Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Rolf Hartmann
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Welcome to our guide on cushion cut lab diamonds. If you are looking for a diamond shape that combines vintage charm with modern elegance, then the cushion cut is a great choice.
In this guide, we will provide you with everything you need to know about cushion cut lab-grown diamonds, from their unique features and characteristics to tips on selecting the perfect stone for your desired jewelry piece.
Cushion cut lab diamonds, also known as pillow cut diamonds, have soft, rounded corners and brilliant facets that give them a timeless appeal.
They are a popular choice for engagement rings and other exquisite jewelry designs because they showcase both fire and brilliance. When it comes to lab-grown diamonds, cushion cuts provide an eco-friendly and ethically responsible alternative to mined stones without compromising on beauty or quality.
Throughout this guide, we will help you learn about cushion cut lab diamonds, including the intricacies of their shape, facets, and overall aesthetics. We will also discuss the advantages of choosing lab-grown diamonds, such as their sustainability, affordability, and consistent quality.
Whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned diamond enthusiast, our guide will equip you with the knowledge and insights necessary to make an informed decision when purchasing a cushion cut lab-grown diamond. We will cover everything from understanding the lab diamond 4Cs specific to cushion cuts to how to save and where to buy cushion cut lab diamonds and jewelry.
So, continue reading our guide to cushion cut lab-grown diamonds and discover the perfect stone that will capture your heart and reflect your unique style.
3 best places to buy cushion cut lab-grown diamonds
- What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?
- Pros and Cons of Cushion Cut Diamonds
- How to Pick Out the Best Cushion Cut Lab Diamonds
- How Much Does a Cushion Cut Lab Diamond Cost?
- Where to Buy Cushion Cut Lab Diamonds
- Final Thoughts on Cushion Cut Lab Diamonds
What is a Cushion Cut Diamond?
Cushion cut diamonds are some of the oldest diamond shapes in the world. The pillow shaped diamond has undergone many modifications over the centuries. Cushion diamonds captured the allure of a princess cut diamond without the harsh corners, keeping the romantic appeal.
The modern-day cushion brilliant has evolved from the Old Mine cut, a vintage cut that’s no longer offered at commercial retailers. The modern diamond cutting techniques took the Old mine cut and optimized it for brilliance and sparkle, creating the modern cushion cut diamond.
Different Types of Cushion Cut Diamonds
Just like an emerald diamond can be found in both an elongated and a square shape, cushion diamonds have different variations.
Both the length and the faceting patterns can be different on cushion diamonds. Elongated cushion cut diamonds are less common but often requested. A cushion cut diamond can have many different kinds of faceting patterns.
When looking for cushion cut lab-grown diamonds, you may run into the following styles:
- Modified Brilliant Cushion Cut
- Chunky Cushion Diamond
- Crushed Ice Cushion Diamond
Typically, you’re unable to apply a filter for these styles of cushion diamonds when browsing an online inventory. Instead, you’ll need to see the diamond either in person or under a viewer online to see its faceting pattern. That’s why we recommend shopping for lab-grown diamonds only at jewelers that provide high-quality, magnified images and video.
The modified brilliant cushion is popular and also the most commonly found. This style applies the brilliant cutting style of optimizing brilliance and sparkle to the classic cushion cut. It mixes large and small facets in order to maximize light return.
Chunky cushions may be called vintage cushions. This cutting style allows for longer and wider facets. The pillow shape is more pronounced in chunky cushions.
Crushed ice features many short and sporadic facets to present the look of an ice cube. These may appear more sparkly in the center and more traditional around the edges.
There’s no perfect pattern for a cushion cut lab diamond. The faceting pattern can affect the visibility of your diamond but ultimately comes down to personal style.
Pros and Cons of Cushion Cut Diamonds
- Cushion cut lab diamonds are some of the least expensive diamond shapes when it comes to cost per carat. See prices for a 1-carat cushion cut lab diamond.
- Cushion diamonds offer style preferences such as “chunky” or “crushed ice”.
- Cushions have rounded corners, which gives additional protection to your diamond.
- Cushion diamonds have a smaller visual size than other diamond shapes of the same carat weight.
- The wider facets and open corners of cushion diamonds may make some slight inclusions more noticeable.
How to Pick Out the Best Cushion Cut Lab Diamonds
The perfect diamond doesn’t exist, and if it does, most of us can’t afford it. So instead of focusing solely on diamond grades, you should choose the lab-grown cushion cut diamond that looks the best to you.
That said, the lab diamond 4Cs can be helpful as a guideline for finding the best cushion cut lab diamonds, but you need to know what to look for!
In the following, we’ll share guidelines and tips as you search for your perfect cushion cut lab diamond.
Best Cut Quality for a Cushion Shape Diamond
Fancy-shaped diamonds don’t have cut grades like round diamonds do. No exact proportions and perfect symmetry of any diamond besides round brilliants exist.
Instead of relying on lab diamond cut grades as a guideline for a well-cut diamond, it’s best to stay within a range of ideal proportions. Each fancy diamond shape has its own parameters you should choose from.
Ideal Proportions for Cushion Diamonds
You should know that just because you choose a cushion cut diamond within its ideal proportion range doesn’t mean it’s the same as any other cushion diamond within those proportions too.
No two diamonds are the same. But staying within the ideal proportions can narrow down your selection to only the best cushion lab diamonds.
The ideal lab diamond proportions for cushion diamonds are:
- Table Percentage: 58-64%
- Length to Width Ratio: 1-1.05; 1.1 for elongated cushions
- Depth Percentage: 60-68%
- Crown Height: 10-15% of the total depth
- Polish and Symmetry: Excellent
The length-to-width ratio for cushion diamonds varies, depending on what shape you’re going for. Cushion cut diamonds have the most variations of all diamond shapes.
Best Clarity Grade for Cushion Cut Lab Diamonds
Your cushion diamond’s clarity grade is assessed by a gemological laboratory. They observe the natural inclusions and blemishes that happen to diamonds during both the growth process and the cutting process.
Inclusions and surface blemishes come in different shapes, sizes, numbers, colors, and locations. All of these details are taken into account and how they look relative to the rest of the diamond. The higher your clarity grade, the less likely you’ll have noticeable inclusions in your diamond. Learn more in our guide to lab diamond clarity.
The official GIA clarity scale includes the following clarity grades:
- Flawless (F)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2)
- Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2)
- Slightly Included (SI1, SI2)
- Included (I1, I2, I3)
Diamonds can have colored inclusions of other minerals that come into contact while it grows. These have been known to produce diamonds with garnet and emerald inclusions. But in commercial colorless diamonds, your inclusions are usually black or white colored.
Choosing the highest color grade for your lab-grown cushion cut diamond is unnecessary. You’re already at an advantage going the lab-created route. There are more eye-clean diamonds (diamonds with no visible inclusions to the naked eye) available in lab diamond inventories than with mined diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds still get inclusions during their growth process, but the types are minimized because of the laboratory environment. Other crystal inclusions aren’t found in lab diamonds because there are no other minerals to come in contact with.
For that same reason, most lab-created diamond retailers only carry SI clarity and above. Whereas popular mall jewelry retailers’ whole stores contain engagement rings with I clarity center stones. Read some of our reviews of mall jewelers to learn more, for example, Kay Jewelers, Zales, or Helzberg, and you’ll understand why that is.
With a cushion cut diamond, it’s recommended to choose a clarity grade of SI1 and above. SI1 clarity cushion diamonds are less likely to have large, noticeable inclusions.
Depending on their size and location, some cushion faceting styles may reveal inclusions more.
Chunky cushions with wider and longer facets will reveal dark inclusions more clearly in lower clarity grades if positioned within the facet space. Smaller dark inclusion may be hidden more in crushed ice cushions if located in the fragmented center. But if situated on the outer edge, they’d be more noticeable.
It’s important to have a 360˚ viewer to observe the cushion diamond’s clarity imperfections when shopping for lab-grown diamonds online. Also, check the diamond grading reports, which often show where the inclusions are located, so you know what to look for in the images.
In-person, a jeweler’s loupe or gem scope will do, but it’s better to inspect magnified HD photos and 360-degree video online since lighting and other factors make it harder to examine, and you can’t compare side by side.
All our highest-rated lab diamond jewelers offer these features, allowing you to weed out poor diamonds. The same goes for our best-rated places to buy lab diamond engagement rings.
Best Color Grade for Lab Created Cushion Diamonds
The color grade of your cushion diamond is a visual factor, so you don’t have to worry about it impacting the durability of your diamond.
Color grades are measured by determining the presence of yellow tint or brown tint in a diamond. The GIA’s Color Grade Scale consists of the following color grades:
- Colorless: DEF
- Near Colorless: GHIJ
- Faint: KLM
- Light Yellow: N-Z
While the color grade scale determines colorless as the best diamonds, some people opt for lower color grades on purpose. Many prefer warmer diamonds to complement jewelry metal (e.g., yellow gold), skin tones, or just personal preferences.
Choosing a color grade for your cushion cut lab diamond isn’t usually something done consciously. With lab diamond cushion cuts, you’re likely to find more colorless diamonds.
That’s not to say that lower color grades don’t exist with lab diamonds — because they do. And these tend to be some of the best priced too. That’s why we often recommend lower color grades such as H, I, or even J, since it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between color grades, but the difference found on the price tags are very visible.
There’s no perfect color grade, but we recommend lab diamonds in the near-colorless (GHIJ) range. But we all see color tint differently, so choose the one that looks the best.
Best Carat Weight for a Cushion Shaped Diamond
Many people have an idea of what carat weight they want their diamond to be. It’s one of the first things customers bring to their jewelers.
Truthfully, carat weight should be one of the last things you think about when picking out a lab-grown cushion cut diamond. However, some still want a big lab diamond for their engagement ring.
If a one-carat cushion cut diamond is too small, a 2-carat lab diamond might be better. You’ll just need to make sure you have the budget to go up on clarity or color grades, too. As you increase your carat weight, lower color tint grades and clarity imperfections appear larger and more noticeable.
A lot of people think that carat weight equates to its visual size, but that’s not the case. If you want a visually big cushion diamond, you might find yourself paying more for less. Learn why in our guide to lab diamond carats.
Cushion diamonds have small face-up views because more of their carat weight is distributed in the bottom, like a round brilliant diamond. But an emerald cut diamond is more shallow and elongated, making it appear much larger at the same weight.
It might take a 3-4 carat cushion diamond to get to the big diamond you want, which can be pretty expensive. Fortunately, when buying lab-grown cushion cut diamonds, you can get a higher carat weight for a whole lot less than a mined 3-4 carat cushion diamond.
How Much Does a Cushion Cut Lab Diamond Cost?
Diamonds are expensive, there’s no getting around it. A 1-carat diamond with good clarity and color grades usually runs around $3000-$5,000.
But when you opt for lab-grown diamonds, that range becomes less. You can find 1-carat cushion diamonds with decent color and clarity grades well below $1,000!
Cushion diamonds are already one of the most affordable shapes in lower carat weights. But when choosing cushion cut lab diamonds, you’ll get them at up to 60-80% discount in price. And even more when discounted during lab diamond sales.
It’s easy to be skeptical of lab-grown diamonds if you haven’t done much research on them. Despite their origin, lab-created diamonds have all the same quality factors as mined diamonds. And, yes, lab-created diamonds are real diamonds.
A lab-grown diamond with high grades doesn’t have the same monetary value as a mined diamond, but if you’re not planning on reselling your diamond-that shouldn’t matter. And why would you sell your precious beautiful diamond jewelry, anyway?
Where to Buy Cushion Cut Lab Diamonds
Below, we have listed the best places to buy cushion cut lab diamonds based on their high quality of diamonds and jewelry, wide diamond selection, affordable prices, and outstanding customer service. You can shop confidently at any of our below highly-rated lab-grown diamond jewelers.
Brilliant Earth review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Brilliant Earth is the leading sustainable lab-grown diamond jeweler. Their deep commitment to sustainability, including being the only seller of sustainable graded lab diamonds, sets them apart. The prices are excellent, too, and they have an extensive inventory of cushion cut lab diamonds.
With Clarity review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
With Clarity is another of our favorite places to buy lab-grown diamond engagement rings because of their unique 3D ring replica home previews (that you can try for free). In addition, they have a large selection of stunning cushion cut lab diamonds and excellent prices.
Clean Origin review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Clean Origin is another of our favorite places to buy lab-grown diamond jewelry, including cushion cut lab diamonds. We recommend Clean Origin for its unbeatable prices, a large selection of lab-grown diamonds and jewelry, and excellent support (plus 100-day risk-free returns).
Final Thoughts on Cushion Cut Lab Diamonds
Cushion cut lab diamonds are an excellent choice for engagement rings and diamond jewelry. They combine the brilliance of a round-cut diamond with the look of a princess cut, minus those corners.
Unlike most diamond shapes, you have options when it comes to cushion-shaped diamonds. There are many different faceting styles and patterns to choose from to customize your ring.
Some cushion diamond faceting styles may make it difficult to find eye-clean diamonds in lower clarity grades. But since you’re buying lab diamonds instead of natural diamonds, you’re more likely to overcome this difficulty.
However, if you’re looking for a diamond shape that appears larger for less, a cushion cut lab diamond might not be your best choice. But elongated cushions and the price of lab-grown cushion cuts can help significantly with that mission.
As long as you stay within our above guidelines and utilize our tips when choosing your cushion cut lab diamond, there’s no reason why you can’t find your dream cushion cut diamond jewelry.
While diamond grades are there to protect us from getting less than what our money’s worth, it’s not necessary to get the highest grades by the book, but rather what looks the best to you.
If you shop at one of our recommended best places to buy lab diamonds, you’ll be sure to get a great price and have all the help and features available to find the perfect cushion cut lab diamond.