A diamond engagement ring was born to be as beautiful as the person wearing them. Every diamond is unique, and every diamond shape has its own best features. Two of the most popular shapes for engagement rings are oval and round. Both are incredibly beautiful, with soft rounded edges and timeless appearance. So, when you can choose only one, how do you decide? In this oval vs round diamond comparison guide, we’ll teach you what sets the two stunning diamonds apart and help you decide which shape is right for you. After exploring the different diamond shapes, you’ll be able to determine if you prefer a round or oval cut engagement ring.

An oval cut simulated diamond and round cut simulated diamond pictured side by side

What Is An Oval Diamond?

An oval cut diamond is one of the “fancy” shaped diamonds and is a beauty to behold. All oval diamonds are elongated in shape, giving off an elegant and unique appearance. Their height to width ratios can vary greatly from those that appear almost round to long and narrow, but the most flattering variations fall between 1.3:1 and 1.5:1. Oval engagement rings have become popular because the shape looks beautiful on any finger and often appears larger than its actual carat size. An oval brilliant cut diamond can also be set either vertically or horizontally, called “east-west,” for a unique look from typical engagement rings.


What Is A Round Diamond?

A round diamond is a popular choice for engagement rings and the most sought after stone shape in general because of its classic, timeless style and eye-catching symmetry and sparkle. The diamond is cut with precisely 58 facets, which produces a truly magnificent round shape with unmatched brilliance that appeals to everyone. It is the standard which all other diamonds are measured against. Plus, round cut engagement rings come in all styles. With a versatile selection ranging from solitaire to five-stone settings, everyone can find a ring that suits her fancy.

Three stone accented setting featuring round cut simulated diamonds

What Are The Major Differences Between Oval and Round Diamonds?

There’s no denying that oval and round diamonds differ in shape. That key difference affects everything from how much the diamond sparkles to the visibility of its flaws. Here are the major differences between oval and round diamonds you should be aware of when deciding which one is right for you.

Imperfections

Different imperfections will be more visible in oval vs round diamond shapes. For the most part, oval diamonds hide inclusions and blemishes well near the stone’s sides, but you do have to be aware of the center. Oval diamonds can have a “bow-tie” effect, which is a shadow visible across the diamond’s width that appears like a bow-tie. The diamond could have a prominent bow-tie or a hardly visible one based on the way it is cut. The oval diamond bow-tie can be especially visible when the stone has a lower color grade, so be careful to select a near-colorless oval diamond and have it professionally inspected to ensure the bow-tie isn’t prominent. However, because oval diamonds hide other blemishes well, you may be able to work with a lower clarity grade.

On the other hand, round diamonds aren’t elongated and thus aren’t in danger of the bow-tie effect. They are also much more forgiving of minor inclusions because their cut’s sparkle and shine disguises any imperfections.

Sparkle

As far as sparkle is concerned, a round or oval engagement ring will catch anyone’s eye as both diamond shapes return a great deal of light. Round diamonds are typically the sparkliest shape; however, the actual amount of sparkle the stone emits will depend on the diamond cut grade.

This is why it’s important to take into account the 4Cs of Diamond Quality when shopping for an engagement ring: color, clarity, carat weight, and cut. In terms of sparkle, the cut is crucial. The cut of a diamond is graded on a scale of “Ideal” to “Poor.” A well-cut diamond will refract and reflect light beautifully, making the diamond sparkle and shine. An “Ideal” cut round diamond is the sparkliest of all, but an oval diamond with an “excellent cut” could be sparklier than a round diamond with a “good” cut. However, due to the complex and unique structure of the shape, oval diamond cut grading can vary greatly, so it’s important to seek expert advice and view the actual stone before purchasing.

Versatility

Both oval and round diamonds are extremely versatile and can pair well with a variety of settings. When working with such a beautiful center stone, you may desire a solitaire setting to truly let it shine, or you may want to amplify its beauty with side stones of the same shape. Whether you desire one of these styles, a pavé ring, or a halo, both an oval and round diamond offer great versatility and are a good choice.

The key difference is that in addition to being set traditionally, which is vertical, oval diamonds can be set “east-west” as well for a completely different look. The symmetry of round diamonds, on the other hand, makes them the same from every angle.

Oval diamonds also offer a bit more versatility because you can select the exact length-to-width ratio necessary to achieve the shape you want. Longer oval shapes will often make fingers look longer and slimmer.

An oval and round cut simulated diamond in yellow and rose gold settings

Are Oval or Round Diamonds More Expensive?

A diamond’s price has much more to do with the 4Cs we mentioned above than its shape. The clearer the color, the higher the clarity grade, the greater the carat weight, or the better the cut, the more expensive the diamond.

If you are looking at an oval and round diamond of the same color, clarity, carat weight, and cut, you can accurately compare the oval vs round diamond price. That being said, round diamonds tend to be more expensive than oval diamonds. Given the high demand for this classic shape and the amount of the original stone that goes to waste in order to create it, round cut diamonds are one of the most expensive diamond cuts.

Round diamonds can hide color well, so you may be able to sacrifice a high color grade in order to maximize value. Oval diamonds on the other hand tend to show more color because of the shallower cut so they will require a higher color grade.

Similarly, oval diamonds tend to appear larger than they are, so you may be able to decrease the carat weight in order to maximize value. In these ways, you can work with varying degrees of the 4Cs to find an engagement ring that suits your budget.


Do Oval or Round Diamonds Look Bigger?

After you have considered the cost differences between round and oval diamonds, you may be more strongly considering an oval engagement ring. Oval diamonds can not only be more affordable but can also appear bigger than round diamonds of the same carat weight. This is because of its elongated shape and weight distribution of the stone. For example, a 1.86-carat oval diamond could appear as big as a 2-carat round diamond. This could allow you to save more because of not only the stone but also the size.

Size comparison of a round and oval cut simulated diamond

Are Oval Diamonds Too Trendy?

There are so many factors that influence whether or not an engagement ring is trendy, but the shape of the diamond isn’t one of them. Albeit popular, the actual oval shape isn’t what makes a ring trendy, but rather the style setting it is in and the color gold or platinum it is set in. The setting can make a round cut diamond ring just as trendy, if not more so, than its oval counterpart. For example, intricately designed baskets and colored stones can feel more reminiscent of a certain time period and give a ring a vintage or trendy feel.

While round diamonds have always been a classic choice, there’s room in the timeless diamond market for ovals too. Oval stones are more modern, yes, but they also feature the same romantic soft edges and forever sparkling nature as round diamonds, and they won’t be going anywhere any time soon.


Which Style Is Right For You?

You can’t go wrong with a round or oval engagement ring. Both diamond shapes will remain in style for the rest of time, both will sparkle beautifully, and both have beautifully rounded edges that flatter any finger. Both shapes are also quite durable thanks to those rounded edges. This means the diamond won’t be as vulnerable to snags, chips, and breaks, so it will endure as long as your marriage and beyond.

Ultimately, which diamond shape to choose is up to you and dependent on your personal taste and price range. If you are a more classic bride with a bigger budget, a round diamond may be right for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more elegant or unique style, an oval diamond may be right for you. While we hope we have helped you narrow it down, you really can’t go wrong. Browse our selection of oval cut engagement rings, and round cut engagement rings to see which styles catch your eye and capture your heart.



*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.