Where (and HOW) to Find Elongated Cushion Cut Diamonds

If you are looking for an elongated cushion cut diamond you may wonder at first why there are no such diamonds displayed on your favorite online diamond outlet.

Fear not.

I will show you how to unearth those hidden gems with just a couple of clicks.

When you first go to JamesAllen.com’s diamond search there are some settings which are selected for you by default. This is supposed to help you choose the best diamonds, but because elongated cushions are a relatively new thing they are outside the classic “ideal” parameters for cushion cuts.

This default setting doesn’t show any elongated cushion cut diamonds. This can be very puzzling, particularly if you know how huge James Allen’s inventory is. At the time of writing James Allen boasts 385,000 natural diamonds and 45,000 lab created diamonds. Surely there has to be one elongated cushion cut diamond among the lot?

Browsing through the diamonds shown by default you could easily be forgiven for thinking that James Allen hasn’t listed any elongated cushion cut diamonds. But this is not actually the case. The reason no elongated cushion cut diamonds are displayed by default has to do with the way cushion cut diamonds have been graded, and what has previously been considered the ideal length width ratio for cushion cuts.

But with just one tweak you will be able to find a whole bunch of elongated cushion cut diamonds.

Traditionally cushion cut diamonds with a 1:1 length to width ratio have been more likely to be sought after than cushion cut diamonds with a more oblong shape. This has resulted in most diamond vendors using that as a parameter when classifying their diamonds by cut grade.

Diamond manufacturers such as Finestar Jewellery & Diamonds who have increased their output of elongated cushion cut diamonds* have seen no shortage of buyers. The demand began to be felt in the last quarter of 2019 and continues to remain extremely popular. Some jewelry outlets have been quick to create their own category (see Elongated Cushion Cut Diamonds at San Fransisco based jeweler The Art of Jewels)

Fancy cut diamonds, which are any shape other than round brilliant, do not generally get assessed for their cut quality, with only a few exceptions. Fancy cuts do get assessed for symmetry and polish, just not for the overall cut grade. The establishment of cut grades for round brilliants has involved a great deal of research and scientific study. It certainly has made shopping for round brilliants a lot easier.

And the science is pretty solid. The shape of round brilliant diamonds lends itself to more uniform measurements. It’s been the case that fancy cut diamonds are a little trickier to grade than round brilliants as there are many more variables. So far there is no consensus as to how one would classify the cut grade of many different diamond shapes. And the consequent problem would be that some diamonds would just become harder to sell.

Many decent diamonds could easily get left out if they don’t fall in line with the subjective standard a grading lab would have to implement. However many diamond cutters do have very sophisticated equipment which they use to assess the potential trajectory of the light that hits and enters a diamond. This has resulted in some incredibly beautiful elongated cushion cut diamonds which would by any standard be considered ideal cut. Excellent light return, optical precision, and decent spread, are all qualities which, with a little experience, can be assessed by sight, provided the imagery used is uniform.

The lack of a cut grade for fancy cut diamonds has made it a little challenging for consumers to choose fancy cut diamonds. Diamond vendors try to help by applying their own parameters. Some have quite sophisticated parameters applied to their stock to categorize diamonds by cut quality. Others use more basic parameters. I generally place little stock in the cut grade categories used by vendors. Just because they place a diamond in the category of “Super Ideal” is not necessarily going to mean it’s the best of the best of the best. The same applies the other way around. Just because a diamond is placed in the “good” cut category, does not mean it has to be shunned. As it is usually a mathematical formula there can easily be some hits and some misses.

So just because James Allen does not (yet) have a category for elongated cushion cut diamonds does not mean they don’t have any listed.

The default setting which shows you only Ideal cut diamonds. But their parameters for ideal cushions exclude anything too oblong. So here’s what you do:

Slide the “Cut” parameter over to the left to include all the cut grades, including “Good”.

  • Sources:
  • https://www.diamonds.net/Magazine/Article.aspx?ArticleID=67860&RDRIssueID=217
  • https://www.gia.edu/gia-faq-analysis-grading-system-fancy-shape-diamond
  • https://www.jewellermagazine.com/Article2/8752/Otherwise-engaged-Exploring-engagement-ring-trends

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