Round vs Cushion Cut Diamonds

round vs cushion stones set in rings

When you first begin shopping for engagement rings, you're likely to see two diamond styles more than any other: round cut and cushion cut. Both are traditional and popular choices, and each has different characteristics to recommend them. For example, if you're going for maximum sparkle, there's one style you might prefer. Read on for a complete look at the features and benefits of round and cushion cut diamonds.

An overview on each shape

A round cut engagement ring adds a classic element to any engagement. Pretty and simple, these engagement rings stand the test of time. Round cut diamonds also give off more light than any other cut of diamond, making the ring shine brighter. Round diamond engagement rings are also versatile: This cut allows for the diamond to fit into any setting easily. Aesthetically speaking, this traditional engagement ring rests beautifully on any bride’s hand, while other rings are more suited for brides with certain features, such as longer fingers or smaller hands.

A cushion cut diamond is a squared shape with rounded corners. The shape resembles a pillow, which is how the diamond got its name. This classic cut has been around longer than most other cuts of diamonds — for 200 years, the cut has remained one of the most popular choices. If you're looking for a halo setting, the cushion cut works especially well and is extremely popular.

round vs cushion measurements

Although both round and cushion cuts are very popular, the cushion cut is slightly more popular at the moment. However, this has not always been the case; this cut fell slightly out of favor in the past, but in the last decade, it has surged in popularity to be more popular than ever. But rounds still hold their appeal; they do a fantastic job at hiding imperfections, plus they are also the shiniest cut of diamonds.

Round vs cushion: How the shapes compare

The round cut is the most popular shape for engagement rings because its cuts maximizes the reflection of light, along with brilliance and brightness. The round brilliant cut diamond has 58 facets. Its 58-facet cut, divided among its crown (top), girdle (widest part) and pavilion (base).

Cushion cuts blend the energy of a round brilliant with the symmetry of a radiant cut. Their 58 facets are larger, so they're slightly less sparkly than round cuts. Larger facets can show clarity inclusions, so evaluate the location of inclusions by examining the certificate's diamond plot. But if you’re set on a cushion cut and need to hide an inclusion, you might want to consider a crushed ice diamond, which features more imperfection-masking facets.

round vs cushion faceting

Round vs cushion: How choosing a diamond is different

Although your bride-to-be’s tastes should be the primary concern when choosing a diamond shape, sometimes two truly are tied. When that happens, it helps to consider what each of these diamond shapes does best and compare that to her priorities for her diamond. Some shapes and cuts are best at maximizing how bright the stone is (clarity and brilliance), while others look whiter than the others (color). Here are some hints about which shape does what if you’re debating round vs cushion:

  • Don’t forget to select a style (solitaire, tri-stone, side stone, halo, etc.)

  • Because they have more facets, round cut diamonds hide inclusions better than cushions.

  • With a round cut diamond, you just need to look for an excellent cut. But cushion cut diamonds come with more considerations — you'll need to choose between the different cuts (brilliant, modified brilliant, hybrid) and also whether you want a crushed ice diamond or not.

  • Round cut diamonds also hide color a bit better than cushions, although regular cushions hide color better than crushed ice stones.

Round vs cushion: How different is the price?

Cushion cut diamonds tend to be about 25% less expensive than their round cut counterparts. When jewelers cut a rough stone, more is lost in shaping a round diamond, so the cost of each carat retained is higher.

Here are some of our favorite round cut and cushion cut engagement ring styles. As you can see, these cuts are incredibly versatile, lending themselves to more minimalist styles as well as more artisanal designs. As you shop, remember: as long as you follow your personal taste, there's no such thing as a wrong choice!

round vs cushion classic cathedral solitaire engagement ring

Classic Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring

Offered in both cuts, the Classic Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring features a single diamond in a cathedral setting for a low price. Simplicity and elegance are key with this design.

round vs cushion tapered diamond engagement ring

Tapered Diamond Engagement Ring

For a more prominent band on the engagement ring, the Tapered Diamond Engagement Ring highlights the center diamond through tapering trails of accent diamonds on a relatively thick band. Big accent diamonds give this ring an elegant and regal shine.

round vs cushion cut tapered halo diamond engagement ring

Tapered Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Although a typical halo diamond engagement ring is incredibly popular, the Tapered Halo Diamond Engagement Ring adds an extra element to make the ring all the more interesting. This halo style ring features trendy, petite accent diamonds that surround the center stone to really make it pop. With the small nature of the accent diamonds, the center stone is emphasized to appear much bigger than it is in reality. Perfect for buyers looking to modernize the classic halo look!

round vs cushion cut split shank trellis engagement ring

Split Shank Trellis Diamond Engagement Ring

The Split Shank Trellis Diamond Engagement Ring offers more complexity with its design of a split shank diamond band which connects with a trellis design. The wearer will have unmatched shine with the duality of the accent diamonds coming together to emphasize the shine of the large center diamond. This design not only features great sparkle, but it also adds a more intricate design to keep the intrigue for years to come.

round vs cushion twisting solitaire diamond engagement ring

Twisting Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

For less shine, the Twisting Solitaire Diamond Ring features an interesting design that strays away from simplicity while still remaining practical for everyday wear. This engagement ring highlights the large center stone, while the tightly wound metal of the band crisscrosses to meet up with the diamond.

round vs cushion French cut pave diamond engagement ring

French Cut Pave Diamond Engagement Ring

The French Cut Pave Diamond Engagement Ring gives off incredibly shine while still maintaining to be discreet. Petite pave set accent diamonds cover the entirety of the band to lead up to the center stone. Although the ring features 24 accent diamonds, the shine is not overpowering because the petite nature of the stones allow for a more simplistic and subtle shine.

round vs cushion cut plain shank halo diamond engagement ring

Cushion Plain Shank Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

For the typical halo engagement ring, the Cushion Plain Shank Halo Diamond Engagement Ring is the choice. This cushion cut ring gives off immense shine with its emphasized center diamond.

round vs cushion rising accents diamond engagement ring

Rising Accents Diamond Engagement Ring

With a more contemporary look, the Rising Accents Diamond Engagement Ring plays on a unique combination of metal and accent diamonds to produce a ring full of shine that still shows off the wearer’s choice of metal.

round vs cushion cut split shank squarish halo diamond engagement ring

Split Shank Squarish Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Finally, the Split Shank Squarish Halo Diamond Engagement Ring is a much more complex ring with much of its shine focused on the center stone. The elegance of this halo style ring makes it the perfect candidate for a cushion cut diamond.

Round diamond engagement rings are a timeless style that is sure to be on-trend for years to come. The sparkling brilliance of a round diamond coupled with a stylish band will be sure to wow.

Average prices for Round and Cushion natural diamonds

G color, VS2 clarity, excellent cut.

0.50 carat 1.0 carat 1.50 carat 2.0 carat
Natural Round Diamonds $1,300 $6,400 $13,900 $22,800
Natural Cushion Diamonds $8,500 $3,600 $10,500 $12,300

Average prices for Round and Cushion lab diamonds

G color, VS2 clarity, excellent cut.

0.50 carat 1.0 carat 1.50 carat 2.0 carat
Lab Round Diamonds $630 $2,300 $3,800 $6,300
Lab Cushion Diamonds $490 $1,800 $3,100 $5,200