If you are interested in investment-grade loose gemstones, you are going to love the diamond we are about to showcase. It is a breathtaking 8.07 carat J color SI1 clarity cushion cut diamond.
Below we will discuss cushion cut diamonds, how fancy cut diamonds are graded by GIA (which includes cushion-cuts), and why this 8-carat cushion cut diamond is worthy of an investment as well as an engagement ring for a stellar, high-class woman.
WHAT IS A CUSHION CUT DIAMOND?
The cushion-cut diamond has a square or rectangular shape with soft, round corners. Face up, it looks like a pillow, hence the name, “cushion” cut.
It is a classic diamond shape, having been around for almost 200 years. In fact, it was the most popular diamond shape of the 1800s.
Up until the 20th century, the cushion cut diamond was the de facto shape for a diamond, like a round brilliant diamond is today.
Old Mine Cut to Modified Cushion Cut
Traditional cushion cut diamonds are known as Old Mine Cuts. Refinements of the square, soft-cornered diamond over the years, starting around 1920, lead to the modern cushion cut diamond that we see in contemporary engagement rings and jewelry nowadays.
Modern cushion cut diamonds are modified brilliants.
Modified brilliant cuts include oval, pear, heart, marquise, princess, and cushion-cut shapes. It is a modified version of the round brilliant, which is why it is named as such.
Modified brilliants create a crushed ice or needle-like facet pattern, which is different than the traditional wide-facet old mine cuts.
Thus, modified cushion cuts offer incredible brilliance and fire.
As a matter of fact, they say the cushion cut offers the most fire out of any diamond cut.
Standards for modern cushion cuts vary widely comparing to other diamond shapes. So, the cushion cut diamond shape can cater to personal tastes. For example, you can go rectangular or square, at any dimension.
A Fancy Diamond Shape
Even though cushion cuts are very popular and one of the most common shapes, they are technically a fancy shape diamond. Any diamond that is not a round brilliant is considered a fancy cut by the diamond industry.
With that, the way you grade a cushion cut diamond is slightly different than a round brilliant.
HOW ARE FANCY CUT DIAMONDS GRADED?
Anyone who has bought a diamond over 0.5-1 carat is familiar with the 4Cs – Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat Weight. The standard 4Cs are in place for round brilliant diamonds, as those make up aorund 90% of the market.
The GIA, which is the most prestigious gemological institute for grading diamonds, does not give cut grades on fancy shaped diamonds. Therefore, a cushion cut diamond will not have a cut grade.
A cushion cut diamond is graded the same as a round brilliant in terms of Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. However, instead of the standard cut grade, the focus of the is on Polish and Symmetry. Like a round brilliant diamonds Cut grade, Polish and Symmetry determine the light performance and overall beauty of the diamond.
With that understanding, let’s look at the way cushion cut diamonds (and other non-round diamonds) are graded. That way you know how to determine the value, rarity, and special qualities of a fancy cut diamond like a cushion cut, and more specifically, the 8.07 carat cushion cut diamond featured here today.
White diamonds range from D-M, anything after M has too much color to be considered a white diamond.
So, D is the best color grade. It is totally colorless and very rare. E diamonds do have slight traces of color, yet it is so difficult to spot even with a loupe at 10x magnification, so they are labeled a colorless grade. F color is similar, but the color is more easily detected, however, they are still classified as colorless. G-H diamonds are near-colorless, but they are still perfectly white (colorless) to the naked eye. I-J diamonds have a very slight yellow hue, and they are a fantastic value because the color usually can’t be seen by the naked eye yet the price reflects what you seen in a 10x magnification loupe. Then you have K-M diamonds which are slightly warm, but the color is noticeable to the naked eye.
All that said, from D-J color, an untrained, naked eye will not be able to spot any color, except maybe in certain bright light conditions for I and J color diamonds. When you get past J, there is a noticeable yellowish to the stone, but still they are considered white diamonds.
Note: When dealing with a K-M color diamond, a yellow gold setting will basically make the yellow hue of the diamond irrelevant. They will not look much different than a higher color grade diamond when in a yellow gold setting.
Clarity is graded by FL-I1. FL is the highest grade and it stands for flawless, which means it is completely free of internal and external flaws. IF means internally flawless, so there are no internal flaws. VVS1-VS2, which stands for very very slightly included and very slightly included, have inclusions that can only be seen with 10x magnification. The difference from VVS1 to VS2 is not great but the lower the grade, the more inclusions. SI1 diamonds have visible inclusions under 10x magnification, but they are usually completely invisible to the naked eye. With SI2 inclusions, inclusions may be visible to the naked eye. Lastly, you have I1, which is Included 1, meaning the inclusions are visible to the naked eye. Anything diamond beyond this range is not worthy of considering.
Carat weight is the unit of measurement for the physical weight of a diamond. One carat is .200 grams. Each carat is subdivided into 100 points, which allows for very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place.
So, in summary, fancy diamond shapes and round brilliants follow the same grading for color, clarity and carat weight. It’s only the cut where things differ as non-round brilliants don’t have a cut grade. That said, Polish and Symmetry are taken into consideration in place of a general cut grading.
Polish & Symmetry
GIA grading reports for fancy shape diamonds do not contain a cut grade. This would make it particularly difficult to assess the quality of a diamond’s light performance if it were not for polish and symmetry.
Polish and symmetry are two important indicators of a fancy shape diamond’s beauty and brilliance, which in the case of a fancy shape diamond, is essentially its “cut”.
Polish – Polish refers to the smoothness of each facet of the diamond. Worthy polishing grades range from Excellent to Good. A good polish grade means imperfections are hard to see under even a 10x loupe. Very Good means imperfections a very hard to see under a 10x loupe. And, Excellent means there are no polish flaws under a 10x loupe. Then you have Fair and Poor Polish grades, which should be avoided completely. That said, any respectable diamond shop will not even sell Fair or Poor polished diamonds.
Symmetry – Symmetry refers to the preciseness of how the facets align and intersect. You should pay close attention to the symmetry of a fancy shape diamond. Grading ranges as follows: “Poor,” “Fair,” “Good,” “Very Good,” and “Excellent.” To keep things simple, you want to stay in the Good to Excellent range. Although you can sometimes get good value with a Fair symmetry grade. Poor should be avoided completely. Symmetry is quite important, as it can make or break the overall appearance of even the most flawless diamond.
All in all, we recommend that you stick to Good-Excellent when it comes to Polish and Symmetry. Good is often a…well…good choice, as you get a better price and you will never be able to tell the difference between Good and Excellent grades without a loupe and years of experience.
8.07CT J COLOR SI1 CLARITY CUSHION DIAMOND
The featured diamond is an 8.07 carat J Color SI1 Clarity, Good Polish, Very Good Symmetry Cushion Cut Diamond.
The diamond has been certified by GIA, so you can see its full grading report for confirmation.
Below we will discuss each aspect of this diamond’s grading.
HOW BIG IS AN 8.07 CARAT CUSHION CUT DIAMOND?
This cushion cut diamond is 8.07 carats. That is considered a very big diamond, as the vast majority of diamond purchases, which are for engagement rings, are just above 1 carat.
The dimensions of the 8.07 carat cushion cut diamond are 12.69×10.69×7.48mm. That’s length x width x depth, and it is considered its “Face-Up Size Evaluation”.
In terms of weight, it weighs 1.61 grams (or 0.0569 ounces).
Face Up Size
While diamonds are discussed by Carat Weight, face up size is a very important factor because that is what you will see when the diamond is set into an engagement ring.
Carat weight does not directly correlate to a good face-up area. The bigger the size (meaning the dimensions), the better the light performance will be.
So, it’s important to pay attention to the actual dimensions, not just the weight of a diamond.
For the 8.07 Cushion Cut Diamond you are looking at here, the size is perfect for the carat weight.
Therefore, you can give this diamond a big check ✅ in the size department. This cushion cut diamond definitely looks its weight.
IS J COLOR GOOD FOR A DIAMOND?
A J Color diamond is “near colorless”. It makes for a fantastic value, as to the naked eye you can’t really detect the light yellow hue and the price will be far better than a higher color grade. All in all, you get a better price for a diamond that is, in essence, just as beautiful to the naked eye as a higher color grade diamond.
HOW GOOD IS SI1 CLARITY?
SI1 means Slightly Included 1. While it is a lower grade than a VS diamond, it is essentially the same to the naked eye.
An SI1 diamond will only have visible inclusions under a 10x magnification, not to the naked eye. This is the lowest grade that will not have inclusions visible to the naked eye. Once you reach SI2, some inclusions may be visible.
Basically, this makes SI1 the best value, as you get all the same beauty to the naked eye as a VVS and even a flawless diamond, but with a much better price tag.
WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT FOR A CUSHION CUT DIAMOND, COLOR OR CLARITY?
For a cushion cut diamond, color will be the more important feature to pay attention to, as cushion cut diamonds tend to retain a lot of color.
Because of this, you can go even as low as SI2 on the clarity scale when purchasing cushion cuts. SI1 is the best value and will almost always have no visible inclusions to the naked eye.
Note: As this is a large diamond, clarity is more important than it would be with diamonds that are 2 carats or under. 1carat and under and you are guaranteed to not notice any inclusions on a SI2 clarity diamond. So, when looking at a large cushion cut diamond (above 2 carats), the lowest grade you will want to go if you don’t want to see inclusions is an SI1, like the diamond we are showcasing here.
WHAT IS THE “CUT” OF THIS CUSHION CUT DIAMOND
As you know, the GIA cert won’t have a CUT as a general grade like it will with Round Brilliants. So, we will just average all the factors that come into play with the cut – Polish, Symmetry, Face-Up Size.
With that, the cut of this diamond is “Very Good”, as the polish grade is Good and the Symmetry is Very Good. Moreover, the Face-Up Size is Excellent.
BUYING THIS LOOSE CUSHION CUT DIAMOND FOR AN ENGAGEMENT RING?
A cushion cut diamond of this size, color, and clarity would go great with a yellow gold solitaire setting. This setting will cater to the J color, completely dismissing any possible yellow hue that may be noticeable in very bright settings or when compared next to other higher color grade diamonds. And the solitaire setting is great for diamonds this massive. It really lets the diamond be the center of attention, as a diamond of this magnitude most definitely should.
Another option is a platinum setting, as seen in the pictures here. With a white metal, like platinum or white gold, choosing a band set with diamonds is a great option. Keeping the solitaire setting for the centerpiece is again a no-brainer.
The engagement ring we made with this 8 carat cushion cut diamond is truly out of this world. The band is large, which works as the diamond is huge, and the diamonds are all cushion cut. It really makes for a one-of-a-kind look. With a ring like this, you will not only stand out, but you will also never find a ring like it for the rest of your life. Completely original to the woman who owns it.
We are calling the band an eternity ring as that is technically what it is. However, these days women want eternity rings as wedding bands, and that is the look we’ve created here. An engagement ring stack that is entirely cushion cut.
Make note, all of the cushion cut diamonds are sizeable, which you can’t often say for accent diamonds. Therefore, they will each have their own GIA cert.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS 8.07CT J COLOR SI1 CLARITY CUSHION DIAMOND COST
While we’d like to give you exact pricing on this diamond, with the current market, we don’t actually have a set price. It’s a buyer’s market so we are open to all reasonable offers. The keyword there is reasonable, of course.
On average, the price for an 8.07 carat I-J color VS2-SI1 clarity cushion cut diamond ranges from $100,000-150,000.
All in all, we want to give you a fair price. When purchasing a diamond of this pedigree from Diamonds By Raymond Lee and Raymond Lee Jewelers, we want you to think of it as an investment, because that is exactly what it is.
INVESTMENT GRADE CUSHION CUT DIAMOND
There is undoubtedly some controversy over whether diamonds are good investments. What it really comes down to is the price you pay for the diamond. If you get a good price, it is a good investment.
Diamond investing has grown significantly over the past decade. The fact of the matter is, diamond prices are increasing. Even with the increase, people are wary of investing in diamonds as it’s hard to determine a price to pay for one since there is no set market price like there is with gold.
If you do your due diligence and you find an investment grade diamond that you can buy at a good price, it will surely be a smart investment as the market is trending up.
Now, the questions becomes, what is an investment grade diamond? Well, we’ve written an entire article on that, which you can read by following the link we just provided.
The gist of it is, the diamonds need to first be sizable, generally over a few carats. Then, color, cut and clarity play a large role as well. Whilst you’d think the highest grades are the best for investments, it is not actually the case, typically speaking. That’s because a high grade diamond costs a lot more. An investment grade diamond can only be considered an investment if you can actually sell it.
So, the point is, you want a high quality diamond that won’t take years and years, if ever, to sell. Sometimes diamonds are so high grade that they are nearly impossible to resell because you can’t find a buyer who will pay enough for it to be considered a profitable investment on your end. Therefore, the most ideal diamond investments are somewhere in the middle. They are the G-J color, VS2-SI1, Good Cut diamonds. These large mid-grade diamonds look immensely stunning to the naked eye, and the prices are considered reasonable for the carat weight in questions. Thus, you can find a buyer easily if and when you are ready.
Overall, this is why the 8.07 carat J color SI1 clarity cushion cut diamond of this feature is surely appointed as a certified Investment Grade Diamond.
Want to make this 8 carat cushion cut diamond yours? Contact us and let’s talk.