How to Tell a Radiant Apart From a Cushion?

This is a question that I frequently get asked a lot by people who are shopping for fancy cut stones – “What is the difference between radiant and cushion cut diamonds?”. For the layman, it is understandable to get confused between a cushion cut and a radiant cut since they look very much alike. 

These 2 diamond cutting styles display similar sized table facets and may sometimes even possess similar outlines. Yet, you can make the distinction by looking at the corners of the stone. Cushion diamonds can be identified with curved corners whereas radiant cuts have straight 45° slanted corners.

appearance of radiant cut vs cushion cut

Technical Names Found in Grading Reports

If you are in doubt, you can always find the corresponding information on the lab grading report. Look under the section of “shape and cutting style” to get your answers. Typically, cushion cuts are listed as “Cushion Brilliant” or “Cushion Modified Brilliant”. On the other hand, radiant cut diamonds are usually denoted as “Cut-Cornered Rectangular Modified Brilliant”.

gia grading report for cushion cut

A Typical Description for Cushion Brilliants From GIA

gia grading report for radiant cut

Note: The radiant cut is coined by people in the trade. GIA labels these diamonds differently.

As you can see, it will become pretty obvious once you locate the corresponding information from the report. Lastly, I want to highlight that there are other forms in which cushion cut diamonds can exist. For example, modern branded cuts like the hearts and arrows Brellia and the vintage Old Miner’s cut can be listed under different cutting styles even though they are a sub-set of the cushion cut family.

In summary, the general outline of cushions consists of rounded corners. On the other hand, the tell-tale sign of radiant cuts are straight slanted corners. If you simply bear this in mind when looking at diamonds, you shouldn’t face any major problems with the correct identification.

James Allen is my most highly recommended vendor when shopping for fancy shaped diamonds. When it comes to buying a cushion cut or a radiant cut, grading reports aren’t enough. You would also need videos to help you see exactly how the diamond looks like!

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