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Radiant Cut Vs. Cushion Cut: Comparison Guide

Radiant Cut Vs. Cushion Cut: Comparison Guide

While searching for a perfect diamond for your engagement ring, you’re bound to come across a wide range of different diamond shapes. However, you’ll notice that some of them look might pretty similar to one another – for example, radiants and cushions.

Radiant cut vs. cushion, which diamond shape is right for you?

While these two diamond shapes look somewhat similar, they’re two distinct diamond shapes. In this article, we’ve covered both of these popular gem shapes and the vital differences between them. 

So, let’s learn more about radiant cut and cushion cut!

What Is Radiant Cut Diamond?

In 1977, Henry Grossbard designed the radiant cut to combine the main features of the round brilliant cut and the emerald cut. Even since then, the radiant cut has lived up to its name – it’s impressively bright and brilliant.

The radiant diamond cut owes its brilliance to the stunning 70 facets. And the precision of every facet provides immense brilliance and sparkle. The radiant cut diamond’s brilliance is surpassed only by the round brilliant cut diamond’s brilliance.

That makes the radiant cut a great choice for an engagement ring that’s full of brilliance and fire.

With carefully beveled edges, radiant cuts have substantial durability against breakage, making it a perfect choice for those with an active lifestyle. That also allows the radiant cut diamonds to be paired with square diamonds and rounded diamonds.

Related Read: Radiant Cut Vs. Emerald Cut

Radiant Cut Diamonds: Pros And Cons

Like every other diamond cut, radiant cut diamonds come with a unique range of advantages and disadvantages. Benefits of the radiant cut diamond include the following:

Excellent Brilliance, Fire, And Sparkle

Even though the radiant cut diamond isn’t as brilliant as the round brilliant cut diamond, it’s not very far behind. Nevertheless, due to its 70 facets, the radiant cut diamond provides impressive brilliance and fire. 

That makes the radiant cut an excellent option if you want a stone that’s not entirely round but offers a beautiful sparkle.

Larger Perceived Size

The radiant cut is famous for looking bigger than most other diamond shapes of the same carat weight. That gives it some extra presence on your or your significant other’s finger.

The face-up area of the radiant cut diamond is slightly smaller than the round brilliant cut gems of an equal carat weight. However, the radiant cut diamond’s long diagonal measurement tricks the viewer’s eye and makes it appear more significant than it is.

Related Read: What Diamond Shape Looks The Biggest?

Better Durability

The radiant cut diamond is commonly compared to square diamonds, the princess cut, for example. So even though it looks pretty different, it’s easy to see the similarities. However, the radiant cut diamond has one advantage over square diamonds: It’s far more durable. 

Related Read: Radiant Cut Vs. Princess Cut: Comparison Guide

Since the radiant cut diamond has beveled corners, engagement rings that feature this type of cut are less likely to chip or break, making the radiant cut a good choice if you or your significant other has an active lifestyle.

Excellent Value For Money

The cutting process for this diamond shape uses a more significant percentage of the rough stone, with very little going to waste. What this means is that a loose radiant cut diamond will cost less on a per-carat basis than most other diamond shapes.

The radiant cut diamond is actually one of the most affordable diamond cuts. By opting for a radiant cut over a round brilliant cut diamond, you’ll be able to save money – and spend it on a larger stone or the engagement ring setting.

Related Read: What Is The Cheapest Cut Of Diamond?

Unfortunately, as with every other diamond shape, the radiant cut doesn’t come without its weak point – and it includes the following:

No GIA Cut Quality Grades

The diamond’s cut is absolutely crucial to its appearance, determining how much light the stone will reflect, allowing it to sparkle. Poorly cut diamonds won’t appear anywhere near as gorgeous once set in the ring as a well-cut one.

For round brilliant cuts, evaluating cut quality is easy – just look at the GIA certificate. Sadly, the GIA doesn’t grade the radiant cut diamond’s cut quality, meaning this is something you’ll have to check on your own with a careful eye.

Radiant Cut Diamond: Length-To-Width Ratio

A diamond’s length-to-width ratio refers to how proportionate the gem is with its intended shape and is simply determined by dividing the stone’s length by width.

For example, if a gem’s length measures 5 millimeters and its width measure 3.5 millimeters, the length-to-width ratio of that diamond is 1.43.

The length-to-width ratio you select for your radiant cut diamond is entirely based on what you find to be the most beautiful. 

A common range for radiant cut diamond length-to-width ratios is between 1.00 and 1.35, with the lower end of the spectrum indicating a square shape. Length-to-width ratios can even go up to 2.0 for a more rectangular-looking form.

Why Do Radiant Cut Diamonds Look Bigger?

As we already mentioned, radiant cut diamonds tend to look more prominent than most other diamond shapes of equal carat weight. That is no accident. 

When Henry Grossbard designed this diamond shape back in the 1970s, he did so with the intention to create a diamond cut that appeared as big as possible. His goal was to maximize the natural beauty of each stone rather than to cut the diamond in order to maximize its weight, as was the usual approach at the time.

Due to the radiant cut diamond’s broad, shallow design, more of the stone is visible when set in the ring – which helps create a bigger-looking diamond. The end result is a shape that merges the best of the brilliant cut diamond – mainly its brilliance – with a bigger perceived size.

What Is A Cushion Cut Diamond?

A cushion cut gem is a combination of a more modern round brilliant cut pattern with a classic, old mine pattern diamond cut. This diamond shape usually has a soft square or sometimes rectangular shape, all with curved corners.

Simply put, the cushion cut combines a square cut with rounded edges, giving it an appearance similar to a pillow, hence the name of the shape. Cushion-cut diamonds are typically purchased for engagement rings, but they see use in some fashion pieces, too.

The price of a cushion-cut gem is generally less than the price of a round brilliant-cut gem. However, because of its increasing popularity, the cost of cushion-cut diamonds could vary significantly.

Cushion Cut Diamonds: Pros And Cons

As you already know, every diamond shape comes with a set of advantages and disadvantages – and the cushion-cut diamond isn’t an exception. 

Pros

  • High level of brilliance and fire
  • Unique shape for a more personalized ring
  • Very durable because of the rounded corners
  • Combine classic fashion with modern flair
  • Less expensive compared to round brilliant cut diamonds
  • Rising in popularity

Cons

  • Retains color better than other cuts
  • Open table means inclusions are easier to spot
  • Referred to by a number of terms which leads to confusion

Read Also: Princess Cut Vs. Cushion Cut: A Comparison Guide

The Misunderstood Cushion Cut

Cushion-cut diamonds are more popular than ever before. They manage to look graceful and understated while still offering a level of brilliance similar to a round brilliant cut diamond.

However, cushion cuts are a very confusing type of cut. There’s a whole host of terms specific to cushion cut diamonds that you should understand – like classic cushions, modified cushions, broken glass, chunky cushions, and crushed ice.

Standard Cushion Vs. Modified Cushion 

Modern cushion cuts are classified into one of two primary categories – standard or modified. 

The differences between these two are relatively minute in nature. Their impact on a diamond’s appearance is likewise pretty minimal.

The only thing that separates these cuts is history. The standard cushions are the product of a cutting style that has been around longer, while the modified cushions are modern variations of the original cushion cut patterns.

Related Read: Antique Cushion Cut Vs Modern Cushion Cut

The Truth About Cushion Cut Diamonds

People will generally advise you that you need to get a standard cushion if you want a chunky cushion gem and that you need to buy a modified cushion if you’re looking for a crushed ice cushion.

That is entirely inaccurate. The truth about cushion cut gems is that it rarely has any kind of noticeable difference in a stone’s appearance, whether it’s standard or modified.

Chunky Cushion Cut Vs. Crushed Ice Cushion Cut

Just as there are two cut classifications of cushion cut diamonds, there are two categories of looks that cushion cut can display.

Chunky Cushions

Chunky cushion cuts are those stones that have clearly defined patterns of facets when viewed down into the stone’s table.

These diamonds tend to resemble how round brilliant cut diamonds present themselves and are usually called antique cushion cuts.

However, this is technically not true because the cushion cut is relatively modern. The old mine cut is the antique antecedent to today’s cushion cut. 

Crushed Ice Cushions

When viewed through the diamond’s table, crushed ice cushion cut gems have no detectable faceting. All you can see is what appears like broken glass or crushed ice – a disorganized space of sparkling bling.

As a matter of fact, that’s what radiant cut diamonds usually look like – and in addition, you can find this effect in the edges of marquise-shaped and pear-shaped stones.

Radiant Cut Vs. Cushion Cut: Design

Like many other diamond shapes, radiants and cushions can look similar at first glance. These shapes have similarly large tables and facet patterns that create a high degree of brilliance.

However, one key factor sets them apart when you look at the radiant cut diamond and cushion cut diamond more closely: Radiant cut diamonds showcase beveled edges usually cut at a 45-degree angle, giving them a more geometric, angular shape.

On the other hand, cushion-cut diamonds have curved and rounded corners, giving the stone a shape that’s partially rectangle and partially circle. By looking at the shape of the corners, you’ll be able to differentiate a radiant cut diamond from a cushion cut diamond.

Even though this doesn’t necessarily apply to every diamond, there’s usually some difference in the length-to-width ratio of radiant and cushion gems. Radiant diamonds come in many length-to-width ratios, whereas the cushion cut usually has a length-to-width ratio between 1.00 and 1.09.

Radiant Cut Vs. Cushion Cut: Brilliance

Various factors contribute to a diamond’s brilliance, one of which is the quality of the stone’s cut. A well-cut diamond will always provide more brilliance than a poorly cut stone. However, some diamond shapes are known for providing more brilliance than others.

Generally, the radiant cut gives off more brilliance than the cushion cut. That is due to the large table of the radiant cut, allowing it to take in and reflect a higher amount of light and produce a beautiful sparkle.

The cushion-cut also reflects light and produces an impressive sparkle. However, cushion-cut diamonds are better known for their fire – the ability to create colored light.

Bottom Line

So, radiant cut vs. cushion cut – the two similar yet distinct diamond shapes. The following pointers should help you decide which diamond shape is right for you.

Beveled corners make both of these diamond shapes durable. Both radiant cuts and cushion cuts have trimmed edges for increased durability.  Radiant cut diamonds feature distinct edges, while cushion cut diamonds have rounded edges.

Radiant cut diamonds offer more brilliance. The large table and many facets featured in radiant cut diamonds offer slightly more brilliance than cushion cut diamonds. 

Nevertheless, cushions are still gorgeous-looking stones that also provide lots of sparkle. Cushion-cut diamonds offer more fire. A well-cut suction diamond will simply give off more fire than a radiant cut diamond.

Cushion-cut diamonds are typically more square. Radiants and cushions are available in a range of square and rectangular forms. Generally, cushion cut diamonds have a length-to-width ratio of 1.0-1.09, which more resembles a square shape.

Deciding between radiants and cushions is a personal preference. Radiant and cushion cuts are distinct shapes, and opting for one over another is entirely based on personal preference. So, it’s best to consider your personal style.