Antique Cushion

Antique Cushion cut diamond is a classic and timeless jewel. Its pillow-shaped outline, softly rounded corners, small table, high crown, and large open culet are easily distinguished from other diamond cuts. No other diamond cut can replicate the Antique Cushion’s prized mix of checkered brilliance and extreme dispersion. 

Antique cushions are extremely rare. At any given moment, there are only a few antique cushions on the market for every thousand modern cushions. An antique cushion is the most desirable diamond cut used in high-end jewelry.

The fire of this precious prism of pure crystallized carbon is stunning during a candlelight dinner. The sparkle and scintillation in pure rays of sunlight leave other diamonds yellow with envy. On an overcast day, it will cradle your finger, permeating a soft glow and reminding you once again that you are loved by someone who knows that you are special.

antique cushion illustration

What are the special characteristics of an Antique cushion?

An antique cushion diamond always has an open culet. Most antique cushions have a high crown, a small table, and broad facets that are not as thin and stretched as modern ones. The traditional pillow-shaped outline conveys the appeal of a bygone era when diamonds were cut to burst alive with intense fire under the romantic glow of candlelight. In addition, antique cushions’ high-contrast faceting mutes the color perception, expanding the number of stones perceived as white.

What ring style best compliments an Antique cushion?

Antique Cushion Diamonds’ proportions seem to be a perfect match for a halo. The antique cushion’s high crown braced by a micro pave skirt is stunningly beautiful.

Antique cushions are an excellent choice for solitaires or three-stone rings, especially those where the basket is set with pave. Unlike modern cushion cuts, Antique cushions do not have a bulging pavilion providing ample space for metal to be concealed underneath.

In addition, the shorter prongs block less of the stone’s side view because the girdle they grip is lower.

Leon Mege modern cushion diamond variationsCushion brilliants are round brilliants reshaped into pillow-like cushions. Their faceting arrangement is the same as a round brilliant.

The pavilion facets originate at the culet and extend to the girdle in a star-like fashion. The great majority of cushion brilliants are modern cushions, but they rarely have a “crushed ice” appearance, unlike modified cushions. Cushion brilliant cut is less common and sold at a premium.
The cushion modified cut is essentially a radiant cut with rounded corners: same outline, different faceting.

All modified cushions are grouped as modern cushions known for their excessive brilliance without a contrast that results in a “crushed ice” look. The majority of modified cushions have four protruding bulges on the pavilion that make concealing the metalwork difficult.

Our True Antique™ cushions are a contemporary version of the Old Mine diamonds with perfect symmetry and excellent polish. It is the classic cushion cut that ruled the world until the round brilliant-cut was developed.

The world’s most famous diamonds, including the Hope Diamond, feature the same Old Mine cut as our antique cushions.

True Antique cushion diamonds and other premium cuts like an Asscher are slightly more expensive than the rest of the fancy shapes but still significantly less expensive than round diamonds.

Cutting antique cushion diamonds requires specialized knowledge, tools, equipment, and techniques because of their extreme difficulty. It takes on average 30% longer to cut an antique cushion diamond. The same piece of rough yields about a 10-15% smaller antique cushion than a modified cushion. Our True Antique cushions are premium stones that command higher prices due to their exceptional beauty, higher production cost, and scarce inventory.

Most Leon Mege True Antique™ cushion diamonds are newly mined diamonds, and only a small percentage is recut from old material, primarily dating between 1860-1915. The old stones taken out of period jewelry are usually destitute when acquired, often with large chips and severe abrasions from years of wear. The vintage charm of the original outlines is preserved during the cutting, but the symmetry is greatly improved.

True Antique™ cushions are currently produced in New York by an extended family of artisan diamantaires who has preserved the secrets of the antique faceting style through many generations.

Although not blood-related, we are honored to be a part of the family and closely collaborate for several decades to produce and popularize these rare gems.

Our True Antique™ cushions are cut entirely by hand and eye, using the same techniques diamonds were cut hundred of years ago.

Pillow shaped diamonds antique cushionsThey can be both. Our True Antique™ Cushion diamonds are cut in various grades, sizes, and proportions. The type of rough predetermines the shape and the ratio finished stones have.

GIA classifies the great majority of our antique cushions as the Old Mine cut. Some antique cushions cut from a flat rough and, therefore, with depth lower than 60% are certified by the GIA as Cushion brilliants.
According to GIA unfortunate guidelines, the antique cushion is classified as a cushion brilliant when all except one is true:

  • The table is over 53%
  • Slightly large culet
  • Crown angle is over 40°
  • The lower half is 60% or less

This outdated guideline is misleading because antique cushions look dramatically different than cushion brilliants.

Leon Mege is the only place to find a complete selection of True Antique™ Cushions.
To see the complete and exclusive inventory of antique cushions, please check the stock list using our dedicated portal at

Cushion cut comparison modern vs antiqueA proper balance between brilliance and dispersion is the hallmark of every True Antique™ cushion diamond. It is the authentic cushion cut that fits rigorous geometric and optical requirements. Not every antique cushion can pass the rigorous requirements we bestow upon our stones. Antique cushions do not have the dreaded “Crushed Ice” splintered brilliance found in modern cushions.

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