January 27, 2023
7 min read

The ultimate buyer’s guide to oval cut diamonds

The ultimate buyer’s guide to oval cut diamonds

Ever since many famous people started wearing oval diamond engagement rings, interest in this particular cut has increased. Nowadays, the oval cut is one of the most popular diamond shapes that people ask for. 

This article provides details about oval cut diamonds. It explains the unique characteristics of this shape, discusses the advantages and disadvantages, and offers advice on what to look for when shopping for oval diamonds.

The goal is to give the reader a comprehensive overview of oval diamonds which help you choose the perfect diamond wisely. 

What is an oval cut?

Oval cut

The oval cut is considered a fancy shaped diamond that is full of brilliance and fire. Oval diamonds are cut in the brilliant style with 58 facets.

A key feature of oval shapes is that their elongated look makes a diamond appear larger than other diamond shapes of the same carat weight. Therefore, elegant oval diamonds are an excellent choice for those who like a rounded design but want a bigger look.  

History of oval cut

Oval diamonds have of a long history. It’s believed the first oval diamonds appeared in the 14th century, however they were not mentioned in literature until the 19th century.

One of the most famous is the 186 carat Koh-I-Noor diamond from the early 14th century. Legend says this gem was originally set in the eye of a sacred Hindu goddess statue before being stolen and ending up with Queen Victoria. Today the Koh-i-Noor is part of the Crown Jewels of the UK in the Tower of London. Early oval diamonds were poorly cut and did not have impressive brilliance. 

It wasn’t until the mid 20th century that the technology for cutting oval diamonds was perfected, thanks to Russian diamond cutter Lazar Kaplan. His techniques added more brilliance and luster to oval diamonds. Modern diamond cutters still use Kaplan’s methods.

When to choose an oval cut diamond?

Similar to other diamond shapes, oval diamonds have advantages and disadvantages to consider when selecting a diamond. To begin, let’s discuss the benefits of oval diamonds.

  • Oval diamonds look bigger than their actual carat weight.
  • When oval diamonds are set in a ring, they make fingers appear longer visually.
  • Oval diamonds are a timeless yet unique choice.
  • Oval cuts conceal imperfections in diamonds very well.

When NOT to choose an oval cut diamond?

However, there are some potential drawbacks with oval diamonds to keep in mind.

  • They often exhibit a “bow tie” effect, which is a dark zone running across the center of the stone.
  • Oval cuts also emphasize color more than other shapes – so you need to pay close attention to color grades when selecting one, or you may end up with a stone that looks yellowish.
  • It can be hard to judge how an oval diamond will really look just from a certificate – it’s best to see it in person before deciding.

Bow-tie effect

Oval cut

All long and narrow gem cuts show what is known as the bow-tie effect. This refers to the appearance of two black triangular shapes on the sides of the stone, joined together at the middle. Diamond grading laboratories do not assess this effect when assigning a grade, since whether or not it detracts from the diamond’s beauty is subjective and depends on individual preference. The bow-tie effect may be more or less visible in different diamonds. However, most people tend to prefer that it is less conspicuous.

Oval cut prices

Oval shaped diamonds tend to cost less than round brilliant cut diamonds of equivalent quality, color, clarity, and carat weight. Oval diamonds are typically around 25% more economical per carat compared to round brilliant cuts. 

The reason for this price difference is that when cutting a round cut diamond, a significant amount of the rough stone is lost. However, when cutting an oval diamond, most of the raw material can be retained. This conservation of the rough diamond during the cutting process is what makes oval diamonds less costly to produce.

Oval cut evaluation 

Another fascinating aspect of oval diamonds is that they are not assigned cut grades by gemology labs. Nonetheless, oval diamonds can still be well-cut or poorly-cut. Thus, to determine the quality of an oval diamond’s cut, there is no substitute for examining the stone yourself. Alternatively, you could rely on experts who have inspected the oval diamond firsthand. 

In short, the better an oval diamond is cut, the more it will sparkle. And there are a few other factors to look for when assessing an oval diamond’s cut quality:

Shape: avoid ovals with pointed or squared ends. 

Symmetry: look for symmetry in the overall oval shape. Avoid so-called egg shapes.

Length-to-Width ratio: although the L/W ratio is a matter of preference, most clients look for the ration between 1,25 and 1,5. Any oval stone with a ratio below 1.25 will look too round, while any oval cut over a ratio of 1,5 will look narrow, resembling a marquise cut. 

Table: 55 – 60%

Depth: 59 – 63%

Best settings for oval cut diamonds 

Oval cut diamonds can be used to create rings of any style, ranging from vintage to contemporary designs. Even though oval diamonds are versatile enough to complement nearly any setting, certain settings are particularly well-suited for oval stones.

Some settings that beautifully showcase oval diamonds include halo settings, solitaire settings, side-stone settings, and pavé settings. The oval shape allows flexibility in ring design while still looking elegant in classic settings meant to highlight the unique shape.

Quick answers to frequently asked questions

Is oval cut a good cut?

Oval cut diamonds have an elongated shape that allows them to appear larger than their actual size. This cut also makes the fingers look longer and more elegant when set in a ring. The elongated facets create a sparkling effect. 

Oval diamond vs Round brilliant diamond: which one is better? 

Despite the fact that this question seems a little incorrect to us, we will still try to answer it, since it is quite common. 

First, we advise you to rely on your preferences: which cut do you like better? You probably find one cut more appealing than the other.

If that didn’t help, let’s turn to the facts. If you want a larger stone on a tighter budget yet like the smooth, rounded shape of a round-cut diamond, oval cut diamonds are a fantastic option.

On the other hand, round brilliant cut diamonds perform better and reflect more light than oval cuts.


Oval-shaped diamonds are gaining popularity these days. They are refined and elegant, yet bold and distinctive at the same time. Their elongated silhouette and rounded edges exude a strong sense of individuality. These diamonds also exhibit exceptional brilliance and inner radiance. 

However, when selecting an oval diamond – or a gemstone of any other shape – it’s important to be aware of the key characteristics and potential drawbacks of the cut ahead of time. 

The most crucial thing to keep in mind when picking an oval diamond is that you can’t rely solely on the details listed on the certificate. If possible, oval diamonds should be viewed in person, and if that’s not feasible, you should at least thoroughly examine them in video form.

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