The Asscher cut and the cushion cut are two diamond cuts that are often compared because their outlines are similar. However, these two cuts differ in the arrangement of their facets, which is one of the primary factors determining diamond sparkle.
Let’s take a look at the characteristics of the Asscher and the cushion cut, and see which tends to be more sparkly.
Asscher Diamond Cut Characteristics
The Asscher cut has a square shape and truncated corners. This diamond cut is a variation of the emerald cut, which is rectangular. Click here to see a selection of Asscher cut diamonds.
Both the Asscher and the emerald cut are classified as step cuts.
Diamonds in this category are cut with facets that have a linear shape and are parallel to the girdle (the stone’s widest part).
Brilliant cuts, in contrast, have facets that are not linear and are not parallel to the stone’s edge. (The most popular brilliant cut is the classic round cut.)
The Cushion Diamond Cut
The cushion cut is shaped as a square or rectangle with rounded corners, making a stone with this cut resemble the outline of a pillow. Click here to see a selection of Cushion-cut diamonds.
This cut belongs to the group of brilliant cuts and has a number of variations, which differ in the number, shape, and arrangement of their facets.
Because of these differences, some cushion cut modifications exhibit sparkle that is more intense or simply different-looking than that of other cushion diamonds.
Asscher Cut vs. Cushion Cut: Which Sparkles More?
In general, cushion-cut diamonds have more sparkle than Asscher stones. This is understandable because the cushion cut was specifically developed to enhance the brilliance of diamonds.
Unlike the cushion cut, the Asscher cut was not created with the goal of maximizing sparkle. As a result, Asscher-cut diamonds have a shine that looks clear as opposed to the sparkly brilliance of the cushion-cut stones.
Not all cushion cuts show the same level of brilliance, though.
The so-called “chunky” cushion-cut stones exhibit less sparkle than the cut variation referred to as “crushed ice,” whose facets are shaped and arranged in a way that makes the light reflected by them look more sparkly.
How Differences in Sparkle Affect the Clarity of Asscher and Cushion Cuts
Differences in sparkle and brilliance between two cuts also lead to differences in the visibility of any imperfections in them.
In general, since cushion cuts tend to have more brilliance, their inclusions are also less visible than those in Asscher cuts of comparable clarity.
So, if you are buying an Asscher-cut diamond, you will have to pay more attention the size and positioning of its inclusions since there is not so much sparkle to mask them.
Asscher vs. Cushion Cut: The Impact of Sparkle on Color
Diamond sparkle also affects how the color of the stone is perceived, although to a lesser extent compared with the effect on clarity.
If two stones are of a lower color grade and have relatively visible yellowish tints, the more sparkly diamond will look less colored as the additional sparkle will make the tint less prominent.
Here, cushion-cut diamonds again have an advantage over Asscher-cut stones, which tend to show more color.
In comparison, similar cushion cuts that are also not perfectly colorless fare better, as their additional sparkle and brilliance soften the visible effect of the color tints.
How to Choose Between the Asscher and Cushion Cut
If sparkle and brilliance are what you are after, the cushion cut is a great choice, and the Asscher cut comes in second when the two cuts are compared.
Not all people prefer diamonds with a strong sparkle, though, so if you’d rather have a stone with soft brilliance, the Asscher cut is the way to go.
Keep in mind, however, that you will likely have to choose higher clarity and color grades for your Asscher-cut diamond if you want it to look flawless and colorless.
With the cushion cut, on the other hand, you have more leeway, and you can go with lower clarity or color because the additional sparkle partly compensates for the visibility of natural imperfections and tints.