The classic round cut holds the record for the diamond cut most commonly used for engagement rings. The reason for this is most likely because round cuts are considered the most brilliant diamonds on the market. However, if you’re interested in differentiating yourself from the masses without sacrificing brilliance, choose an oval diamond ring.
With 58 facets and a rounded shape, oval cut diamonds capture the same allure as a modern round brilliant cut diamond, but with the added elegance of an elongated shape. Furthermore, oval cuts appear larger than round cuts, making them a sophisticated alternative to the round brilliant.
History of the Oval Diamond
Though diamonds have been cut into ovular shapes for hundreds of years, the modern ideal oval cut we commonly see wasn’t created until 1957 when a Russian-born diamond cutter named Lazare Kaplan invented it. Born into a family of educated jewelers, Kaplan grew up working closely with his uncle, Abraham Tolkowsky, the diamond cutter famous for inventing the Ideal Cut. Before inventing the Modern Oval cut, Kaplan gained notoriety for his incredible skills in cleaving, a process in which cracked or badly flawed diamonds are cut into smaller, minimally included diamonds.
Kaplan tackled diamonds that were so flawed they were regarded as “useless” or “worthless” by other diamond cutters. However, his dexterity in the field of cutting allowed him to transform these so called “worthless” diamonds into some of the most valued diamonds at the time.
His talent was well known but not fully recognized until he designed the Modern Oval cut, an invention that procured him a spot in the Jewelers International Hall of Fame. Now oval diamond rings make some of the most brilliant and upscale engagement rings on the market.
Tips When Buying An Oval Cut
Tall or Squat? – The ideal length-to-width ratio of an oval cut is 1.35 – 1.50, but ultimately the preference of a longer oval shape vs. a wider oval is up to you. More elongated oval cut diamond rings appear sharp and pronounced, whereas the shorter, squat oval cuts elicit a softer look. If you know you want to flank your oval cut diamond with accent stones, choose a narrower oval cut ratio.
Beware of the Bowtie – All oval cut diamond rings have some trace of the bow tie effect (a dark discoloration in the middle of the diamond). In many cases, a mild bow tie can actually enhance the distinctive beauty of the diamond, however you want to avoid cases in which the bow tie effect is particularly potent. The best way to analyze a bow tie is through a visual inspection. Make sure the jeweler who analyzes your ring references the certification report and that the bow tie in your diamond matches its description in the certificate.
They Look Bigger – The average 1 carat oval diamond has a 10% larger surface area than an average 1 carat round diamond. Because of this, oval diamonds look bigger than round diamonds with the same carat weight. Why not get a diamond that looks bigger, or get a lower carat weight with the same visual impact?
More Affordable –Although oval diamonds are more rare than round or princess cuts, they are less in-demand. You should not pay more for an oval cut diamond than you would a round or princess cut diamond of the same carat-weight. Oval diamonds allow jewelers to cut away less of the original rough than they would when cutting a round-cut diamond, which makes oval diamonds cost less.
Celebrity Oval Cut Diamonds
Blake Lively – Blake Lively wears an oval cut engagement ring from her husband Ryan Reynolds that features an oval cut center stone mounted on a three-sided diamond band designed by Lorraine Schwartz.
Selma Hayek – Selma dons a platinum-set five-carat oval cut flanked by trillions given to her by her hubby Francois-Henri Pinault. It has an estimated value of $200,000.
Kate Middleton – The most famous oval cut in the world is a gorgeous blue sapphire resting on Kate Middleton’s ring finger. Prince William gave her the ring which once belonged to his mother, the late Princess Diana.
Heidi Klum – Heidi Klum’s oval shaped 10-carat canary diamond stunner turns heads because of its gorgeous yellow hue. Designed by Lorraine Schwartz, the oval cut screams glam.
Katie Holmes – Tom Cruise may not have made the best husband, but he certainly knew how to pick out a ring. He gave Katie Holmes a five-carat Edwardian style oval cut solitaire diamond ring with pave detail in platinum and rose gold for an estimated value of $250,000.
Overall, oval cut diamond rings offer a similar brilliance and scintillation to the round brilliant cut, but with a larger, longer look. They are feminine, elegant, and better suited for rings featuring larger accent stones.