What are Oval Cut Diamonds?

September 17, 2023

The oval cut combines the brilliance of a round diamond with an elongated elegant shape containing subtle curves. One of the most popular fancy shapes today, oval diamonds offer classic appeal for solitaires along with versatility as accent stones. This guide provides an in-depth look at oval diamond cut, quality, settings, pricing and comparisons.

A Brief History of Oval Diamonds

Oval diamonds first emerged in the 1960s as an innovative take on the traditional round brilliant cuts of the time. The elongated oval shape was immediately embraced for its understated glamour and ability to flatter the finger.

Advancements in polishing wheels and cutting techniques enabled oval diamonds with excellent optical symmetry and light performance. The modern oval cut was pioneered by Lazare Kaplan International, still renowned for its oval cutting today.

Oval diamonds grew in popularity through the 1990s and 2000s as customers sought out alternatives to round brilliant solitaires. The timeless oval shape appealed for its balance of brilliance and delicate shaping.

Oval Cut Proportions and Faceting

Oval diamonds have 56 facets and brilliant-style crowns along with elongated oval-shaped pavilions.

Well-cut oval specifications:

  • Oval outline with uniform rounded ends
  • 56 brilliant-style facets
  • Table angled parallel to widest girdle point
  • Shallow crown, deep pavilion
  • Length to width ratio of 1.33-1.66
  • Ideal depth percentages 59%-62%

The oval cut requires mathematical precision to achieve ideal light performance. Properly faceted ovals exhibit a dreamy "bow tie" pattern accented by bright pinpoint flashes.

How Oval Diamonds Are Graded

Like other shapes, oval diamonds are graded by the 4Cs:

  • Cut – Length/width ratio impacts face-up appeal. Look for Excellent or Very Good cut grade.
  • Clarity – Eye-clean SI1, VS2 clarity offers best brilliance and value.
  • Color – Near colorless G-J grades face up bright and maximize savings.
  • Carat – 1 to 2.5+ carats ideal for maximizing finger coverage.

Oval shapes can make a diamond appear up to 10% larger compared to a round diamond of the same carat weight. This elongated shape flatters the finger beautifully.

Oval Diamond Settings

The oval diamond's understated elegance shines when simply showcased:

  • Solitaire - Four-prong or halo setting highlights the center oval.
  • Side stones - Baguettes, trillion cuts, or pear sides complement nicely.
  • Three stone - Magnificent as central oval with two accent stones.
  • Pendant - Stunning when suspended from delicate bails as pendants.

Oval suits both modern and vintage styling. Keep mountings streamlined to not distract from the oval's silhouette.

Oval Cut Diamond Prices

Price ranges for 1.5 carat oval diamonds:

  • D color, IF clarity, Excellent cut - $13,000
  • G color, VS2 clarity, Very Good cut - $5,700
  • J color, SI1 clarity, Good cut - $3,200

Ovals cost approximately 15% less than rounds of comparable quality. Their elongated shape also makes them appear larger face up compared to other diamonds of the same carat.

Oval Cut Diamond FAQs

How does the oval cut compare to other elongated shapes?

Oval has a more understated look than marquise and pear shapes. Its rounded ends offer versatility for many styles.

Should I choose an oval or a cushion cut diamond?

Cushion has a romantic vibe, while oval is more contemporary. Pick cushion for vintage settings or oval for modern solitaires.

Do oval diamonds show more color than round brilliant cuts?

Ovals can face up with hints of color. Stay with G-J grades to keep costs down while maintaining near colorless appearance.

Does an oval cut hide inclusions well?

Yes, oval’s brilliance disguises inclusions efficiently. An eye-clean SI1 - VS2 grade optimizes sparkle at excellent value.

Can an oval diamond ever have a bow tie?

Yes, properly cut ovals exhibit an attractive soft glow bow tie effect highlighted by flashes of color at the center.

With its brilliant fire, understated elegance, and versatility for settings, the oval cut makes a distinctive yet classic diamond shape that flatters the finger. It offers an excellent combination of beauty, value and presence on the hand.

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