Being a prized possession that a diamond is, you cannot compromise on its quality when you are about to buy one. Diamonds are available in a number of cuts that vary in terms of multiple parameters, which decide the value of the diamonds. Many of the cuts evolved before several years and most of them are still in use either in their original form or in modified forms.

In this session, we make a comparison of two popular diamond cuts, emerald cut, and the cushion cut.

Table: Emerald Cut Vs Cushion Cut
Parameter Emerald-Cut Cushion-Cut
Price Low High
Size Looks larger than actual size Looks smaller than actual size
Luster Impressive luster Less lustrous
Clarity Low High


Emerald cut diamond usually come in rectangular shape but you can also find square emerald cuts, and the factor that decides the shape of the cut is its length to width ratio. Rectangular emerald cuts have a greater length to width ratio while squarer emerald cuts will have a ratio close to 1.

Cushion cuts feature a slightly square or rectangular shape with rounded edges that make it look like a cushion or pillow as the name suggests. Cushion cuts were earlier step cut but the later version of the cut, referred to as modified cushion cut uses a cutting method similar to that of round cut that gives more fire and brilliance to the diamond.


The primary focus of emerald cut and cushion cut is different, as the emerald cut focuses on the luster of the diamond while cushion cuts focus on the sparkle. The larger number of facets of a cushion cut gives it better sparkle and fire when compared with emerald cuts, but in terms of subtlety and luster, emerald cut has an upper hand.

The hall of mirrors effect in an emerald cut attracts the attention of beholders and most of the light gets into the stone through its large table facets.

Cut Quality

If an emerald shape is cut without precision, it will often have a dark area at its center where light reflection is not possible. The inadequacies in reflection of light will have a negative impact on the appearance of the cut. Symmetry is also a crucial factor that determines the cut quality of emerald shape because the visible rectangular or square shape of the cut demands high symmetry.

Cushion cuts are preferred more for their fire and brilliance and a perfect cushion cut features a head and arrows pattern that enhances the brilliance of the cut. The corners of a cushion shape has to be cut well so that the stone doesn’t look nearly round or have too sharp corners, that are undesirable in  a cushion shape.

Carat Weight

Emerald cut has a characteristic shallow pavilion and elongated shape that make it look larger than its actual carat weight. When it comes to cushion cut, it is often difficult to judge the size, and the best possible way to decide how big or small will it look is picking one that looks aesthetically appealing.

There is no denying that lab reports assure the quality of diamond cuts, but rather than making diamond choices by checking the lab reports alone, you may pick a shape that pleases your aesthetics.


As the emerald cuts are more likely to expose color when compared to cushion cuts, you have to select better color grades. Cushion cuts offer the lightest dispersion, enabling you to move down the color grade because they tend to expose less color.

Two adjacent color grades have visible differences in prize even though they differ only by slight amounts in terms of color. If you are shopping with a tight budget, going down the color grade can help you save money but you should select an appropriate setting that helps to hide color in the diamond. Yellow gold is an excellent choice because the yellow hue that reflects through the diamond will make it look whiter than it actually is.


Since diamonds are obtained from the deep layers of earth, there are chances for blemishes and inclusions in the stone. Mined stones with higher number of inclusions will not be selected for making diamonds and the selected rough diamonds too might have slight inclusions and blemishes that should be hidden by appropriate cuts.

The cut of diamonds decides the visibility of the inclusions. As the emerald cut has large table facet, inclusions will be more visible to the naked eye. The characteristic fire and brilliance of a cushion cut help hide the inclusions in the stone better.

If you particularly want an emerald cut, you could go for a smaller sized one because large emerald cuts show the imperfections easily when compared to smaller ones. This can also help you save money.


Emerald cut diamonds are step cut, and in the cutting process, less rough diamond is wasted. Emerald cuts cost less per carat weight when compared to cushion cut. Even though cushion cuts cost about 25% less than round cuts, they are still costlier than emerald cuts.

If you want a diamond that fits your tight budget, you could always go for emerald cut and lab grown diamond ring.

 The multiple advantages of emerald cut and lower price range increase the attractiveness of the option.