The First Cushion Cut – The Mazarin

The story of the cushion cut begins with the Mazarin cut, which most people today would simply call the old mine cut. The Mazarin cut worked with the natural octahedral shape of rough diamonds, essentially cutting off the top and rounding out the corners on the side to give the stone a softer look. These were the first true brilliant cut diamonds, and also the first cushion cuts.

Famous Historical Cushion Cut Diamonds:

This innovation in diamond cutting soon led to cushion shape diamonds being worn and collected by royalty and wealthy individuals all over the world. For well over a century, some of the most important stones to ever come out of the earth were cut into a cushion shape. Some examples of antique cushion cut diamonds include the 135.92ct Queen of Holland Diamond, the 78.54ct Archduke Joseph Diamond, the 317.4ct Cullinan II, the 63.6ct Cullinan IV, the 128.54ct Tiffany Yellow Diamond, the 205.07ct Fancy Intense Yellow Red Cross Diamond, the 245.3ct Jubilee Diamond (also known as the Reitz Diamond), the 41.28ct Polar Star Diamond (once owned by Joseph Bonaparte, eldest brother of Napoleon), the 140.64ct Regent Diamond, the 184.5ct Jacob Diamond (also known as the Imperial Diamond or the Victoria Diamond), the 34.65ct fancy intense pink Princie Diamond, the 128.48ct fancy light pinkish brown Star of the South Diamond, the 26ct Fortuna Diamond (which was famously worn by a woman for 30 years who assumed it was costume), the 31.06ct fancy deep blue Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond, and of course the supposedly cursed 45.52ct fancy dark greyish blue Hope Diamond.

The Cushion Brilliant Cut vs the Modified Cushion Brilliant Cut

As time continued and innovation allowed for more precise and creative diamond cutting, cushion cut diamonds, like so many other cuts, became more uniform with the styles of modern stone cutting. No longer would the cushion brilliant exhibit the high table and large open culet they had been known to have for centuries. A few adaptations and this traditional shape could produce a sparkle as blinding as the modern round brilliant.. And thus, the “modified cushion brilliant” was created.

The secret to unlocking the sparkle inside of a cushion cut diamond lies in a new row of facets beneath the girdle combined with shortening the main pavilion facets. Not only do these new facets create more sparkle within a diamond, it also saves extra weight, allowing cutters to create more lively stones while maximizing the value from the rough.

When people are talking about “cushion cut diamonds” today, they are more likely referring to the “Modified Cushion Brilliant”. Approximately 98% of all cushion shaped diamonds sold today are modified cushion brilliants.

Significant Modified Cushion Cut Diamonds:

With as many historical diamonds as have been cut as cushions, it should not be a surprise that some of the most important diamonds discovered in modern history have also been cut into the more modern, modified cushion cut. These diamonds include the 112.53ct Fancy Intense Yellow (VS1) “Mouna Diamond”, the 5.54ct Fancy Vivid Orange “Pumpkin Diamond” (one of, if not the largest Fancy Vivid Orange diamond in the world), the 101.29ct Fancy Vivid Yellow “Allnatt Diamond”, the 16.08ct Fancy Vivid Pink “Sweet Josephine Diamond”, and the largest faceted diamond in the world: the 545.67ct Golden Jubilee Diamond.

Celebrities who are known to rock cushion cut diamonds (pun definitely intended) include Meghan Markle, Miss World 2000 Priyanka Chopra Jonas, actress Alison Pill, “Gossip Girl” star Leighton Meester, supermodel Bar Refaeli, Gabrielle Union, Jessica Biel, Kelly Rowland, and “Modern Family” star Sophia Vergara.

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