Beginnings and rise in popularity of cushion cut diamonds
When the cushion cut was developed a few hundred years ago, the dominant style of diamond faceting was known as step-cutting. During the 17th century, cutters began to experiment with perpendicular (as opposed to horizontal) facets that acted as reflectors to give stones greater brilliance and fire. This new style became known as “brilliant cutting” because of the noticeably greater glitter it gave to diamonds. The term brilliant is French in origin and was, at first, used to describe the ends achieved with the new cutting style. Once the first true round brilliant was introduced in the late 19th century, it replaced the antique cushion. Nowadays, all cushion cuts that were produced before the round brilliant are called “old miners” and all early round brilliants are called “old European cuts.”
Cushion Cuts first became popular again about ten years ago, and their popularity has increased as designers and antique dealers continue to use them. Recently, cushion cut diamonds are especially being used in larger-carat earrings and also as a center stone in cushion cut engagement rings. To some modern jewellery designers in Sydney the cushion cut is seen as an antique style, while some see it as an enduring classical style that can be adapted to the present.