Oval Cut Diamonds: What To Look For

Oval Cut Diamonds = Beautiful Brilliance & Affordability

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 look of a round stone but would prefer something more unique.

When choosing oval cut diamonds be sure to avoid ones that strongly exhibit the bow-tie effect. This effect causes a shadow in the shape of a bow tie right in the center of the oval diamond.

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 look of a round stone but would prefer something more unique.

The only way to see the degree of the effect is through visual inspection. It’s generally not stated on a diamond certificate. So before you purchase an oval cut diamond, make sure you have a good photograph of it. That way you can easily gauge the bow-tie effect yourself. Or contact Vanessa Nicole if you’d like help with your inspection.

Watch This Custom 3 Stone Oval Diamond Ring

Oval cut diamonds are slightly less popular than round cut diamonds. However, they 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 not only comparable to the round cut in brilliance, but it’ll appear larger and cost less.

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.

Examples of Oval Cut Diamonds

Oval Cut DiamondOval Cut Diamond

Characteristics To Look For


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.

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.

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 3-stone setting, the halo setting and the bezel setting.


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.

Color & Clarity

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 color). Based on this and the characteristics of an oval cut diamond, a good oval diamond should have a color range of D-J. Also, its fluorescence should be nonexistent to medium.

Remember, the whiter a diamond’s color, the greater its value. Unless requested otherwise, Vanessa Nicole Jewels only 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 good oval cut diamonds, clarity should be in the range of SI1 (slightly included inclusions) or above.

One Final Note

While not mandatory, try to look for oval cut rings through jewelers who can provide certificates from reputable laboratories (GIA, AGS, EGL-USA and IGI). If you’re working with Vanessa Nicole, don’t worry if this all seems complicated. We know what characteristics to look for and we’re happy to help.

Need Help?

Let Vanessa Nicole be your guide. Vanessa Nicole Jewels creates stunning, custom-made wedding bands and engagement rings for couples around the globe. Every ring we make is truly one of a kind, designed exclusively for each client. Contact Vanessa today to learn more about your options, or learn more by reading our diamond education article.

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About Vanessa

Vanessa Nicole - jeweler

Hi, I’m Vanessa Nicole – master diamond setter and author of the best-selling book, The Perfect Custom Engagement Ring. My educational engagement ring videos have amassed nearly half a million views on YouTube, so be sure to check those out if you need design inspiration for your ring. When I’m not playing with diamonds, you can find me tickling my twin boys, or kicking back watching a movie with my awesome husband (my teenage sweetheart).

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