Oval Diamond Rings | How To Choose The Best One
The Oval cut diamond ring is one of our most popular cuts. They look bigger compared to round diamonds of an equivalent carat weight. But if you are not careful, you can get a lifeless Oval cut diamond that suffers from the bowtie effect even if you are diligent about the 4Cs.
This article will walk you through what to look out for when choosing an Oval cut diamond, and show you some of the designs that we have done.
Why are oval diamond engagement rings so popular?
Ovals look bigger than most diamonds
Because of their shape and surface area, oval diamonds appear larger than Round, Asscher and Princess cut diamonds. This is to say a 1-carat Oval diamond looks a lot bigger!
Oval diamonds elongate your finger
Oval shaped diamonds helps to make your finger appear slender and longer. This is due to the shape not having any corners with its large surface area. Research by the Gemological Institute of America supports this too with their research. This is particularly true when the diamond is oriented at a right angle to the band — as seen in the above photo.
East-West oriented Ovals don’t have the same effect. This style is great if you already have long slender fingers.
Oval diamonds are a timeless design
Ovals have always been popular and are sported by the likes of Courtney Kardashian, Hailey Bieber to Ariana Grande. And it is not going out of fashion anytime soon. At Four Words, they are also one of our most popular cuts, alongside Round and Emeralds.
They can also make up an awesome set with a wedding band that sits flush against it. Any anniversary ring can also sit on the opposite side of the wedding band creating a crown effect.
Oval diamonds are less prone to chipping
Because Ovals don’t have any corners, they are much less likely to chip compared to Marquise, Asscher or Princess cut diamonds. It also means it is much less likely to get caught on material.
An Oval cut diamond is great if you work with your hands a lot or have an active lifestyle – such as fashion designers, dancers and artists.
Ovals are incredibly sparkly for their shape
Ovals are particularly sparkly when compared to Marquise or Pear cut diamonds. This means you get both sparkle and a larger-looking diamond without having to necessarily go up in carat size.
What you should know when picking an oval diamond
1. Pick an oval diamond with the right proportions
Oval diamonds come in different length-to-width ratios. You don’t want an oval diamond that looks too round or too narrow. The ideal length-to-width ratio is between 1.25-1.50.
We typically like to choose diamonds with a length-to-width ratio between 1.37 and 1.45. This is because we have found this to be the most aesthetically pleasing, and most practical. Anything below 1.25 looks more round than oval. And anything above 1.45 appears too narrow. The diamond and its prongs also start to get caught, especially with everyday wear.
2. The bowtie effect can ruin your diamond
A bow tie is a dark area which is near the centre of the diamond. They look like two black triangles. All elongated diamonds are affected by this effect to some degree (including Pears, Radiants and Marquise).
You ideally want to avoid diamonds with dark prominent bow ties. The reason they are undesirable is that it darkens your diamond, changing how it looks and sparkles.
This has a large bearing on the price of an Oval cut diamond. The bowtie effect is not reported in diamond reports or within the 4Cs.
Well cut Ovals may still have a bowtie, however they will be very light or minimised instead to create a beautiful contrast with the rest of the diamond.
This is why we recommend working with a respected jeweller – as picking the right Oval can be a time-consuming exercise.
When we pick out Oval cut diamonds for our clients, we aim to minimise the effect of the bowtie and ensure that we pick the best diamond that the eye can see.
We have dedicated a whole article on the bowtie effect if you are interested to learn more.
3. Oval diamonds can have dark tips.
Dark tips are where a diamond’s colour is more visible. This typically tends towards yellow, brown or grey. And this happens because of the way the light is refracted and reflected through the diamond. Again, this can make your diamond look cheap. So what should you do? Consider getting a higher quality colour.
At Four Words, we typically only work with stones coloured G and above. This is colourless to the naked eye.
4. Moval shaped diamonds aren’t exactly oval
A Moval shaped diamond is a cross between a marquise-cut diamond and an oval. This happens when a diamond cutter cuts diagonally from the rough which leads to pointed tips.
If you are looking for an Oval diamond and end up with a Moval, it can be disappointing, so make sure you can view and select the diamond before purchasing it.
At Four Words, we choose the best diamonds that the eyes can see and make sure you are happy with it before taking starting production.
5. Pay attention to symmetry
Oval diamonds have two lines of symmetry. When you pick your diamond, you want to ensure that your diamond is symmetrical vertically and horizontally. You also then want to make sure your prongs are also symmetrical. Misaligned prongs on an Oval cut diamond engagement ring
Misaligned prongs can result in an engagement ring that looks cheap. Make sure you work with a jeweller that pays enough attention to detail so you get the best engagement ring that the eye can see.
The Oval Cut and The 4Cs
Cut is the most important factor when it comes to the Oval cut. Poorly cut diamonds suffer from significant bowtie effects. This can make your diamond look dull, especially if it also suffers from dark tips.
Ovals don’t hide inclusions too well, especially towards the centre of the stone. We recommend you buy from VS2 and above. For stones above two carats, we recommend moving up in clarity (VS1 or higher).
Ovals don’t hide colour well. It is important to buy a diamond that appears colourless to the naked eye. This is because of the dark tips mentioned above. At Four Words, we recommend you buy from G and up. For stones larger than two carats, we recommend choosing F or higher.
The larger the carat size, the more attention you need to pay to colour and cut. Larger Oval cut diamonds are more prone to the bowtie effect. The length-to-width ratio also becomes more important as you go beyond 1 carat. Ideally, you want a diamond that looks aesthetically pleasing, is shiny and stands out.
How we design Oval cut diamond engagement rings
When we typically design Oval cut diamonds, we pay a lot of importance to the ratio of the diamond. This ensures that you don’t get something too round or too long.
When we find out our clients want to get an oval cut diamond, we do like to understand why they don’t want a Round cut or Emerald cut. This helps us to stress test their thinking.
Lay on the Pavé
Pavé are small diamonds that run along the band. Below is an example of how you can add more sparkle to an already sparkly diamond.
Get in touch with our team to help you through this process.
The designs above are traditional North-South oriented.
East West Ring
But we are also seeing a trend to turn the oval diamond 90 degrees clockwise for it to be East-West. This also allows the wedding band to sit flush. This can also be done with a rose gold band.
Sprinkle in Coloured Ovals
The oval also doesn’t need to be colourless, or even a diamond.
One of our clients did just that. We designed a beautiful three-stone ring using an Aquamarine oval.
Set your Oval different
The number of claws is a matter of taste and can add some flavour to a classic design. For example, ten claws is a nice twist on a classic four claw setting and ensures that the diamond is held nice and secure.
Where to next?
The Oval diamond ring is one of our most popular diamonds. And if you are considering designing one, we would love to help you do that. We exclusively use lab grown diamonds and gemstones, and we are also 100% ethical, and climate positive. We have also written a case study on an oval diamond engagement ring if you would like to see how we work with our clients.
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