Author Topic: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?  (Read 2140 times)

Offline djm195

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Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« on: September 02, 2013, 02:05:28 PM »
I can't remember where I read this or if it was a marketing ploy, but is their any truth that cushion cut diamonds are becoming rarer?  D?

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 04:08:20 PM »
Personal non-expert opinion.

I don't think it's so much that they are becoming rare - they are still the third most popular cut (for colourless) after rounds and princess. However:

1. The "round premium" has become so high that cutters are almost always better off cutting rounds if they can (again, valid for colourless; far less for coloured)

2. The orthodoxy of "ideal cut" applies very well to rounds, but very poorly to cushions - which I think discourages many people from buying cushions. Buyers have become educated to a) not trust the seller and b) look for one (narrow) set of "good" proportions.... cushion shopping just doesn't work this way.

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 07:00:03 PM »
Great points OMC!
My take:
I know that stats say Princess cut is number 2 behind rounds....but there's no context to it.
For example, is it number two in total caratage- total stones cut- total retail purchases?
We see very little demand for princess cuts- and not a lot of them on the market in NY
Context: I'm speaking of how many people as us for them- and how many brokers are bringing in stones with GIA reports for sale- admittedly a limited pool to use for stats.

Conversely, Cushions are very popular and have eclipsed ovals in a big way- as much of the rough cut to cushions might have been cut to oval at a different time
I saw this phenomenon with Marquise diamonds- which were all the rage in the '80's
If a dealer had a parcel of mixed marquise, oval and pear shapes, they'd ask a big premium for buyers wanting only marquise diamonds.
Nowadays marquise is more a boutique stone

But to answer your question DJM- whoever is saying that cushions are more rare is definitely a marketing ploy IMO.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 07:00:22 PM by Diamondsbylauren »
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Offline djm195

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 10:24:49 PM »
So D...what is the most requested cut and color that gives you agida trying to find?  (agida: Italian -American slang for agitation...lol).  In other words, aside from high pinks, what cut and color is the hardest for you to source for clients?

From personal experience, I know my yellow baguette was a very difficult find, but I'm not quite sure yellow baguettes are requested all that much.  ;)

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 02:34:31 AM »
I know that stats say Princess cut is number 2 behind rounds....but there's no context to it.
For example, is it number two in total caratage- total stones cut- total retail purchases?
We see very little demand for princess cuts- and not a lot of them on the market in NY
Context: I'm speaking of how many people as us for them- and how many brokers are bringing in stones with GIA reports for sale- admittedly a limited pool to use for stats.

OK - 'my' context for the claim above: number of listed stones on multi-vendor listing engines and number of queries by prospective buyers on dedicated forums (though admittedly this last one is definitely anecdotal in my case). That strikes me as a fairly reasonable definition of "popular"...
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 03:04:59 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline Trinkette

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 10:54:05 AM »
I remember having a discussion here about cut popularity a few years ago. And, the princess cut, described elsewhere as a "top cut" was mentioned. Also, I researched cut popularity for an article I wrote back then. I've always disagreed with the notion that the princess is Number Two in terms of consumer desirability; however, perhaps the use of smaller-weight princess cuts in pavé and other detail work that supports larger feature stones (or jewelry without feature stones, such as bracelets, earrings and necklaces) is the reason for the shape's "popularity."  
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 10:56:07 AM by Trinkette »

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 11:18:08 AM »
I suspect there is a much simpler reason for the princess's popularity: it's relatively heavily marketed and it has a huge yield. But then again I'm well known for being ever so slightly cynical.

It's not so much that it's desirable - it's that it's known.

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2013, 11:56:52 AM »
Good point, Trink.

I'm a case study for your assessment.  Discounting all pave, of the 23 stones I've bought over the last seven years, 9 are rounds and 6 are princesses. http://www.diamondsbylauren.com/index.php/jewelry/diamond-earrings-82ct-pink-grey-yellow-dangles-unique-18kt-r3777/  None are cushions. But in my own defense, I'm waiting for a multi-carat high white with blue fluor cushion cut by Yoram F. (everyone can dream, right?)    ;D

Considering carat weight, the princesses are less than 1/7th of the total weight, but almost 1/3rd of the total number.  Go figure.

On the other hand, of the three engagements/weddings for this year in the family, all three couples chose cushions - two in halos and one with baguettes.  None  by DBL, I am sorry to say...but I did try!  :BangHead:
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 12:04:13 PM by ah2bqat »
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Offline clgwli

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2013, 12:08:26 PM »
Looking around my friends I actually get the popularity of princess cut.  I know one person who has a cushion, one who has an emerald cut, one who has a pear and one marquise.  I know quite a few princess cuts (actually more who have gotten engaged recently went for princess than round) and then the rest are round.

Round is still top for around here.  And yes my friends' boyfriends forget that I could help them get better and go elsewhere *sigh*

It might be regional as well.  Like where I live I still do not see rings much over about 1/2 carat.  All have been colorless and quite a few more halos than in the past though a simple solitaire is more common than anything else in my area.
Squiggly

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2013, 12:13:52 PM »
There might well be a regional bias, Squigs.  All  three of the cushions in my family belong to California girls.  Hmmmm... Too small a sample, but interesting theories.
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2013, 12:58:38 PM »
Interesting discussion!
Here's a few stats- I don't know what they prove but...
I searched the online dealer database- it's a worldwide network with 6 billion dollars of diamonds.
Search parameters- I used what might be a very common stone to find.
1.00-1.05
Color G
Clarity SI1
Princess Cuts worldwide: 462
Cushions worldwide 413 ( Including both Cushion brilliant, and cushion modified brilliant)

The same search for Round Brilliant produced 1200

Change the parameters to USA only ( India has a large amount of stones on the list
Princess: 279
Cushion: 296

That indicates to some degree that Cushions are stronger in the US- which is still the primary market for diamonds worldwide

Of course this proves little- I did include all stones regardless of gem lab report.

I'll do some other comparisons later to see how it shakes out with larger stones
David
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Offline clgwli

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2013, 01:19:14 PM »
This would be so interesting to see what is out there.  I'd love to also see what percentage of sales at national chains just to see what they sell.  Not that I want to buy there but there are a lot who go to the national chains still because well, it's easy for some.

I'd want to know sales in addition to the inventory though just to see what moves faster from stock. 

I'd also be curious to see if size of stone makes a difference.  So like in my area where 1/4-1/2 is average what sells the most?  Does it change when you get to 1/2-1ct?  What about above 3ct?  That kind of thing would be interesting to look at.

I personally love all shapes myself.  Though I do only own (in larger stones) 2 rounds and 2 radiants.  I do plan to add to that ;)
Squiggly

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2013, 01:40:02 PM »
Cool beans, D!  These are some interesting factoids.  I'm very much an inquiring mind wanting to know what shakes out.

btw...my CA girls are all in the 2-3ct, high white sector.  maybe another regional bias? or age/income level?  all three couples are in their early thirties, most with at least a master's degree in some technical area.  No lawyers.  LOL  But at my age, it's nice to see a female oncologist join the family.  I may need her, eventually.   >:D
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 01:46:07 PM by ah2bqat »
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Offline djm195

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Re: Are cushion cut diamonds becoming rare?
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2013, 04:20:30 PM »
Thanks D...I too find this very interesting and like Squigs I want to know sales in addition to the inventory  to see what moves faster from stock.

I have often wondered if you notice fashion trends--if so, when were they fashionable? How long? Are different shapes regionally popular?

For instance, you mentioned that marquis shapes were very popular in the 80's. I was married in the 80's so I remember their popularity. In fact, my wife's ER was a marquis which was stolen from a hotel room in Quebec in the 90's. I didn't get around to replacing it until our 25th which is how I met you.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 04:24:16 PM by djm195 »