True Antique™ Cushion Cut
About the True Antique™ Cushion
The classic cushion classified by GIA as the "Old Mine" diamond is the original cushion cut developed a few centuries ago, that was used to facet the world's most famous diamonds, such as Hope Diamond, Beau Sancy, Dresden Green, etc.
Today these stones are commonly referred to as "Antique cushions" to distinguish them from so-called "Modern cushions" that also have a similar cushion outline but completely different faceting. More on Modern cushions below.
Leon Mege True Antique™ Cushion diamonds are NOT vintage stones or stones taken out of old jewelry. They are cut in New York by a family of artisan diamond cutters who mastered diamond cutting for generations.
Today our classic antique cushions are cut the exact same way they were cut 100 years ago, entirely by hand. Just a few diamond cutters in the world have the experience and necessary expertise to be capable of cutting these magnificent stones
Not every Antique cushion diamond qualifies to be True Antique™ Cushion. An antique cushion that qualifies as a True Antique™ Cushion must fit our rigorous requirements to its geometry, proportion, and beauty.
We cut our cushions to achieve the optimal balance between brilliance and dispersion as measured by the best tool in nature - the human eye.
True Antique™ cushion is the only authentic classic cushion diamond in the world. There are plenty of old miners that cannot pass the rigorous requirements we bestow upon our special selection.
At any given time there are only a small number of antique cushion diamonds on the market, they all vary in size and quality. There are only a few classic cushions on the market for every thousand of modern cushions.
That's how rare and unique they are. And yet, within this very limited pool, only a handful are selected as True Antique™ cushions.
What makes True Antique™ Cushion Diamond so different only a handful of them to be cut every year?
It takes on average 30% longer cut one stone, and the rough yield is about 10-15% lower when compared to modified cushion cut.
The classic cushions (antique cushions) are premium stones that command higher prices due to both: their unique properties and exceptional beauty.
You want to own a classic cushion diamond, as opposed to a modern cushion, because of the:
- - optimized prismatic effect for maximum fire, thank to larger facets and equalized crown/pavilion volume
- - contrasting brilliance, a chessboard-like mix of dark and light spots
- - lower girdle position that allows the use of shorter prongs for increased diamond visibility at any angle
- - reduced color perception through boosted contrast
- - higher crown and smaller table resulting in a graceful three-dimensional look
- - obtuse pavilion that lacks the pronounced bulges common in modern cushions
- - uniqueness and rarity combined with exceptional pedigree (after all, the majority of famous diamonds are classic cushions)
The real virtue of a classic cushion diamond cut is not the amount of its light return "measured" by a cone-shaped gizmo sold by AGS that has nothing to do with its appearance or value.
The cut created at a time when candles were the most common source of indoor light, the classic cushion excels in producing the maximum amount of "fire" - the prized combination of brilliance and dispersion that no other diamond is capable of exhibiting with the possible exception of another rare antique cut - the Asscher.
True Antique™ Cushion Diamond is perfect for an engagement ring, the steep crown angle works flawlessly with modern micro pave halo design (widely known as Harry Winston "The One" ring style, or simply "Winston halo ring").
True Antique™ Cushion Diamond is also an excellent choice for a solitaire, because, unlike modern cushions, an antique cushion diamond have plenty of space under the girdle to conceal the metalwork. Less visible metal equals a better-looking piece of jewelry.
About the modern cushion
Most modern cushions are classified by GIA as "modified brilliant", or occasionally "cushion brilliant".
Some dealers view "cushion brilliant" to be a transitional cut between old miners and modern cushions, but in most cases the difference is negligible. The main difference is that cushion brilliants usually do not have the nasty bulge on their pavilions.
It is true that most modern cushions excel in producing plenty of brilliance (not to be confused with ever so ephemeral "sparkle" desperately desired by many clueless brides-to-be).
Diamond brilliance, like everything else, is a property good in moderation. Too much brilliance gives a stone a dreaded "crushed ice" look.
In addition to being "too brilliant" modern cushions have other properties that make them less desirable for certain ring designs.
Centuries earlier the classic cushion cut was, in fact, The Diamond cut, the equivalent of the round cut in modern jewelry. At that time almost all diamonds were cushions.
Once the round cut was developed, the cushions disappeared, used mostly for large stones over 5 carats in size (the general cutoff for a round diamond to be considered attractive, anything bigger is generally viewed as "gaudy" - a subject to personal taste, of course).
Cushion shape revival started about 30 years ago when people noticed the beautiful shape but unable to find them except in old jewelry. That led to the explosive growth of modified brilliants on the market.
It turns out that a lowly radiant cut could be easily turned into a high in demand cushion shape just by rounding up its sides and corners with a very little loss of weight.
That's right, the modified brilliant is actually a cushioned-up radiant, hence the name. Logically it would make sense to call it "modified radiant" but who cares about logic when billions of dollars in sales are at stake!
A low profile of a modern cushion is barely visible from an angle like a lonely leftover pancake few tables away. The antique cushion with its pronounced towering crown is quite the opposite - its distinct beauty can be easily admired from far away.
If you don't like the pancake comparison here are alternatives to drive the point home: compare a crepe to a croissant, a pizza to a calzone, or a pita to a French boule.
The larger facets of all antique diamonds result in fewer reflections, but more pronounced and contrasting. Too much of brilliance caused by small diamond facets result in dreaded "crushed ice" look, typical for modern cushions.
Computer software is not capable of evaluating the beauty of a cushion diamond cut, instead, they rely on measuring the amount of light reflected by a stone. By that logic, a bathroom mirror is your best diamond. But a diamond is not a mirror and its beauty just like that of a multi-shaped three-dimensional object is immensely complicated.
Beware of Bogus Vintage Cushion Cut Diamonds
How do you tell True Antique™ Cushion cut from your average vintage stone? Very few diamantaires in the world have an intimate understanding of Antique diamonds and specifically cushions.
Only a diamond expert involved with designing and cutting the stones can qualify to guide the consumers on the virtues of antique cushion cut. The ultimate authority in this field is Leon Mege - a diamantaire with decades of experience and several patents on antique diamond cuts under his belt.
Dedicated search of our exclusive True Antique™ Cushions inventory. The most beautiful diamonds in the world. CLICK HERE