Choosing the Perfect Diamond: Oval vs Cushion Cut

When it comes to choosing the perfect diamond, two popular options that often come up for consideration are the oval cut and the cushion cut. Both cuts have their unique characteristics and appeal, making them a favorite among diamond enthusiasts. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two and help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Understanding Diamond Cuts

Before delving into the specifics of the oval and cushion cuts, it's important to understand the basics of diamond cuts in general. The cut refers to how well the diamond's facets interact with light, determining its brilliance and sparkle. A well-cut diamond has good proportions, symmetry, and polish, allowing it to reflect light in a captivating manner.

The cut grade is an essential aspect to consider when buying a diamond, as it directly affects its overall beauty and value. Diamonds are graded on a scale ranging from poor to excellent, with excellent being the highest grade.

When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light enters through the table and travels to the pavilion, where it reflects from one side to another before exiting through the table and reaching the viewer's eye. This process creates the diamond's sparkle and brilliance, making it a mesmerizing gemstone.

However, if a diamond is cut too shallow, light leaks through the bottom, resulting in a lackluster appearance. On the other hand, if a diamond is cut too deep, light escapes through the sides, causing the diamond to appear dark and dull.

The Basics of Diamond Cuts

When it comes to diamond cuts, there are various shapes available, including the round, princess, emerald, marquise, and pear cuts, just to name a few. Each shape has distinct characteristics and appeal, catering to different tastes and styles.

The round cut, also known as the brilliant cut, is the most popular diamond shape due to its exceptional brilliance and sparkle. With 58 facets, the round cut maximizes the diamond's ability to reflect light, creating a dazzling display.

The princess cut, on the other hand, is a square or rectangular shape with pointed corners. It is known for its modern and elegant look, combining the brilliance of a round cut with a unique shape.

The emerald cut, as its name suggests, is characterized by its rectangular shape with step-cut facets. This cut prioritizes clarity and elegance, showcasing the diamond's natural beauty with its open table and long lines.

The marquise cut, resembling a boat, features an elongated shape with pointed ends. This cut maximizes carat weight, making the diamond appear larger than it actually is. It is a popular choice for those seeking a unique and eye-catching diamond.

The pear cut, also known as the teardrop cut, combines the round and marquise shapes, featuring a rounded end and a pointed end. This cut offers a balance between brilliance and elegance, making it a versatile choice for various jewelry designs.

Importance of Diamond Cuts in Jewelry

The cut of a diamond not only determines its visual appeal but also impacts its overall value. A well-cut diamond will exhibit maximum fire, brilliance, and scintillation, captivating the eye with its beauty. On the other hand, a poorly cut diamond may appear lifeless and dull, lacking the desired sparkle.

When set into jewelry, the cut of a diamond plays a crucial role in enhancing its overall aesthetic. Whether it's a solitaire engagement ring or a pair of diamond earrings, the way light interacts with the facets of a diamond influences its brilliance and liveliness, making it a focal point of any piece.

Furthermore, the cut of a diamond can also affect its perceived size. A well-cut diamond will appear larger than a poorly cut diamond of the same carat weight. This is because a well-cut diamond reflects light in a way that maximizes its visual impact, creating an illusion of greater size.

When choosing a diamond for jewelry, it is important to consider the cut grade alongside other factors such as color, clarity, and carat weight. Each aspect contributes to the overall beauty and value of the diamond, ensuring that you find the perfect gemstone that will be cherished for a lifetime.

The Oval Cut Diamond

Now let's dive into the specifics of the oval cut diamond. This unique shape is essentially an elongated round cut, featuring similar faceting patterns but with an elliptical outline. The oval shape boasts a timeless appeal, combining elegance with a modern twist.

History of the Oval Cut

The oval cut diamond has a rich history dating back to the late 1950s. It was created as a modification of the round brilliant cut, aiming to maximize carat weight while maintaining brilliance. Its elongated shape and rounded edges make it a versatile choice for various jewelry designs.

Characteristics of the Oval Cut

One of the distinctive characteristics of the oval cut diamond is its elongated appearance, which can create an illusion of longer and more slender fingers when worn in a ring. The cut typically features 57 facets, allowing for significant light reflection and sparkle.

Another advantage of the oval cut is its ability to retain color better than other shapes. Due to its elongated shape, an oval cut diamond can hide slight yellow tints, making it a popular choice for those seeking a larger stone without compromising on color grade.

Pros and Cons of the Oval Cut

Like any diamond shape, the oval cut has its pros and cons. On the positive side, the elongated shape creates the illusion of a larger stone, making it an attractive choice for those seeking a visually impactful diamond. Additionally, the oval cut is known for its versatility, complementing various styles and settings.

However, one possible drawback of the oval cut is its vulnerability to the "bowtie effect." The bowtie effect refers to a dark area resembling a bowtie that can appear at the center of the diamond when light fails to properly reflect. While this effect is not always present, it is something to consider when evaluating oval cut diamonds.

The Cushion Cut Diamond

Now let's shift our focus to the cushion cut diamond. This shape is known for its timeless elegance, combining romantic facets with rounded corners. The cushion cut captures the charm of old-world glamour while still maintaining a modern appeal.

History of the Cushion Cut

The cushion cut diamond has a long and storied history, with its roots tracing back to the 19th century. It was one of the most popular diamond cuts until the early 20th century when it slightly fell out of fashion. However, in recent years, the cushion cut has experienced a resurgence in popularity, with many individuals appreciating its vintage charm.

Characteristics of the Cushion Cut

One of the defining characteristics of the cushion cut is its soft and rounded edges, giving the diamond a pillow-like appearance. The cut typically features large facets that enhance its brilliance and sparkle, creating a scintillating effect that draws the eye.

Another noteworthy aspect of the cushion cut is its ability to display a high degree of fire. Fire refers to the colorful flashes that occur when light enters and exits a diamond, adding to its overall beauty. The cushion cut's facets excel at dispersing light, resulting in a captivating play of colors.

Pros and Cons of the Cushion Cut

Like the oval cut, the cushion cut comes with its own set of pros and cons. One of its main advantages is its versatility, as it can be adapted to various settings and styles. The cushion cut also has a romantic and vintage-inspired aesthetic that appeals to many.

However, due to its large facets, the cushion cut may highlight the color and clarity of a diamond more than other shapes. Thus, it's crucial to pay attention to these factors when selecting a cushion cut diamond. Additionally, the cushion cut's rounded corners make it more susceptible to chipping, so proper care and maintenance are essential.

Oval Cut vs Cushion Cut: A Comparison

Now that we've explored the specifics of both the oval cut and cushion cut diamonds, let's compare them side by side to help you make a decision that suits your preferences.

Aesthetic Differences

The oval cut offers a more elongated and slender appearance, creating an elegant and sophisticated look. In contrast, the cushion cut showcases a softer and more vintage-inspired aesthetic, exuding timeless charm.

Both cuts can be adapted to various jewelry designs and complement a range of styles, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Consider the overall look you desire and which shape resonates with you on a deeper level.

Price Differences

When it comes to pricing, the oval cut tends to be more affordable than the cushion cut. As the cushion cut requires a larger diamond to achieve the desired visual impact, it often comes at a higher cost. However, keep in mind that factors such as carat weight, color, clarity, and cut quality will also influence the final price of a diamond.

If budget is a significant consideration, the oval cut may be a more cost-effective option without compromising on style and elegance.

Popularity and Trends

In terms of popularity, both the oval cut and cushion cut have their own dedicated fan bases. The oval cut has gained significant traction in recent years, with celebrities embracing its unique appeal. On the other hand, the cushion cut's vintage-inspired charm has caught the attention of many individuals seeking a distinctive and timeless aesthetic.

Ultimately, following trends should not be the sole deciding factor when selecting a diamond cut. It's essential to choose a shape that resonates with your personal style and preferences, as you will be wearing and cherishing it for years to come.


Choosing the perfect diamond is a deeply personal decision, and the choice between the oval cut and cushion cut can be a challenging one. Both cuts offer their unique appeal and charm, making them excellent options for anyone seeking a visually stunning diamond.

Consider the aesthetics, price, and popularity of each cut, but don't forget to listen to your heart. Ultimately, the perfect diamond is the one that sparks joy and captures your unique journey. Happy diamond hunting!