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Lab-Grown Diamond Showdown: Cushion vs. Emerald Cut

In recent years, lab-grown diamonds have seen a surge in popularity as more and more people discover their beauty, affordability, and ethical appeal. These man-made gems offer the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined diamonds, but with a smaller environmental footprint. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of cushion cut and emerald cut lab-grown diamonds, helping you decide which one best suits your style and preferences.

The Basics of Diamond Cuts and Shape

When shopping for a lab-grown diamond, it’s important to understand the difference between diamond cut and shape. The cut of a diamond refers to how well-proportioned and symmetrical the stone is, as well as how finely it has been polished. These factors determine how light enters, reflects, and refracts within the diamond, creating the captivating sparkle we know as brilliance, fire, and scintillation.

A well-cut diamond will have optimal proportions that allow light to dance through the stone, while a poorly cut diamond may appear dull or lifeless. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) grades diamond cut on a scale from Excellent to Poor, taking into account factors such as the stone’s depth, table size, girdle thickness, and facet angles.

In contrast, a diamond’s shape refers to its overall geometry or form, such as round, cushion, emerald, or pear. Notably, oval shapes have gained increasing popularity in recent years, combining the brilliance of a round-cut with a distinctive elongated shape that can make the diamond appear larger. Each shape has its own unique characteristics and appeals to different personal styles. While the cut of a diamond is crucial for its beauty and value, the shape is largely a matter of individual preference. To dive deeper into the specifics of this increasingly popular shape, check our 'Oval-Cut Diamonds Guide: Everything to Know!

Double Claw Engagement RingThe delicate double claw claw setting and smooth band create a timeless beauty.

Understanding the distinction between cut and shape will help you make an informed decision when choosing your perfect lab-grown diamond, ensuring that you select a stone with both the ideal proportions and the shape that speaks to your unique style.

Cushion Cut Lab-Grown Diamonds

A Classic Cut with Modern Variations

Cushion-cut diamonds have been popular since the 18th century. They have a square or rectangular shape with soft, rounded corners, resembling a pillow. Today, there are two main variations: the standard cushion cut and the modified cushion cut.

The standard cushion cut has larger facets and a more open table, creating a softer, romantic sparkle. The modified cushion cut features an extra row of facets on the bottom of the stone, resulting in a more brilliant and intense sparkle.

Enhancing Clarity and Perceived Size

Cushion cuts are great at making diamonds look cleaner and larger than they are. The large facets can hide inclusions, making the stone appear clearer. Additionally, cushion cuts have a smaller surface area compared to other shapes of the same carat weight, making the diamond look bigger. When shopping for a cushion-cut lab-grown diamond, pay attention to the length-to-width ratio. A ratio of 1.00 to 1.05 will give you a more square shape, while a ratio over 1.10 will make the stone look more rectangular.

Cushion-cut lab-grown diamonds are a timeless choice for those who love a vintage-inspired look with a soft, romantic sparkle. Their ability to enhance clarity and make stones look larger makes them a smart choice for value-conscious buyers.

Emerald Cut Lab-Grown Diamonds

A Cut with a Unique Optical Effect

Emerald-cut diamonds are known for their distinctive rectangular shape with cropped corners and step-cut facets. This cut style dates back to the 1500s but really took off during the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s.

What sets emerald cuts apart is the “hall of mirrors” effect created by their long, linear facets. When you look into an emerald-cut diamond, you’ll see a mesmerizing pattern of light reflection that gives the stone an elegant and captivating appearance.

U-shaped emerald anniversary ring with seven exquisite stones

A Modern and Elongating Look

If you’re drawn to sleek, contemporary styles, an emerald-cut lab-grown diamond might be the perfect choice for you. The clean lines and geometric shape of this cut give it a sophisticated and refined look that’s popular among celebrities and fashion icons,For engagement rings that are perfect for proposals, check out our range of engagement rings!

One of the best things about emerald cuts is their ability to make a diamond appear larger and more elongated than it really is. This is because of the stone’s shallow depth and large, open table, which create the illusion of greater size.

Comparing Cushion and Emerald Cuts

When choosing between a cushion cut and an emerald cut lab-grown diamond, consider the following aspects:

Sparkle and Brilliance

Cushion cuts tend to have more brilliance and fire than emerald cuts. Their rounded shape and larger facets create a more intense and lively sparkle that catches the eye from various angles. Emerald cuts, on the other hand, have a more understated and elegant sparkle that emphasizes the stone’s clarity and color rather than its brilliance.

Clarity and Color

Emerald cuts tend to highlight a diamond’s clarity and color more than cushion cuts. The step-cut facets of an emerald cut create a hall of mirrors effect that emphasizes the stone’s transparency, making inclusions more visible. Given the importance of this particular attribute, choosing a higher clarity grade is essential to ensure the diamond looks its best. For a more detailed understanding of what clarity in diamonds entails, especially for lab-grown varieties, our guide on 'What Is Lab-Grown Diamond Clarity?' provides comprehensive insights.

Setting Styles

Cushion cuts are often paired with vintage-inspired or halo settings that complement their soft, romantic appearance. Emerald cuts, however, tend to look best in sleek, modern settings like solitaires or bezel sets that showcase their clean lines and geometric shape.

Personal Style and Preference

Ultimately, the choice between a cushion cut and an emerald cut comes down to your personal style and taste. If you’re drawn to a timeless, romantic look, a cushion cut may be the perfect choice. If you prefer a more contemporary and sophisticated aesthetic, an emerald cut could be the way to go.

Lifestyle Considerations

Consider your lifestyle when choosing between a cushion cut and an emerald cut. If you lead an active lifestyle or work with your hands, a more protected setting like a bezel may be practical, making an emerald cut a good choice. If you’re looking for a classic engagement ring style, a cushion cut with a halo or vintage-inspired setting could be a beautiful option. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing between a cushion cut and an emerald-cut lab-grown diamond.

How to Choose Between Cushion and Emerald Cut

When deciding between a cushion cut and an emerald cut lab-grown diamond, consider these key factors:

Personal Style

  • Cushion cuts: Ideal for vintage-inspired or romantic styles
  • Emerald cuts: Perfect for sleek, modern looks


  • Emerald cuts: Suitable for active lifestyles, less likely to snag or get damaged
  • Cushion cuts: Comfortable for everyday wear, sit lower on the finger

Cut Quality

  • Cushion cuts: Look for good symmetry, and a balanced length-to-width ratio (1.00-1.05 for square, >1.10 for rectangular)
  • Emerald cuts: Prioritize uniform step-cut facets and higher clarity grades

By considering your personal style, lifestyle, and the cut quality of the stone, you can make an informed decision when choosing between a cushion cut and an emerald-cut lab-grown diamond.

BrilliStar’s Lab-Grown Emerald Cut Diamond Rings

Now that we’ve explored the

unique characteristics of emerald cut lab-grown diamonds, let’s take a look at three stunning options from BrilliStar that showcase this sophisticated cut:

  • Artisanal Emerald Three-Stone Ring: This timeless ring features classic emerald-shaped side stones, perfectly showcasing the cut’s hall of mirrors effect. With 1 ct total side stone weight, it’s a beautiful choice for those who appreciate elegance.
  • Princess Side Stone Three Stone Engagement Ring: The 18 emerald-cut side stones (1.44 ct total) add vintage glamour to this classic three-stone setting, while the scalloped pavé diamond accents create a romantic look.
    Princess Side Stone Three Stone Engagement Ring with Pavé Diamond Accents for Glamour
  • Seven Stones U-shaped Emerald Diamond Anniversary Band: Seven exquisitely set emerald-cut diamonds (1.75 ct total) adorn this sleek, contemporary U-shaped band, highlighting the stones’ clarity and elongated shape.

All three IGI-certified rings feature high-quality DE color, and SI-VS clarity lab-grown diamonds, offering a perfect blend of modern style and timeless beauty.

Unlock Your Dream Diamond with BrilliStar

When choosing between a cushion cut and an emerald cut lab-grown diamond, consider your personal style, lifestyle, and the unique qualities you admire most in a diamond. By understanding the differences between these two cuts and assessing factors like cut quality and setting style, you can make an informed decision. BrilliStar’s collection of IGI-certified, ethically sourced cushion and emerald cut diamonds offers a range of stunning options to help you find the perfect stone for your dream engagement ring, anniversary band, or cherished jewelry piece.

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