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OVAL CUT DIAMOND GUIDE
Oval Cut Diamonds = Beautiful Brilliance
Every jeweler has seen oval cut diamonds that look good on the GIA report, but not in person. In-store jewelers get the first pick of diamonds.... Where do you think the others end up? That's a large part of what online retailers bank on. Some stones simply don't display as well as you think they should.
This page will outline incredibly important tips to ensure you choose an Oval Cut Diamond that MAXIMIZES SPARKLE!
Oval cut diamonds have the advantage of appearing larger due to their elongated shape. The average 1ct oval cut diamond has a 10 percent larger surface area than a 1ct round diamond. This means you can get a diamond that is comparable to the round cut in brilliance, but it’ll appear larger.
The Oval Cut was designed by Lazare Kaplan in the early 1960s. It’s considered a modified brilliant cut and preserves many of the qualities of the original round brilliant cut. Because it has a shape and brilliance close to that of the round brilliant cut, it is the ideal choice if you like the look of a round stone but would prefer something more unique.
Oval cut diamonds also have the added benefit of making your fingers appear longer and slimmer. This is often seen as flattering. There are also no sharp corners or points which can be vulnerable to chipping or breaking. This makes the shape itself extremely durable.
The Oval Cut was designed by Lazare Kaplan in the early 1960s. It’s considered a modified brilliant cut and preserves many of the qualities of the original round brilliant cut. It’s the ideal choice if you like the sparkle of a round stone but would prefer something more unique.
2 Important Tips To Keep In Mind With Oval Diamonds
TIP 1: Avoid The 'Bow Tie Effect'
When choosing oval cut diamonds, it’s important to avoid ones that strongly exhibit the dreaded “bow-tie effect”. This is an effect that causes a dark shadow in the shape of a bow tie right in the center of the oval diamond, making it look darker overall.
The only way to assess the degree of this effect is through visual inspection in person since it is not stated on a diamond certificate and lighting can make it appear whiter than in person. As far as the bow tie goes, I am STRONGLY against dark defined bow ties, so I would not show a client an oval diamond that is considered to have a strong bow tie.
The only way to see the degree of the effect is through visual inspection. It’s not stated on a diamond report. You can't choose a diamond based on a photo alone – look at it on video in different lighting conditions if you cannot see it in person. That way you can easily gauge the bow-tie effect yourself.
So besides all the other characteristics like cut, color & clarity, this is something I take careful consideration of when choosing options for clients to choose from.
Watch below for a video about bow ties:
TIP 2: Pay Attention To The "Face-Up" Size
Don't make the mistake of buying what I call an "iceberg oval." Ovals don't come in a standard size. You can have two 2ct diamonds side-by-side that look dramatically different in size. It’s all about how well it’s cut, which is NOT stated on the GIA grade report. (Cut grades by GIA are only given to round diamonds – No other shape). If the girdle is too thick, you're not visibly seeing the carat weight that you're paying for.
If a 2.25ct is cut too deeply, it will look closer to a 2ct face-up and you're mostly paying for weight. That being said, it can't be too shallow or else it may not have as much sparkle & brilliance. It's a delicate balance.
Watch below to learn more about the "face-up" size comparison:
Characteristics To Look For On Oval Cut Diamonds
The oval cut diamond is very similar to the round cut because the faceting and proportions are almost the same. The difference is that the shape is an elliptical.
Generally speaking, oval cuts have 56 facets (flat polished surfaces) but some may have a few more depending on how the pavilion (underside of the stone) is cut. The best settings for oval cut engagement rings include the 4-prong setting, the 6-prong setting, the three stone setting, the halo setting, and the bezel setting.
Preferences vary on how narrow or wide an oval cut diamond should be. The classic oval cut has a length-to-width ratio of 1.35 – 1.50. Higher length-to-width ratios result in longer and skinnier ovals. Lower length-to-width ratios result in shorter, chubbier ovals. People have varying preference for the shape.
Table ratio (width of table facet divided by diamond width) for a nice oval cut diamond is generally around 51 percent and above. Total depth ratio (depth divided by diamond width) should be around 53 percent or above. Keep in mind that the lower the depth ratio, the larger a diamond will appear when viewed from above.
In terms of culet (small area at the bottom of a diamond’s pavilion), it should be nonexistent to small. You should also avoid diamonds that have extremely thin or extremely thick girdle thickness. This is because an extremely thin girdle is more susceptible to chipping, and a thicker girdle will add weight (and cost) to a diamond.
As with most other types of modified brilliant cuts, the oval cut may highlight tints of color, inclusions, and blemishes in a diamond. So try to choose a diamond with a higher color and clarity grade.
Generally speaking, GIA grades diamonds on a color scale of D (colorless) through Z (light yellow color). Based on this and the characteristics of an oval cut diamond, a beautiful oval diamond should have a color range of D-J. Also, its fluorescence should be 'None' to 'Medium' depending on the color. (G-J colors can sometimes benefit from fluorescence, but Colorless diamonds do not.)
Remember, the whiter a diamond’s color, the greater its value. Unless requested otherwise, Vanessa Nicole Jewels offers diamonds with D – J color.
Almost all diamonds are graded for clarity using the GIA 11 point diamond clarity scale: FL (flawless) through I3 (included inclusions). For beautiful oval cut diamonds, you should look for a diamond that is "eye clean", with no inclusions visible to the naked eye.
There are inclusions on EVERY single diamond that is not deemed “Internally Flawless.” Inclusions are the birthmark of a diamond.
It’s the degree to which you see them. Most jewelers have seen VS clarity diamonds that have visible inclusions, and many SI clarity diamonds that DO NOT, so it really comes down to what it looks like in person. Inclusions come in all different colors & shapes (black, grey, white and/or big spot, wispy hair line, tiny speck). The color, shape, and location of the inclusion(s) on the diamond determines how visible it is.
You can send the same stone to GIA twice and get a different grade. The fact is, the people grading diamonds are human – not a machine. It is not an exact science, only a guideline.
One Final Note
If you’re working with Vanessa Nicole, don’t worry if this all seems complicated... We know EXACTLY what characteristics to look for, and we’re happy to help!
These are a few examples of Oval Cut Diamond Size & Qualities.
We would create your own personalized Diamond Selection for your custom ring.
Example of a Diamond Selection for a Client and the Final Result:
Click on this video below to see the diamond we showed our client after looking through dozens on his behalf. He was SO excited!!
Let Vanessa Nicole be your guide. Vanessa Nicole Jewels creates stunning, custom-made oval cut diamond rings for couples around the world. Every ring we make is truly one of a kind, designed exclusively for each client.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
If there were 100 stars here Vanessa would get every single last one! The whole process was just so incredibly non-stressful. Everything from shipping the diamond, helping us decide on a style, the computer generated pictures to help us visualize, everything was just perfect!!
~ Michi Rives (Amherst, New Hampshire)
I tried big box stores, Tiffany’s, high end retailers, antique jewelry shops, and more. Enter Vanessa Nicole Jewels. Vanessa was responsive and accommodating from the very beginning, and she worked with us to ensure the best value for the money we could spend.
~ Lauren Bergeron (San Francisco, CA)
It sparkles like crazy!!!!!!!! I really am speechless! Our friends are also amazed. (They fell in love with you, hehe.) Thank you so much for the greeting card too! I melted when I read it! It’s so personal and I really appreciate it.
~ Elizabeta Masic (Stockholm, Sweden)
All you men out there contemplating going with someone else‚ you should think again!!! VNJ is the ONLY WAY!!! And this is coming from a pretty picky girl.
~ Megan Metts (Moncks Corner, SC)
Of course I had my reservations because I live across the country from Vanessa and did not know what to expect from the whole process, BUT Vanessa was unbelievable!!! I cannot begin to tell you how easy it was from beginning to end. I had a lot of questions, and she happily answered all of them. If you are considering having your ring custom made, I would not hesitate to call Vanessa.
~ Robert Vargas (Florida)
Vanessa’s customer service is fantastic and the speed at which she responded to my many emails was amazing. She helps remove the fear out of making such a special purchase, and her honesty is something I really appreciated. Vanessa’s attention to detail is perfect.
~ James Cull (Mid-Levels, Hong Kong)
I live in Seattle and my fiancé lives in Oakland. I just proposed to my fiancé with a custom engagement ring designed and built by Vanessa Nicole. I could not have been more ecstatic with the entire process.”
~Blake Bidleman (Seattle, WA)
The ring is absolutely GORGEOUS! The final product was so much better than I could have ever hoped‚ every other ring in traditional jewelry stores look like cheap toys in comparison!”
~ AJ Woods (US Marine Corps)
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