Oval Cut Diamonds 101

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Oval Cut Diamonds 101

WHAT IS AN OVAL CUT DIAMOND?

Oval cut diamonds are simply an elongated round brilliant cut, but the appeal of these loose diamonds goes much deeper. Oval cuts have the brilliance of the round diamond, but a more unique shape. They are a fashionable and trendy diamond cut that, when cut well, can look larger than a round diamond.

The slender body of the oval diamond creates a beautiful, elongated look. It often makes the hand and fingers appear slimmer. The diamond’s shape has no sharp corners, so it’s less prone to chipping. If you enjoy a rounded design, but want a stone with more character, an oval diamond makes a stunning choice.

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF OVAL CUT DIAMONDS?

Oval shaped diamonds have been popular for centuries. The earliest oval diamonds date back to the 1300s, but the brilliant faceting style was first introduced circa 1700. Brilliant-cut cushion shaped diamonds predominated because cutters tended to follow the outline of the rough crystal. But diamonds were available in a variety of shapes, including oval. At this time, diamonds were not described by their shapes – they were simply called “brilliants.” It isn’t until the late 1800s that we first see mention of oval diamonds in literature.

In 1957, a Russian diamond cutter named Lazare Kaplan perfected the oval cut process. He had a knack for turning undesirable rough stones into gorgeous diamonds. His technique significantly improved the brilliance of the oval diamond. The process that Kaplan pioneered is what diamond cutters use to create oval cut stones today. The oval diamond consistently ranks as one of the most popular diamond shapes.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING AN OVAL CUT DIAMOND

Considering Length to Width Ratio

Keep proportion in mind when looking at oval diamonds. The length to width ratio in an oval diamond is a matter of preference, but most prefer a longer oval shape with ratios between 1.3 and 1.5. 

Considering the "Bow-Tie Effect"

The “bow-tie effect” is a slight shadow effect resembling a bow tie that occurs in elongated diamond shapes including oval and pear. This is a result of stretched facet cuts within the stone that create darker areas under certain light. 

Almost all oval-cut diamonds will have a slight bow-tie effect, and some stones will have a more significant bow tie than others. Deeply cut oval diamonds have less bow tie, but as we discussed in the cut section, a deep stone will result in a smaller surface area, which makes your diamond appear smaller.

Considering Symmetry

Symmetry is important in creating the beauty of an oval diamond. To determine if an oval diamond is symmetrical, draw an imaginary line down the center. The shape and faceting of the two halves should mirror each other. Then draw an imaginary line across the middle of the oval. Again, the shape and faceting of the two halves should be identical.

Considering Diamond Quality

Turn to the 4C's of diamond quality when shopping for an oval diamond.

OVAL CUT DIAMONDS & THE 4C'S

  • Oval Cut Diamond: Cut

The most important element in any diamond is the quality of its cut, which impacts the fundamental beauty and structure of the stone along with its capacity to offer brilliance and fire. While the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) provides cut grading for some shapes, such as round brilliant cuts; it does not provide cut grading for oval cut diamonds. This is due to the oval shape’s complex and varying structure.

The cut of a diamond measures the quality of ‘light return’ and it’s very difficult to do that with consistency across the multitude of shapes of ovals. The long and skinny ovals will have a different light return profile than a squat and rounded oval. Therefore, the best way to determine cut quality is to compare multiple diamonds side-by-side and choose the one that looks best to you.

  • Oval Cut Diamond: Color

Evaluating color in oval diamonds is subjective. Keep in mind that many buyers may actually prefer the ever so slightly warmer colors of a G-H diamond over the cool colorlessness of a D-F diamond. In fact, most of the premium in price associated with oval diamonds at the higher end of the color scale is driven by supply and demand; customers want the D-F color grades, and are willing to pay a premium to get them

As a general guideline, we recommend an G color or better for oval cut diamonds. This ensures your stone will look white in a platinum or white gold setting. If you’re setting your diamond in yellow gold or rose gold, feel free to drop down to a J color to save money or to buy a larger stone.

  • Oval Cut Diamond: Clarity 

Like color, evaluating clarity in oval diamonds is subjective. Still, it is important to understand that each customer will have a unique standard for clarity. Some may be perfectly comfortable with an inclusion as long as they cannot easily see it. Others may insist on a more technically flawless appearance.

Due to the shape, inclusions and blemishes are well hidden with oval diamonds. Near the rounded end or where the jewelry setting will lay, it is almost impossible to see imperfections. This is why we recommend an SI1 or an SI2 for excellent clarity with the best value. You can go higher in clarity, but the difference won’t be visible to the naked eye, so your budget is better spent in another area like cut or carat weight. 

  • Oval Cut Diamond: Carat Weight

As with all diamonds, oval cut diamonds are sold by carat weight. But there’s something special about how an oval’s carat weight will compare with another shaped diamond’s carat weight. In an equal carat weight comparison between an oval diamond and a round diamond, for example, oval diamonds will appear larger. This is due to its elongated shape and weight distribution toward the top of the stone.

 

BEST OVAL CUT DIAMOND RING SETTINGS

Oval cut diamonds are versatile, meaning they can look good in just about any setting.

 

halo oval diamond engagement ring

HALO SETTING FOR OVAL CUT DIAMOND

A sparkling halo of small diamonds makes an oval cut radiate even more. Oval engagement rings with a halo setting boast plenty of character—no matter the carat weight. 

(Click here to view the ring pictured above.)

double halo oval cut diamond engagement ring

DOUBLE HALO SETTING FOR OVAL CUT DIAMOND

Adding a modern twist on the traditional single halo is the double halo engagement ring, a popular style with today's brides. Featuring a double circle of accent diamonds hugging the center oval cut stone, the double halo undeniably magnifies the oval diamond's beauty.

(Click here to view the ring pictured above.)

white gold solitaire oval diamond engagement ring


SOLITAIRE SETTING FOR OVAL CUT DIAMOND

The classic, simple style of a solitaire setting lets the oval take center stage. Thanks to an elegant sophistication and the romantic curves of the scintillating center stone, the solitaire ring will never go out of style. 

(Click here to view the ring pictured above.)

oval diamond three stone engagement ring

THREE STONE SETTING FOR OVAL CUT DIAMOND

An oval diamond goes well with virtually any kind of side stones. Half-moon diamonds echo its shape, so they can be an attractive choice. Baguettes and tapered baguettes offer an opportunity to create contrast, as do colored gems. If you want your diamond side stones to match the center oval, choose side stones that are within one or two color grades of the larger diamond so they don’t compete with its beauty. 

(Click here to view the ring pictured above.)

pave diamond engagement ring

PAVÉ SETTING FOR OVAL CUT DIAMOND

Oval cut diamonds are very well suited for any type of setting, but they really bring an added nuance to traditional styles. A solitaire stone with a pavé band is always a timeless look. The small side stones add a little spark of originality and accentuate the sparkle of the center stone.

(Click here to view the ring pictured above.)

OVAL CUT DIAMOND JEWELRY

Besides engagement rings, oval cut diamonds look great in other types of fine jewelry as well. You can add a unique twist on the classic round diamond stud earring and use oval cut diamonds instead. You can opt for an oval cut diamond tennis bracelet or even go with a simple solitaire oval cut diamond pendant with a halo of round diamonds around it. No matter what you choose, oval cut diamonds are an excellent way to feature your classy style! Stop by Devon's Diamonds & Decor in Boca Raton to talk to us about custom designing a beautiful piece of oval cut diamond jewelry.

oval cut diamond stud earrings

Curious about what other diamond shapes there are?

Check out our Diamond Shapes 101 blog post!

devons diamonds and decor

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