Last updateTue, 17 Apr 2018 11pm

The Story Behind the Stone: Pillow Talk - The art of the cushion cut

Cushion cut diamond earrings grace the red carpets often and are popular with the Hollywood crowd. Diamonds are always the right choice for stylish events, but celebrities and all diamond lovers want unique ways to wear their favorite stone. Cushion cut diamonds provide a distinctive way in which to enjoy these icy treats.

Norman Silverman 4.21 cushion cut diamond earrings; $102,000. Courtesy D’Orazio & Assoc., Beverly Hills.
While cushion cut diamonds are not as often recognized, they do make a big impression. They have also been called Pillow cut diamonds, which is obvious, and even Candlelight diamonds, which is head scratching.

While they project a modern vibe with their clean lines, they actually are an antique type of diamond cut, combining some of the most attractive aspects of earlier 19th and 20th century facet arrangements.

Cushion cuts are distinguished by their rounded corner square outline. They are produced with square or rectangular versions. What’s interesting to note is that most often, it’s scrumptiously high end diamonds that get this treatment. That’s because the facets are cut larger on cushion cuts - all the better to see their higher clarity and more appealing color. By color I mean lack of it. This treatment to the diamond also produces more brilliance, which is one of the reasons consumers buy diamonds in the first place.

As with every fancy cut, the aspect ratio is important to its overall beauty. With square-like cushion-cut diamonds, a length-to-width ratio between 1 and 1.05 is preferable.  For elongated rectangular cushion shapes, the length-to-width ratios should be greater than 1 to 1.15

Even though you know this brilliant cut has been around for more than a century it might be a new deal to your customer. When offering your client something distinctive but not trendy, you may want to reach for a cushion to close the sale.

Award winning trade journalist and gemologist Diana Jarrett is also a Registered Master Valuer Appraiser and a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). She’s a popular speaker at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett writes for trade and consumer publications, various online outlets, and for sightholders and other industry leaders.. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit her website, www.dianajarrett.com, and/or follow her on FaceBook and Twitter (Loupey).