Crushed ice diamonds get an unfair bad rap in the jewellery world. Though it might seem like these stones are just bits and pieces of diamonds fused together to make one, they're actually a type of cushion cut diamond, and contrary to what you might've heard, there isn't anything wrong with crushed ice diamonds, it all comes down to personal preference.
Also known as a crushed glass diamond, a crushed ice diamond is simply a stone with a center that looks like shattered glass or ice.
So, is the stone and its structure really compromised? Not at all. The crushed ice look comes from smaller facets on the bottom of the stone than on other cushion cut diamonds you may have seen. These small facets bounce and reflect light off each other, giving it the crushed look. They're designed intentionally by the diamond cutter.
Although radiant cut diamonds can have a similar look, crushed ice diamonds really only occur in cushion cut diamonds.
When determining the shape of a diamond, a professional diamond cutter must make a decision based on what will preserve most of the stones shape while leaving out inclusions. A crushed ice diamond simply means the cutter saw that smaller facets would make for the most beautiful stone with this particular raw material.
How do you know if a cushion cut diamond is also a crushed ice diamond? Non-crushed ice diamonds have larger facets in the center, so they have fewer flashes as the light hits them. But, unlike a crushed ice diamond, you can pick out the facets as it sparkles and see where the light is coming from. When well cut, these facets also create "arrows" in the corners.
Crushed ice diamonds, on the other hand, sparkle more thanks to their larger number of facets. However, it's more of a blended sparkle because you can't really see which facets are bouncing light at any given time since they're so small. Again, choosing between the two is all about personal preference. Some people find crushed ice diamonds irresistible, while others prefer the larger faceting of a standard cushion cut. Neither group is wrong.
There isn't a "better" choice when evaluating between a crushed ice diamond and other cushion cut stones, it all comes down to what you like better, and how you're prioritizing your budget based on which of the 4Cs of diamonds you find most important.
That said, you should understand what you're getting with both. Crushed ice diamonds feature smaller facets that help hide any imperfections, known as inclusions. However, these small facets also increase the color and tint in the stone. Non crushed ice diamonds will show inclusions more, but you won't see color as much.
And then there's the price aspect - Crushed ice diamonds tend to be less expensive than non crushed ice stones, sometimes as much as 15 percent less.
So, you've looked at crushed ice diamonds and think they're the best choice for your diamond engagement ring. But, your work is just beginning. Because these stones are so unique, there are several things to keep in mind when shopping for one. First off, ignore the haters who say that crushed ice diamonds are a bad choice. It all comes down to personal preference. There's nothing wrong with these stones, so if you like the look, enjoy them and the price break you'll likely get.
That said, you shouldn't go into the buying process alone. It's best to work with an expert gemologist while shopping because it can be hard to tell from videos what is crushed ice and what's not from pictures.
When working with your gemologist, ask them as many questions as possible to ensure you're getting the best stone for your money. For starters, ask where you can go down on clarity since the facets on crushed ice diamonds mask inclusions. Also ask how much higher you can go on the color grade for your budget because these stones tend to show more tint than regular stones.