The origins of this beautiful diamond traces back to the 19th century. In the past, the shape was originally referred to as the “mine cut.” The mine cut was a square diamond that had rounded corners. It was named after the Brazilian diamond mines. Once diamonds were discovered in South Africa, the Brazilian diamond mines became known as the “old mines.”
The old mine cut had 33 crown facets and 25 pavilion facets. The modern cushion cut resembles a cross between the old mine cut and a modern oval cut. Instead of 58 facets like the old mine cut had, the modern cushion cut has 64 facets.
This classic cut has been around for almost 200 years, and for the first century of its existence was the most popular diamond shape (similar to round cut today). Traditional cushion cut diamonds return light in a chunkier pattern than modern cuts. Combined with the enlarged culet (which was considered desirable for the pattern created when viewed through the table), created a distinctive look that is prized today among dealers in antique diamonds.