The diamond shape, or cut, may be the most important factor when it comes to diamond jewelry. Oval diamonds are one of the most popular shapes when it comes to a forever adornment, such as a simulated diamond engagement ring or piece of fine jewelry.
Its sparkle is of the most brilliant, just behind the round brilliant cut. And because its shape is so unique, it’s no wonder oval diamonds are so popular. But whether you’re comparing oval vs cushion cut or looking to purchase an emerald cut diamond ring, there are a few things to consider.
If you’re considering purchasing an oval cut diamond simulant, it’s important to know the facts behind the captivating shape. We put together a guide on the top characteristics of oval diamonds, the different types of cuts, and the ideal length to width ratio for maximum sparkle.
What Is an Oval Cut Diamond?
An oval cut diamond is cut to look just like it sounds: an oval. The oval diamond doesn’t have another name—unlike the princess cut diamond simulant, which appears different than it sounds.
Created by Lazare Kaplan in the 1950s, oval diamonds are considered to be a modified brilliant cut. A brilliant cut diamond is cut in a way that produces the most amount of brilliance possible. Brilliance is the white light a diamond reflects, which determines, in part, how sparkly it appears.
The original brilliant cut is the round diamond, which offers the most amount of sparkle. This means that an oval cut diamond is derived from the round brilliant cut, and, while slightly less sparkly, scintillates more brilliantly than other stone shapes.
Oval cut diamonds offer a more elongated and unique shape than round brilliants without compromising on sparkle
Read the Oval vs. Round Carat Comparison Guide
What Is the Meaning of an Oval Diamond?
Oval diamonds are revered for many reasons—their visual appearance being one of them. But they are also steeped in symbolism, making them a great option for sentimental jewelry pieces like an engagement ring or anniversary ring.
Oval diamonds represent uniqueness and individuality. This is because they are a more modern stone shape, originally derived from the round brilliant shape by elongating the original look.
Because they appear similar to the shape of an egg, many consider oval diamonds to symbolize fertility, rebirth and family. This makes them the perfect stone to symbolize the birth of a child or a hand in marriage.
Characteristics of an Oval Cut Diamond
When it comes to oval cut diamonds, there are many dazzling characteristics that make them such an excellent choice for fine jewelry.
For starters, oval cut diamonds offer an elongated silhouette. Along with the appealing physical shape, elongated shapes also have pros when worn as an engagement ring.
When worn on the hand, oval cut diamonds give the appearance of skinnier fingers because they elongate the hand. They also display the appearance of a larger stone, giving you the look you want without the high price tag.
What Is the Bowtie Effect in Oval Cut Diamonds?
Though there are many pros to purchasing oval cut diamonds, there are also cons. One of the biggest is the bowtie effect that can cause elongated shapes like oval and marquise to have dark spaces.
The oval diamond bowtie effect occurs when light enters elongated shapes and reflects off the facets, creating a dark shadow in the shape of a bowtie. This can be more or less obvious depending on the length to width ratio and cut quality of the particular diamond—though it’s important to note that all oval diamonds have the bowtie effect.
A diamond with an obvious bowtie effect will often look less brilliant, distracting from the beauty of the stone. This is why it’s so important to view the facets of an oval diamond engagement ring up close in order to gauge how obvious the bowtie effect is. Be sure to view the diamond up close, moving it from side to side to view how it sparkles.
Types of Oval Cut Diamond Settings
Whether you’re comparing an emerald cut vs princess cut or a pear vs oval diamond alternative ring, or if you’ve already made up your mind on the cut, the setting is another important factor. Let’s look at diamond settings for oval cut diamonds.
Because the oval shape gives a unique visual appearance, features maximum sparkle, and costs less than round brilliant diamonds, it’s a popular stone choice for engagement rings.
This modern shape can be set in a variety of engagement ring styles to fit just about everyone’s preference. While solitaire oval cut engagement rings are the most popular, oval diamonds are also commonly set in halo, three stone and accented engagement ring settings.
The solitaire oval cut engagement ring is simple in style, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. Sometimes the simplest things are the most revered, and that is certainly true for solitaire ovals.
A solitaire setting features a center stone with a plain shank. While the prongs and metalwork can vary depending on the look you want, solitaires don’t feature any side stones. This puts all the attention on the center diamond and offers a look that pairs well with an understated or dazzling style.
A halo setting is another popular engagement ring style for oval cut diamonds. It features a center oval diamond surrounded by a circle of smaller accent stones to create a dazzling look.
The halo setting is very different from the solitaire in that it features an abundance of sparkle. It’s a great option for those who are looking for a flashy style. Since an oval diamond can appear larger than a round cut diamond of the same carat weight, it’s a great option to make your halo setting shine even brighter.
For those looking for refined sparkle, an oval three stone setting is the perfect option to draw eyes in without being overly flashy. Plus, given the symbolism of past, present, and future, it’s no wonder oval three stone rings are so popular.
An oval three stone ring is designed with a large oval diamond at center stage, flanked by two smaller stones. These side stones can be oval for an all-out stunning style, round brilliant for a more modest look, or even trillion for a unique design.
Accented oval rings feature the simplicity of a solitaire style with a little added sparkle on the sides. It features an oval center stone to steal the show, with smaller accent stones set on the band.
The accent stones can be oval in shape and set in an east-west setting, or round brilliant for a more classic look. Either way, an oval accented engagement ring is a great option for those who love the look of oval but want a little extra glimmer.
Does Cut Matter on an Oval Diamond?
Just like all diamond shapes, cut quality is extremely important to consider when shopping for an oval cut diamond. The diamond cut scale refers to how well-proportioned the dimensions of a diamond are, including how the facets and surfaces interact with light to create sparkle and brilliance. The different oval diamond cuts can be essential to your decision.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) cut scale includes:
- Super Ideal: Perfect dimensions and proportions. This impacts brilliance to dispersion and even scintillation.
- Ideal: Comparable to the untrained eye to a Super Ideal diamond when it comes to brilliance and fire.
- Very Good: Slightly less brilliant than Ideal but features good light return. A Very Good grade has less than ideal cut proportions that impact how light is returned.
- Good: Feature proportions that are imperfect and may result in a slightly duller appearance, though the majority of light is returned.
- Fair: Have a visible reduction in brilliance and scintillation as their proportions are not perfectly symmetrical.
- Poor: A Poor cut diamond allows significant light leakage. This makes it less brilliant than all other diamond cuts.
Unlike imperfect diamonds, the Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a lab created diamond simulant that is Ideal cut for maximum brilliance and sparkle. It most closely imitates the look and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. All the beauty without the high price tag. Now that makes sense.
What Is the Best Cut for an Oval Diamond?
The best cut for an oval cut depends on the diamond grading scale used. While the GIA cut scale assigns Super Ideal as the best cut grade, other scales use the term “Excellent.” The grading report discrepancy can make it relatively difficult when deciding which cut grade to choose.
This makes choosing a diamond simulant a simple solution to the complex quality scale of diamonds. With a diamond simulant like the Nexus Diamond™ simulant, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible quality. Because it doesn’t contain imperfections or inclusions and each gemstone has a perfect clarity grade and is cut to ideal proportions, you don’t have to worry about how the facets interact with light. Each one sparkles the same as the last—to Ideal standards, that is.
Oval Cut Length to Width Ratio
When it comes to the best oval shaped diamonds, understanding the length to width ratio is an important part of choosing the right stone and jeweler. The oval length to width ratio measures how proportionate it is. This determines how the facets interact with light, the overall silhouette, and how visible the bowtie effect will be.
To calculate the length to width ratio, divide the length of the diamond by its width. The ideal proportions of a cut oval diamond mostly depend on personal preference—such as being more elongated vs. boxier. Though the average oval length to width ratio is usually between 1.30 and 1.50.
The higher the oval diamond ratio, the more elongated it will appear. For example, a 1.60 oval diamond culet will appear much thinner in silhouette than a 1.30, which will look thicker. Keep in mind that the more elongated the stone, the larger it will look.
Read the Oval Diamond Size Chart
Is an Oval Diamond Right for You?
While your stone shape of choice is a personal preference, oval diamond simulants are a great option for those who enjoy the diamond look, uniqueness, and brilliant sparkle of the oval shape. Considering oval cut diamonds pros and cons when asking this question may help you decide if it’s right for you or if another cut is more suitable.
Oval diamonds are becoming increasingly popular as they feature the simplicity of the round brilliant with a little extra style to stand out. When considering any carat oval diamond or diamond simulant, be sure to analyze the cut quality, and length to width ratio before deciding on the perfect stone.
With the Nexus Diamond™ alternative, you can get the perfect Ideal cut oval stone for a fraction of the cost of a natural diamond. All the sparkle, without the stress. That’s shopping made simple.
Learn more on diamond cut grade, diamond clarity, and diamond alternatives, and be on your way to finding the best jewelry for you.
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulate that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.