Our New Favourite Diamond Cut: Oval

We’ve seen the rise of asscher and cushion cut diamonds, but now it’s time for something else entirely…

Are you secretly a fan of the tried and tested round brilliant diamond, but you want your own engagement ring to be a little bit more unique? Us too! And we have the perfect solution… the oval cut. It’s not often seen in diamonds and doesn’t seem to be all that popular yet, which is baffling if you ask us. But we can guarantee that in a year or two oval diamonds will be right up there among the asschers and cushions that are so on-trend right now. Here’s what you need to know…

The oval cut was created by diamond legend Lazare Kaplan in 1957. Its official name is the ‘modified round brilliant’, because it is cut in the same way and has the same number of facets as the traditional round brilliant. Some of the facets have steeper angles to create the oval shape, and the light also interacts slightly differently; but otherwise they’re basically the same.

The main choice you’ll need to make if you’re considering an oval diamond is the width. According to the experts, the ideal width ratio is 1.35 – 1.50. However it’s an entirely personal choice; some may prefer a fatter, ‘rounder’ oval while some may like the elongated shape more. It’s entirely up to you. That aside, when it comes to clarity, colour and carat size it’s just like any other diamond – go for the best you can find and afford.

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If you know your 4Cs inside out, you’ll notice we left out one – cut. Unfortunately the GIA does not include a cut grade on oval diamonds, which is why it’s important to find a top quality jeweller who really knows what they’re doing. One tell-tale sign is the ‘bow tie’. All oval diamonds have this, but the less obvious it is the better the cut. It’s a dark shape running left to right across the centre of the diamond that resembles a bow-tie. If you’re having trouble finding it on the top of your stone, then you know it’s a good one.

Oval diamonds are a step up from round brilliant diamonds for many reasons. For one thing, their proportions make the overall stone appear larger, so a 1.5 carat oval diamond could look as large as a 2 carat round diamond in some cases. The elongated shape can also make your finger appear longer and more slender – and who doesn’t want a flattering shape on their hand?

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The fire and brilliance of an opal diamond is almost as good as a round brilliant; and the same can’t be said of some other stone shapes.The bow-tie effect can put people off, and some jewellers may discourage customers from going oval because of it. However, it may also have something to do with the fact that oval diamonds are often cheaper than round brilliant cuts… just saying…

How should you incorporate your oval cut diamond into your overall engagement ring design? That’s completely up to your own personal taste and style, but we think they look fantastic when paired with a thin band to really accentuate the shape. Solitaire designs look amazing, but a pave band or some shoulder detailing also works very well. Personally, we’re not a big fan of oval diamonds in halo settings, but that’s just us.

Go forth and go oval!