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Why settle for a statement ring, when you can make two statements in one? Three-stone engagement rings — also known as past, present, and future rings — are much beloved for their symbolism: The trio of gems are believed to connote these three different stages of a relationship.
Make your center diamond a cushion cut (a.k.a. "pillow cut" for its wide, deep spread), and your engagement ring will catch the eye as well as the imagination. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a cushion cut three stone engagement ring, along with some of our favorite picks in that style.
Cushion cut diamonds come in two main styles. "Modified brilliant" has a similar faceting arrangement as the super-popular round brilliant cut, just translated to the longer, broader cushion profile. The "cushion modified brilliant," also known as "crushed ice," has an extra row of facets below the diamond's girdle. Both styles are beautiful, but their looks are different, and each has strengths and weaknesses. Decide which look you like best, then choose your diamond based on the strengths of that cut.
A crushed ice diamond masks inclusions better, so you can get a larger diamond at a lower clarity grade (as long as it's excellently cut). But this style also emphasizes the color of the stone, so you won't want to compromise on that aspect of the four C's.
Modified brilliants help mask the body color of diamonds, so you can go down a color grade or two and use your savings to invest in a larger stone. But here, you need to pay extra attention to clarity: Because they have fewer facets, modified brilliants tend to show inclusions more than crushed ice, so exercise caution before choosing to compromise on clarity grade.
When choosing a cushion cut diamond, you need to add an R to your consideration of the four C's: ratio. A cushion cut diamond that isn't quite perfectly square can look larger at the same carat weight, and these elongated cushion cuts can have some of the same finger-lengthening effects as ovals. (In fact, some people think they look like ovals at their more extreme ratios, which is something you may or may not like.)
Your central cushion-cut stone is a brilliant-cut diamond, but your side stones can be brilliant cuts or step cuts. (Which look as they sound: These diamonds have a wider table, or surface area, that "step down" toward the sides.) Do you like a variation in styles? Or would you prefer to stay uniform, opting to make them all brilliant cut for maximum sparkle?
While, yes, these are all things you should consider before buying your cushion cut three stone ring, looking at different styles to see what you like will give you an idea of where to start. Below we’ve rounded up some of our favorite three stone engagement ring settings that can show off your cushion diamond. See what appeals to you and what doesn’t, then target your search from there.
This classic three-stone setting pairs a cushion cut diamond with flanking baguettes, which spotlight the central stone.
A slim, sleek band houses three cushion-cut diamonds for a cohesive, impactful look.
This elegant three-stone setting is beautifully highlighted by a 0.26 cts of wraparound accent diamonds.
Two beautiful pear-shaped diamonds create a lovely variation on the classic three-stone engagement ring.
Uniquely yours. Two triangular diamonds and a band of pave-set accent stones stylishly highlight the central cushion-cut diamond.
In this beautifully detailed ring, subtle split shanks connect to accented side stone halos, providing a sparkly emphasis to the center diamond.
Now that you have a better idea of what you think will make your cushion cut diamond shine its brightest, check out our entire collection of settings that can showcase this stone. You'll find quite a few three stone settings, but it never hurts to look at the full range of options.