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7 Best Settings for Cushion Cut Diamonds

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Best Settings for Cushion Cuts

Cushion cut diamonds are a popular choice for engagement rings.

It’s a fancy shape that mimics a pillow and is known for its strong fire and affordability compared to a traditional round cut.

If you’ve found the right cushion cut diamond for your ring, the next step is choosing a setting.

Let’s explore the seven best settings for cushion cut diamonds so you know which is right for you.

1. Solitaire Setting

A solitaire setting is a stunning choice for a cushion cut because it focuses all the attention on the diamond. There are no other gems around it or lining the band.

They’re the most common selection for engagement ring diamonds. 

In fact, I chose this solitaire setting for wife’s engagement ring, although it was with a round-cut diamond.

Within this category, there are multiple choices. The cushion cut can be held by a solitaire setting with four or six prongs, and those prongs can be flat or claw-shaped.

For example, this solitaire setting features four claw prongs.

Solitaire Setting with Cushion Cut

The prongs avoid a simplistic design by crossing over each other as they extend toward the diamond. From the top-down view, it resembles a classic solitaire, but the aesthetic is unique from the profile.

Other solitaire settings for cushion cut diamonds include a cathedral arch.

Solitaire Cathedral Setting

This design highlights a benefits of this style. With a high setting, the diamond captures and reflects more light, which enhances its brilliance.

If you want to avoid prongs altogether, consider a tension setting.

A tension solitaire setting compresses the diamond between the band, so it appears to float.

Another advantage of placing your cushion cut in a solitaire ring is it’s less expensive than one with additional diamonds. 

You can put that savings toward a higher carat weight or improved color, cut, or clarity grades.

2. Vintage Setting

Cushion cuts are considered a vintage cut, so it’s fitting to place them in a vintage setting.

These styles resemble those worn during the Art Deco and Victorian eras. It’s important to note that vintage or antique settings aren’t always referring to its actual age. 

Jewelers today still create vintage settings.

An identifying characteristic of these rings is the detail.

You’ll often find milgrain, which are small beads of metal, lining the band. 

As an example, this engagement ring setting from James Allen has milgrain weaving up the ring as it approaches the diamond. 

Vintage Setting with Cushion Cut

It surrounds six accents placed inside the ring.

The milgrain on this vintage setting from Blue Nile is more subtle. 

Vintage Setting

When viewed up close from the top-down, the detail is apparent, but it blends into the design from the profile.

Others feature twisted threads of metal called filigree.

But vintage settings aren’t meant to distract from the cushion cut diamond at its center. Instead, it presents it in an elegant way, where the intricate details complement the diamond. 

This is in contrast to bedazzled settings where the main stone is lost among pave diamonds.

We recommend cathedral antique settings for cushion cuts because its arches display the diamond in a prominent position above the ring.

This ring is an example of that type of setting. The cushion cut is held high by a signature vintage setting.

3. Halo Settings

Halo settings are named after the circle of small diamonds that surround the main one. While the traditional style wraps around a round cut, it fits cushion cuts as well.

There are many types of halos for diamond rings. The most popular are single and double halos. Each creates the illusion of a larger center diamond.

This is an effective way to save money on a cushion cut diamond ring because the total carat weight is spread across many gems.

The reason halo settings pair with cushion cuts is because the halo often complements the shape of the main diamond.

Take this halo setting as an example.

Halo Setting with Cushion Cut

Twenty round-cut diamonds surround the cushion cut in the middle. The unique shape of the cushion cut is still visible, but from a distance, it will mimic a round cut.

Another style of halo is a hidden halo.

A belt of diamonds wraps around the top of the ring in a position that’s hidden from the top-down view. It’s only visible from the profile.

Despite its limited visibility, its brilliance increases the apparent size of the diamond by up to 15 percent. 

When you add more pave diamonds on the shank, like in this setting from Brilliant Earth, you have a brilliant ring that glimmers from every angle.

Halo Setting

The platinum band matches the colorless cushion cut to create a sleek aesthetic.

4. Three-Stone Setting

Three-stone settings earn their name because there is an additional gem on each side of the main one. 

The most common design includes three diamonds, but you can also find variations with rubies and sapphires.

You’ll find versions where the center diamond is larger than the other two, but other times, they’re all the same size.

The reason three-stone settings are an exceptional choice for cushion cut diamonds is because it adds brilliance to the piece. 

One of the pros of cushion cuts is strong fire, so this combination produces scintillation when the surrounding diamonds glimmer.

Check out this three-stone diamond ring

Three-Stone Setting with Cushion Cut

There’s a cushion cut in the middle with a pair of round-cuts. It’s a stunning piece when viewed from the front because all three diamonds are flashing.

One of the most popular designs features tapered baguettes, like this setting. It produces a more subtle glow, because baguette diamonds aren’t known for their light performance.

Their rectangular shape contrasts the cushion cut diamond. 

If you’re looking to avoid any resemblance to a traditional, round-cut diamond engagement ring, you could choose this combination in a three-stone setting.

5. French Pavé

There are many types of pave settings. It refers to small diamonds placed on the ring. They often weigh less than 0.01 carats. 

Each style complements cushion cuts in its own way.

It’s a cost-effective way to add more gems to your ring.

French pave settings, also known as “fishtail pave,” include diamonds that sit in V-shaped grooves on the ring. This shape exposes the diamond’s pavilion, which enhances its brilliance.

This is in contrast to other styles of pave, where the pavilion is blocked by the prong holding it. The prongs are also more visible, so it doesn’t appear like the ring is made of diamonds.

When you’re viewing French pave from a distance, you won’t notice the space between the accents. There’s an illusion of a continuous row of diamonds along the band.

To capture the uniqueness of French pave settings for cushion cuts, check out its profile.

French Pave Setting with Cushion Cut Diamond

Instead of traditional pave diamonds positioned on the ring, you’ll see the V-shaped holes.

The accents increase the sparkle of a cushion cut diamond ring and pair well with their pillow-like shape.

6. Bezel Setting

A bezel setting wraps a diamond with a ring of metal. It’s less popular than prong settings but could still be the right choice for your cushion cut diamond.

Bezel Setting

Its primary benefit is protecting the gem from hits and drops. The metal extends over the crown, so it’s covered from every angle.

But some buyers choose bezel settings for cushion cuts to cover flaws on the edges. Prongs often leave the edges exposed, but a bezel can cover them. 

It can cause a flawed diamond to appear flawless.

The downside is it can make the cushion cut appear smaller because more of it is covered by the bezel setting. It also costs more than a prong setting because there’s more metal.

It’s a sleek, modern style that’s often available in white, rose, or yellow gold or platinum. Take this bezel setting from Clean Origin as an example.

Bezel Setting for Cushion Cut

There are no diamonds on the shank or surrounding the main one. The culet is exposed underneath but still secured by the bezel.

If you’ve chosen a cushion cut you know is fragile, or one that has impactful inclusions, a bezel setting can provide the needed support.

7. East-West Setting

East-West settings orient the diamond horizontally on the ring. Although they’ve recently gained popularity, it isn’t a new setting.

The difference between this style and the classic one is immediately apparent.

It’s often used for cushion, emerald, and marquise cuts.

For example, here’s an East-West setting

East-West Setting for Cushion Cut

This cushion cut’s rectangular shape is more obvious in this position.

In fact, we recommend choosing this setting for cushion cuts that have higher length to width ratios. Because East-West settings highlight the horizontal shape of a diamond, it isn’t as effective if the ratio is close to one.

It also has the potential to cause the diamond to appear larger. The way it extends across the width of your finger creates this effect.

The East-West design isn’t exclusive. You can combine it with pave, halo, or bezel settings.

This version has petite pave diamonds lining the shank on both sides. They ascend up the ring to meet the four prongs holding the cushion cut horizontally.

Whether you choose a solitaire variation or one with surrounding diamonds, placing your cushion cut in an East-West setting offers an alternative from traditional designs.

Devon Tyler

Devon Tyler

Devon Tyler is the founder of TeachJewelry.com.

He earned an Applied Jewelry Professional Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America and now brings you essential information about diamonds, settings, and more.

Devon has consulted with leading jewelry brands, and his work has been cited in Diamond Nexus and other industry publications.

He's also a member of the International Gem Society.

Devon enjoys discussing jewelry with readers, so contact him with any questions at tyler.devon@teachjewelry.com.

Learn More About Devon

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