The allure of an oval cut diamond is in part attributed to its elongated round shape that evokes an understated elegance, and its 58-faceted modified brilliant style cut exudes fire that can rival that of a round brilliant diamond. In addition, their larger surface area makes oval cut diamonds look bigger compared to round diamonds of the same carat weight. Their elongated shape can make fingers appear longer, and because the shape doesn’t have sharp angles or corners, oval cut diamonds are less prone to chipping compared to other fancy shapes.
History of the Oval Diamond
The brilliant faceting style was first introduced circa 1700, but it wasn’t until the late 1800s that we first saw mention of oval diamonds in literature. Modern appeal for the oval diamond began in 1957, and the diamond enjoyed a resurgence between 1998 and 2001. Fast forward to 2021, and according to Google Trends, “oval engagement rings” are the top-searched ring cut over the past five years. And while the Gem Institute of America estimates 70 percent of diamonds sold today are round cut, e-commerce site Ring Concierge recently found 30 percent of their customers requested oval cut diamonds.
What to Look for in an Oval Diamond
- Length-to-Width Ratio; Keep proportion in mind when looking at oval diamonds. Consumers and trade professionals tend to prefer a longer oval shape, according to a comprehensive survey of shape preferences GIA conducted in 2009. The survey showed that the most popular length-to-width ratio for ovals was 1.7:1. However, it is not practical to cut such long oval diamonds from the original rough, so you’ll rarely find one. More typical are ovals with ratios ranging from 1.3:1 to 1.4:1.
2. 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 centre. 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.
3. Shape Appeal; Look for an oval diamond with a graceful outline and harmoniously proportioned parts. To find one that’s attractive to you, it pays to compare several different oval diamonds. Here are some common shape variations:
4. Bow-tie Effect; Expect to see a bow tie. A “bow tie” in diamond parlance is a dark bow-shaped pattern across the table of the diamond. If the diamond is cut well, the bow tie will be minimal, but once you are in front of the diamond, there will always be some measure of a bow tie.
Visible bowtie Bowtie is hardly noticeable
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