blue-green Moissanite piece has twelve prongs with a simple 14k yellow-gold band.

Blue Green Moissanite Cushion

What to do next

We get it. You probably have never done this before. And it is for this reason that we take care of all the little things that you probably don’t want to think about.

With Four Words, you don’t need to worry about the ethics of our diamonds or their sustainability. We can also do all of the design work and guide you on designing a ring that your S.O. will absolutely love.

We exclusively use lab grown diamonds and offset the relatively minuscule carbon that we do emit by a factor of five.

We also have designed over 300 rings in the last year so we know what we are talking about when it comes to ensuring you get the best ring, no matter your budget.

So whether it is a Cushion, Emerald or the Asscher, we got your back. Let our team take all the stress away so you can focus on the fun stuff — the design of the engagement ring and planning the proposal. Give us a message whenever you are ready.

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Diamond Illustration

Whether you’re just starting out or have done all your research, we are here to help.

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