Cushion vs Radiant – Which Cut Should I Choose?

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If you’re looking for a square shaped diamond cut, chances are you’ve considered the cushion and the radiant cuts. These two diamond cuts look very similar and it can be difficult to choose between the two.

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However, the cushion and radiant cuts differ in some ways. Let’s take a look at what distinguishes each cut and which is the better choice for you.

Cushion vs Radiant cut diamond side by side
cushion vs radiant shape diamonds

Cushion vs Radiant – Style

The cushion cut is an old diamond cut, and has a vintage look. There are two main versions of the cushion cut – the chunky cushion (also called the antique cushion) which is the traditional cushion cut and the crushed-ice cushion, which is a newer version consisting of more facets and therefore more brilliance. In this article, we’ll be comparing the radiant with both versions of the cushion cut.

Created over 200 years ago, the cushion became the most popular cut of its time. It is an iconic shape, representing a style of the past. While it has been modernized, the cushion is still a favorite among those who love vintage inspired designs and has recently become one of the most popular diamond cuts for engagement rings. We think this is because of the resurgence in popularity of vintage and antique designs.

Compare to this, the radiant shape is a new diamond cut, and was only created a few decades ago in the 1970s. The radiant diamond has the brilliance of the round cut with the elegant appearance of an Asscher or emerald cut. It has a modern touch and a clean, crisp appearance, making it ideal for contemporary designs and sophisticated settings.

Cushion vs Radiant – Shape

At first glance, you’ll notice that the shape of these two cuts differ somewhat. The cushion consists of a square shape with rounded edges, like a cross between a princess cut and a round cut. The radiant cut is traditionally slightly more elongated, and because its points have been truncated, it has 8 clearly defined sides.

radiant shape diamond Length to width ratio
radiant shape diamond Length to width ratio

The traditional length to width ratio of cushion cuts are 1.00 to 1.05 while the radiant cut is around 1.15 to 1.25. Both cushion and radiant cuts can be either square or rectangular depending on your preferences.

Cushion vs Radiant – Cut and Sparkle

The radiant and the crushed-ice cushion are both brilliant cuts. This means that the cut is designed with specific faceting arrangements to maximize the brilliance of the diamond. If you want a sparkling ring, these are great options for you and will surely look stunning on your finger! However, the chunky cushion has larger facets and is not as brilliant. It has an understated elegance and beautiful fire.

In terms of facets, the cushion has approximately 58 facets, similar to the round brilliant, while the radiant has 70 facets. From the two, the cushion cut is known for its fire (reflection of colored light) and not as much for its sparkle – after all, the original cushion cut was created to sparkle under candlelight.

The radiant cut is often more brilliant than the cushion cut as it has more facets and a larger table. Having said that, this would depend on a number of factors including the quality of the diamond rough and the quality of the cut. The best way to determine which is more brilliant would be to compare them side by side.

Related Article: Princess Vs Asscher Vs Cushion shape diamonds

Cushion vs Radiant – Clarity and Color

Because both cushion and radiant cuts are brilliant cuts, they have similar requirements when it comes to clarity and color grades. Brilliant cuts are great at hiding imperfections in the diamond, due to their faceting arrangement and light performance. The sparkle tends to trick the eye into not seeing the inclusions.

The chunky cushion cut, however, may require a diamond of a higher clarity grade due to its larger facets that tend to show inclusions.

The general recommendation for cushion and radiant cuts is a color grade of H or better and a clarity grade of S2 or better. Having said that, it is how the diamond looks that matters at the end of the day. What you are looking for in your diamond is no visible inclusions and undesirable yellow tints. Before you purchase, always ensure that you have seen the actual diamond. If purchasing online, make sure that there are quality images that show you what the diamond looks like. This way, you can cherry pick from the stones to choose the one that looks the best.

Which Should I Choose?

It’s important to note that because the cushion cut has many variations, you would have evaluate each stone individually rather than making general assumptions. Apart from the obvious difference in shape and sparkle, the radiant and cushion are not radically different.

Ultimately, it is the shape and the sparkle of the cut that will be the most important when it comes to deciding between these two cut. Your preferences will dictate whether the cushion or the radiant cut is best for you.

Ready to browse for diamonds? For an excellent selection of radiant and cushion diamonds with high quality images and videos, check out James Allen.

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

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