When you think about shopping for an engagement ring, trends probably don't enter the equation. After all, if this is a ring we'll be wearing every single day, you definitely want it to defy convention, not be a part of it. But sometimes, what's super hot now (ahem, Kim's rock of ages) is actually steeped in more history than it appears at first glance. Such is the case for the cushion-cut engagement ring.
But first, let's define what a cushion cut exactly is, for the non-gemologists or bridal-obsessed in the crowd. According to Elizabeth Doyle, owner of estate jewelry store Doyle & Doyle, the cushion-cut style is a stone with a "square or rectangular outline with rounded corners. Its shape more closely reflects the shape of a diamond crystal than a round cut."
And its not exactly a new phenomenon. According to Nadine Arzerounian, president of design and operations at Tacori, "Cushion-cut diamonds rose to popularity in the 1800s and were considered valuable due to their ability to disperse candlelight beautifully, which made it more dynamic and brilliant than other stones of the day." And modern day iterations are actually an update on a truly classic style. According to Doyle, "The cushion cut is a modern refinement of the old mine cut, [which] was developed before the invention of the bruting machine."
Thinking of sporting a cushion-cut ring to make your love official? First you'll have to decide if you want a vintage or modern cut. "An antique cushion, or old mine cut, has a higher crown, smaller table and greater overall depth," says Doyle. "The facets are wider, giving larger chunks of color." The contemporary cut on the other hand, is defined by its "pillow-esque shape of a traditional cushion-cut diamond, but [has] additional faceting, which increases brilliance without requiring larger stones," according to Arzerounian. But even modern makes have staying power, as proven by the 32 styles, ranging from minimal to estate finds, we're swooning over. Now, go ahead and put a ring on it!