Looking for a comprehensive guide on buying the best oval cut diamond?
Here it is! The guide you are looking for.
In this guide we shall look at:
- What is an oval cut diamond”
- Is an oval cut diamond good for an engagement ring?
- Comparison between oval cut and other diamond cuts
- The best place to buy an oval cut diamond engagement ring
- And a lot more!
Oval cut diamonds are the best substitute for the popular round cut diamond rings that everyone has.
The only thing is that you must know exactly what you are looking for.
I guarantee that when you buy an oval cut diamond, you will fall in love with the way it makes your finger look slim and long.
Oval Cut Diamond Guide
The oval cut diamond can be put in different settings and match very well with fancy colored gemstones. It is a great pick for a bride in waiting who likes a little color splash.
The oval cut does not have a cut grade but it is a great way of discovering unique oval shapes depending on your personality and also select high-quality diamonds for your ring.
With an oval cut engagement ring, you will surely appreciate the durability and low profile settings.
What is an Oval Cut Diamond?
Oval cut diamonds have been in existence for sometime but it was only until the 1950s that they started to be noticed in the market. There was a lot of “unusable” diamonds that Lazare Kaplan tried to find a use for. While doing that, he came up with the oval cut which uses a large amount of rough material than the round cut does.
Traditionally, oval cuts are known to be long but recently a new style called “east to west” design has come up. In this design, the oval is turned on one of its sides and not along the length. This new oval style always comes with a halo setting.
Why Choose Oval Cut Diamonds
There are many reasons why you should opt for an oval cut diamond engagement ring, but there are also reasons why it may not be the best jewelry piece for the occasion.
No need to worry, we are here to assist you with making a decision that is best for you and your fiancé.
- Has a big surface area
- Flatters all types and shapes of fingers
- Has more sparkle
- Comes mostly in low profile settings
- Requires low clarity grade
- No cut grade criterion
- Needs more concentration when shopping
Choosing an Oval Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
When choosing a shape for a diamond for your engagement ring, you need to consider diamond grades, especially those of the center stone.
The GIA, which is the most trusted name in the diamond industry, came up with the 4Cs to use when measuring the quality of a diamond. The 4Cs on which diamond quality is based stand for Clarity, Color, Cut, and Carat.
There may be no set cut grades for oval cut diamonds, but it is possible to distinguish between a well-cut and a poorly cut oval diamond. You can easily pick out a poorly cut diamond from a collection of loose oval cut diamonds when looking at the diamonds online.
If you are shopping in-store you most likely will find the oval cut diamond already set in a ring, making it hard to see the shape of the diamond.
If this is the case, then it becomes imperative that you view the grading report. Most physical jewelry retailers grade their diamonds at IGI or GSI but it is more trustworthy if you get a GIA or AGS diamond certificates. The grading report will let you in on the diamond quality especially the cut quality of the diamond.
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There is also no set standard for the length to width ratio but most people prefer ratios between 1.3-1.5. With regards to the depth percentage, 58%-63% should be good. This means the table percentage should be about 53% and 635.
When you have these parameters at the back of your head, it becomes easy for you to quickly identify and avoid a poorly cut oval diamond.
You need to look around carefully to get the best oval cut diamond for you using the parameters above. If you come across any diamond that appears off-shape, do not look at it twice. Off-shape oval cuts include ones that have the shape of an egg, square edges, or one that has a bow-tie effect.
The bow-tie effect is a diamond shape that resembles a bow tie put across the oval diamond’s table when light is reflected. You need to know that all oval cut diamonds feature a bow-tie effect, but you need to find a cut where this effect is not seen easily.
A dark bow-tie has a negative impact on the diamond’s beauty since it creates dark areas at the places where light is supposed to be entering. See below the difference between a diamond with a bow-tie effect that is noticed easily and one that cannot be noticed quickly.
When your view a diamond stone from one of its surfaces, you may or may not see some blemishes. The absence of these blemishes or inclusions is what diamond experts call clarity. When the clarity grade is high, it means the inclusions are less and you will not see them.
The higher the diamond’s clarity grade, the more expensive it will be. Oval cut diamonds are brilliant cuts, and thanks to that they do not require a high clarity. Step cut diamonds like Asscher and emerald do need high clarity grades.
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Brilliant cuts have high-quality shapes that make the diamond sparkle and reflect as much light as possible giving it a glittering effect. This cut design makes it hard to notice any inclusions I the diamond stone.
To maximize the glittering effect, you need to search for a well-cut oval diamond shape. With a poorly cut diamond, the light will not be properly reflected and thus the blemishes will be seen.
Since you have decided to buy an oval cut diamond, the clarity grade you should be looking at is VS2 and not higher. The minimum recommended clarity grade is SI1. However, you can still get a few pieces of eye-clean diamonds with clarity grades of SI2.
If you go to a jewelry shop in person, you should look at the diamond through a jewelers loop, otherwise, there is the 360 viewing technique offered in online diamond stores to see the inclusions.
Oval cut diamonds display more color than most other fancy cut diamonds. This means oval cuts that have colors that fall on the lower part of the color scale will appear more yellow at the center. It is because of this that going for a color grade that is lower than H is not advisable.
Color grade H is almost colorless and will give a whitish colored diamond. Grade G is at the top of colorless grades and maybe you shouldn’t be aiming for that. Most people you interact with will not notice the difference unless of course, he is a jeweler.
Carat weight is more of a personal preference than an expert recommendation. It is safe to say that when it comes to oval cut diamond, the carat is not as important as the other 3Cs. The bad news is that most people looking for engagement rings think of carat weight more than any other diamond attribute.
Carat weight refers to the weight of the diamond and not its size as many people think. Many people think about how big they want their rings to be and may end up pushing aside a one or two-carat diamond depending on its size.
You can find different fancy shaped diamonds of similar carat weight but having different sizes. This is a one-carat oval cut diamond compared to a marquise cut of the same carat.
You notice that the oval cut has a larger table surface area for viewing. The marquise cut has hidden most of its weight at the bottom and not on the crown.
Also, remember that when the carat weight goes up, the other diamond grades will increase too. This is due to the fact that it is very rare to find large carat diamonds that are eye-clean. It is easier to find a 1-carat oval cut diamond than its 2-carat counterpart.
The images below show the difference between a 1 carat and a 2-carat oval diamond, both having an SI1 clarity grade. Notice the difference? This is the reason diamonds with a high clarity grade cost a fortune, so will leave this C to you.
Oval Cut vs Other Diamond Cuts
Given their close similarity to the round cut diamonds, you may be forgiven to think that they are as popular too. They may not be as popular as found stones but oval cut diamonds also have some flash among other colored gemstones.
Oval cut diamonds are also used as center stones today that sets the tune a little different from how diamonds are commonly cut. Let’s go through a comparison between oval cuts and other cuts in the market.
Oval-Cut Vs Round Cut
Which is Bigger?
We have already said that not all diamonds are the same size even if the carat weight is the same. An oval cut diamond looks bigger than a round brilliant cut. When both of these cuts are put against each other, both weighing one carat, the round cut diamond will look smaller. Look at these 2 diamond engagement rings, each with a 1-carat stone at the center.
Which is More Expensive?
The highest price of a diamond shape in the market is that of the round cut diamond. Their high prices result from the utmost brilliance they display. Although they are brilliant cuts as well, oval cuts are not better than round cuts. Oval cut diamonds are 30% cheaper than round cut diamonds.
Oval Cut vs Cushion Cut Diamonds
Which Has More Sparkle?
Both cushion and oval cut diamonds are brilliant cuts. The arrangement of facets used in brilliant cuts makes the diamond allow a lot of light to pass through it.
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However, not all oval cut diamonds maximize the same light intensity because they are not cut using the same parameters. They can only be cut to exact symmetry so that they have as much brilliance as possible. The difference can only be noticed by jewelers.
Which is More Expensive?
The price of cushion cut diamonds is lower than most cuts, especially for large carat weights. A 1-carat oval cut diamond can cost $1,000 more than a cushion cut. The oval cut diamonds are very rare among engagement rings, the reason why their prices are high.
Oval Cut vs Princess Cut
Which Lasts Longer?
The oval cut has more rounded edges which make it less likely to chip, unlike a princess cut that has sharp square edges. This, however, is not to mean the oval cuts cannot break, or that all princess cuts chip easily. Most people think that diamonds cannot break.
The general belief is that only fake diamonds chip or break, but this is not true. How easily a diamond breaks is related to the cut as well as the pressure applied on the diamond. Although they are the hardest minerals, diamonds still break. This is the reason you should buy a well-cut diamond that has a great shape.
Which is More Durable?
The lifespan of either a princess or an oval cut depends on the lifestyle of the wearer. If you put the ring in a setting, you also offer more protection. If you pick a white gold setting, regular rhodium plating will be necessary.
You need not worry about an oval cut diamond snagging when it is in a solitaire setting. The pointed edges on a princess cut will start to catch on fabric after some time, even when in a solitaire setting. This is the reason why it is important to have your prongs re-tipped from time to time when they begin to snag.
Best Place to Buy an Oval Cut Diamond Ring
Oval cut diamonds are very rare, as such you may not find them readily available if you go shopping in a local jewelry store like Jared or Zales. If you are lucky to find a ring, you will notice that it is set in white gold metal, not yellow or rose gold.
As you go shopping, do not forget about the diamond grading report from AGS or GIA. Diamond certificates from these two labs ensure that you are buying a high-quality diamond. During my time at Kay Jewelers, there were only 5 solitaires with GIA certificates and all of them were 1 carat or below.
The 1-carat ring was set in plain Tiffany style white gold being sold at $7,000 and the GIA certificate. So many other brick and mortar jewelry shops have more or less the same deals.
The better option for buying an oval cut diamond engagement ring is online shopping. The best online store to buy this fancy-shaped diamond is James Allen. James Allen has many different diamonds with different 4Cs to suit your preference. You can look at each of their diamonds under a 360 technology and identify any bow-tie effect.
The best thing about buying engagement rings online is that you will not be pressured or pushed to buy a ring you do not want. Staff at James Allen does not work on commission and do not push for sales goals.
James Allen also boasts of a staff that is highly knowledgeable on diamonds and their grades. Their customer service desk is available 24/7 to answer all your questions and give you reliable information. You will get cheaper price tags too at James Allen than you would at Zales, Jared, or Kay.
If you really must go to the jewelry shop in person, I would recommend that you stay clear from the above-mentioned stores. Instead, go to your local jeweler, they too can make high-quality unique custom designed rings. These local stores may even have better diamonds than corporate stores.
Best Settings for Oval Cut Diamond Engagement Rings
Oval cut diamonds can pretty much fit in any setting but they are common in prong settings. The prong setting is the perfect kind of setting for brilliant cut diamonds like oval since more diamond is visible enough to let in as much light as possible from all angles. You can choose to put 4, 6, or 8 prongs.
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There are also oval diamonds in the market that are I halo setting or 3 stone rings. You can find pears or baguettes that have 2 stones on one of their sides. You will realize that most of the stones on the sides are gemstones such as sapphires. Here is a list of the best settings for oval cut diamonds that we have pulled up for you.