Oval Cut Diamond Buying Guide: Jeweler Tips
So, we’re here because the sparkle and unique shape of the oval cut diamond has captured your eye- and with good reason! One of the most popular diamond shapes for engagement rings right now is the oval-cut diamond. The oval cut has been around for a very, very long time; however, people have just recently begun to appreciate the sparkle and fire that this fancy shape (any shape other than a round brilliant) can provide for them. The oval-cut diamond - it’s the way to go to get maximum sparkle AND a unique cut all in one!
Let’s look at some tips together on how to select the perfect oval cut diamond for YOU! We always encourage our customers to go with their gut and select the diamond that captures their eye. Everyone (yes, even jewelers) will see every diamond differently. This is called the observer’s point of view. So, go with what you love.
A common question we get is: “As a jeweler, what do you look for?” Well, let’s dive into the answers to this question that we’ve collected below. Some tips to help you feel confident in your oval-cut diamond purchase!
First, we always explain how an oval-cut diamond holds its weight. This is important to understand if comparing it to another shape, like a round brilliant cut. Like people, different diamond cuts can weigh the same on the scale, yet hold their weight in different places, thus making them appear larger or smaller than they actually are. Bonus: Ovals almost always look larger! This is a huge plus for many of our customers. Since the modern oval brilliant cut diamond is an elongated shape, the weight is distributed lengthwise. This can also give an elegant illusion that the wearer’s fingers are longer and slim. That’s a double bonus right there!
No matter what diamond size you choose, the key to maximum sparkle is to always keep within certain “ideal” proportion parameters. For the oval-cut, most jewelers base this on the diamond’s length-to-width ratio to determine these ideal proportions. This ratio varies by shape, but for the oval-cut diamond, the most popular ratio range is from 1.30-1.50. This range gives the look of a not-too-wide, and not-too-narrow oval shape outline. If you drop below 1.30 ratio, your diamond can look more on the “roval” (round oval) side and going over 1.50, the diamond can look very narrow (like a long flat pancake or more marquise shape outline).
On the same note of ideal ratios, don’t overlook the oval’s overall symmetry. We always recommend to our customers to place the loose diamond upside down on a flat surface. If the shape appears consistent all the way around, you’re on the right track! The importance of great symmetry is crucial in avoiding a diamond that can appear lopsided or slope down the curve. Be on the lookout for nice curves! See what your eye likes best as the cut is not graded by GIA (Gemological Institute of America), thus your personal preferences will really come in to play here. An overall table percentage range of 53% to 63% and a depth of 57% to 62% is a great range to stay within if possible. Also, ensuring the girdle is not too thick is a way to minimizing unwanted shadowing, as well as avoiding paying for extra weight around the belly that no one wants. This will also be key in helping to avoid our next tip topic, the bowtie.
While looking at all of these oval lovelies, you might notice that they almost all appear to be wearing their formal attire. I.e., a bowtie. This is called the bowtie effect. All elongated shapes for the most part have this darkening effect that appears in the center of the diamond. For the oval-cut diamond, it will look like it’s sporting a black bowtie. Now, by following the guidelines noted above, this effect can be very minimized! Choosing a diamond with ideal range ratios, symmetry and overall proportions can lessen the appearance of the bowtie. Since no two diamonds look alike, it’s hard to gauge what they will look like in person just by looking at their grading reports. Grading reports do not indicate if a bowtie is prevalent or not, so our bridal specialists are here to walk you through each oval diamond one by one!
After you have an idea of where you want to be proportion-wise, let’s look into some of the great benefits the oval provides beyond appearing larger than other shapes. Choosing the highest clarity grade can sometimes really keep a customer back (from a budget standpoint) from getting the size diamond that they really want. The extra-extra bonus with an oval-cut diamond is that it is a master at concealing natural imperfections with the diamond! This is great for anyone who is looking for a larger carat weight and higher color grade, but doesn’t want to give on the cut quality. A great place for wiggle room within the 4C’s can be the clarity grade for a lot of customers. Selecting the diamond loose and looking at it from every angle is key to ensuring that you love it, no matter which grades and specs are given to it. Who says you can’t have it all? Not us!
No matter what proportions your diamond has, or where it falls within the 4C grading scale, there is always a perfect ring setting to ensure it shines and sparkles to the best of its ability. Our bridal specialist will help you marry your diamond to a setting that will allow it to shine bright….yes, like a diamond! A halo can be a great look to help your oval outline shape be accentuated, while hiding any natural inclusions on the bottom side of the diamond. A 4- or 6-prong head can allow light to come into the diamond from all angles, really showing off those great portions you worked hard on selecting! Again, pick the ring setting YOU love for YOUR diamond! There are no wrong choices here, just figuring out which diamond complements the settings you love best.