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Oval vs Cushion Cut Diamond: Which Is Better? (2024 Comparison)

Looking to know which is better between Oval vs Cushion Cut Diamond ?

You’re at the right place!

This is our comparison of the Oval vs Cushion Cut Diamond .

In this article, I have reviewed both diamond cuts in-depth and will fully explain to you which one is better.

Let’s get started with an in-depth look at what sets these diamond cuts apart.

Let’s get started!

What’s The Difference Between Oval vs Cushion Cut Diamond ?

Oval Cut Diamond

The oval cut diamonds are easily recognized by their rounded edges and elongated shape, with the center being wider than the ends. They are a unique combination of the round and pear cut diamonds, but without the pointed ends seen in a pear cut.

Originally introduced by Lazare Kaplan, a Russian diamond cutter in the mid-1900s, the oval cut emerged from his innovative approach to salvaging damaged rough gemstones. By carefully removing sections of the damaged stone, he was able to create smaller diamonds, and one of these designs eventually evolved into the modern oval cut.

Oval cut diamonds are available in various length-to-width ratios, but the ideal ratio typically falls between 1.35 to 1.5. This ensures that the diamond is neither too stretched nor too condensed, striking a balance where its weight is not excessively hidden below the table.

Cushion Cut Diamond

Cushion cut diamonds are characterized by their rounded corners and straight edges. While most cushion cuts have a slightly rectangular shape, they are available in a range of length-to-width ratios. Some variations of cushion cuts may even appear square to the naked eye, despite not having equal sides.

The cushion cut has a rich history and is often referred to as the “old mine cut,” as it was invented approximately 200 years ago. Over time, variations of the cushion cut have emerged, including the old mine cut, brilliant cut, modified “crushed ice,” and modified “hybrid.” Although these variations may appear similar to the naked eye, the distinctions lie in the way the facets are cut. For instance, old mine cuts feature a deep pavilion, large culet, and high crown, while the crushed ice aesthetic is achieved through small star facets.

Cushion cut diamonds provide an alternative to the traditional round cut for engagement rings. Their unique shape and facets offer a distinct and eye-catching appearance, making them a popular choice for those seeking a more unconventional yet elegant diamond shape.

What are the Differences Between Oval and Cushion Cuts?

1. Durability:

Considering the durability of a diamond is crucial, as chips and cracks are difficult to repair or conceal. Fortunately, both oval and cushion cuts offer excellent durability due to their lack of sharp corners.

Diamond cuts such as baguette and princess cuts, with their pointed corners, are more susceptible to damage if impacted or dropped. In contrast, oval and cushion cuts, with their rounded edges, are less vulnerable in these scenarios.

Sharp corners can be observed in a close-up image of a princess cut, highlighting their susceptibility compared to rounded edges.

Furthermore, extremely thin girdles can be prone to breakage, particularly when large inclusions are present nearby.

To ensure the durability of cushion and oval cuts, it is advisable to place them in secure settings. While four-prong settings are common and allow for maximum exposure of the diamond, they offer relatively less protection compared to other options.

For enhanced protection, six-prong settings provide slightly more security. However, the strongest form of protection is achieved with a bezel setting, where the entire outer edge of the diamond is covered by a ring of metal.

Taking proactive measures, such as removing the ring during physical activities or situations where it may catch on objects, can further contribute to preserving its durability.

2. Settings:

While selecting the perfect diamond is important, it is equally crucial not to overlook the significance of choosing the right setting to hold the center stone in place.

Oval cuts offer versatility in terms of settings, with four- and six-prong settings being the most common choices. These settings are designed to maximize the display of the oval cut diamond, as the prongs secure the two ends while leaving the table exposed. This allows the diamond to capture and reflect light effectively, enhancing its brilliance.

A popular alternative for oval cuts is the bezel setting, where a ring of metal surrounds the rounded shape of the diamond. This setting provides superior protection against impacts and drops, as the entire outer edge of the diamond is covered. However, it may slightly minimize brilliance since less of the diamond is exposed.

On the other hand, cushion cuts can be beautifully complemented by a halo setting. Halos consist of a ring of small diamonds encircling the main cushion cut diamond, creating an illusion of a larger stone. This setting not only adds brilliance but also enhances the overall appearance of the ring. An example is a one-carat cushion cut engagement ring featuring a halo setting with pave diamonds lining the shank. The surrounding 38 round-cut diamonds are eye-clean and appear colorless, contributing to the ring’s flawless look.

It is important to explore different types of settings for both oval and cushion cuts to find the combination that resonates with your preferences. By selecting the right setting, you can enhance the beauty of the diamond and create a stunning and unique piece of jewelry.

3. Popularity

Engagement ring preferences can vary, with buyers often seeking diamond cuts that offer exceptional brilliance. Among popular choices, cushion cuts have gained more popularity compared to oval cuts.

Cushion cuts typically rank as the third or fourth most common shape for engagement rings, following round, princess, and marquise cuts. They account for approximately five percent of diamond sales, reflecting their appeal to a significant portion of buyers.

On the other hand, oval cuts rank sixth in popularity, usually falling between emerald and radiant cuts. Despite being slightly less popular, both oval and cushion cuts surpass most step-cuts in terms of their ability to exhibit strong light performance and brilliance.

It’s worth noting that neither oval nor cushion cuts are commonly used as accent stones to complement the main diamond in engagement rings. Instead, round, princess, and baguette diamonds are often favored for adding additional sparkle to a ring without the need for a heavier center diamond, which can increase the overall price.

4. Price

The price of a diamond is determined by various factors, including its grade across the four Cs: color, cut quality, clarity, and carat. Additionally, the diamond’s cut itself can impact its price.

In general, oval cuts tend to be more expensive than cushion cuts, making this one of the advantages of choosing cushion cuts.

To illustrate this price difference, we examined prices for cushion and oval cuts at James Allen, an online diamond retailer. The diamonds selected for comparison had the following characteristics: carat weight of 1.00, very good cut, H color grade, and VS2 clarity grade.

For cushion cuts, the average price was $3,953, with a range of $3,430 to $4,530. The wide price range is influenced by specific qualities such as the types of inclusions, table and depth percentages, and degree of fluorescence.

On the other hand, oval cuts were priced at an average of $5,086, with a range of $4,170 to $6,060. This indicates that oval cuts command a 29 percent premium compared to cushion cuts.

Furthermore, Blue Nile, another renowned diamond retailer, compiled prices for diamonds with different cuts and found that oval cuts had a 12 percent higher cost compared to cushion cuts.

These comparisons demonstrate that, in general, oval cuts tend to carry a higher price tag than cushion cuts. However, the exact price difference can vary depending on several factors.

By choosing a cushion cut, you can potentially save on the overall cost, allowing you to allocate those savings toward other aspects such as a higher carat weight, color or clarity grade, or a more elaborate setting for your diamond.

5. Size

When referring to the size of a diamond, it is not determined by its length, width, or depth, but rather by its weight, which is measured in carats (equal to 0.2 grams).

Therefore, a cushion cut and an oval cut that both weigh one carat are considered to be the same size in terms of carat weight.

However, when viewed with the naked eye, the perception of size can vary depending on the proportions of the diamond.

One advantage of oval cuts is that they often appear larger than cushion cuts of the same carat weight. This is because the weight of the diamond is spread across a wider table, creating an illusion of greater size.

On the other hand, cushion cuts are more condensed and may have a deeper table, which can hide some of the weight below the surface.

For instance, let’s consider a one-carat cushion cut diamond with measurements of 5.67 x 5.57 x 3.82 mm. In comparison, an oval cut diamond also weighing one carat may have measurements of 7.67 x 5.69 x 3.59 mm.

While the width and depth may be comparable, it is the length of the oval cut that can contribute to its larger appearance.

It’s important to note that these distinctions in perceived size depend on the specific length to width ratio and overall proportions of the diamond. Therefore, certain cushion cuts with similar carat weights to an oval cut may still appear larger based on their individual characteristics.

6. Color

The presence of color in diamonds can be masked by strong brilliance, making them appear more colorless. While colorless diamonds with higher grades, such as F, E, or D, are more valuable, it is not necessary to choose a diamond with such a high color grade.

Diamonds with lower color grades can still give the appearance of being colorless because the brilliant cut facets do not easily reflect color, unlike step-cut diamonds.

Although both oval and cushion cuts are brilliant cuts, oval diamonds tend to conceal color more effectively than cushion cuts, although the difference is slight.

For instance, consider a 0.80-carat oval diamond with an I color grade. To the naked eye, this diamond appears colorless.

In contrast, a 0.91-carat cushion cut diamond also with an I color grade may exhibit a mild yellow tint along its edges.

While this tint may be noticeable in high-resolution photos, it is likely to be invisible without magnification.

If you are considering a larger cushion or oval cut diamond, you may need to move up the color scale to achieve the same colorless effect.

For diamonds larger than 1.5 carats, the color can become noticeable in diamonds that have an I color grade.

It is important to consider the size of the diamond and its color grade when choosing an oval or cushion cut, as larger stones may require higher color grades to maintain the desired appearance of being colorless.

7. Light Performance

Oval cuts generally exhibit stronger light performance compared to cushion cuts, although the difference is often imperceptible to the naked eye.

The light performance of a diamond refers to its ability to exhibit brilliance and fire, which are key components of scintillation. Brilliance refers to the white light that is emitted from a diamond, while fire refers to the colored flashes of light that can be observed.

Both oval and cushion cuts, with their brilliant cut facets, possess the desired scintillation that is highly sought after in engagement rings.

The brilliant cut facets found in diamonds are typically small and triangular in shape, allowing them to effectively capture light, reflect it within the diamond, and ultimately send it back to the viewer.

Due to their well-designed facet arrangement, minimal light is lost through the culet, resulting in more light being returned to the eye and enhancing the overall brilliance.

It’s worth noting that the light performance of an oval cut diamond can be compromised if it is stretched too thin. In such cases, the light performance may be diminished. Conversely, the condensed facets of a cushion cut can exhibit exceptional light performance and may even outshine a thin-stretched oval cut in terms of brightness and sparkle.

Choosing Between Oval or Cushion Cut

Oval and cushion cut diamonds serve as compelling alternatives to the traditional round cut, offering comparable levels of fire and brilliance.

While these cuts share similarities, such as their brilliant-cut facets and ability to conceal inclusions, they also possess distinct characteristics, such as their overall shape and number of facets.

If you’re deliberating between oval and cushion cuts, consider the following guidelines to aid your decision-making process:

Opt for an oval cut diamond if:

  • You desire a brilliant cut diamond that is more affordable compared to a round diamond.
  • You want the diamond to create the illusion of a larger size when viewed with the naked eye in comparison to other cuts.
  • Durability is a priority, and you prefer the absence of sharp corners.

Choose a cushion cut if:

  • You seek a brilliant cut diamond that offers a lower cost-per-carat, providing excellent value for your budget.
  • You are intrigued by the wide range of cushion cut variations and wish to explore their unique characteristics.
  • You are considering various settings for your diamond and desire a versatile shape that complements a variety of settings.

To make an informed decision, explore cushion and oval cuts both in-person and through online retailers. By pairing these cuts with different settings, you can discover the perfect diamond ring that aligns with your preferences and style.

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