Awesome Tips to Buy a Super Brilliant Oval Cut Diamond - Diamond Mansion Blog

Awesome Tips to Buy a Super Brilliant Oval Cut Diamond

Brilliant Oval Cut Diamond Engagement Ring Designed by Diamond Mansion


Three months is the average amount of time people spend planning the perfect proposal. It might involve booking a romantic getaway or coordinating a surprise party with friends and family. 

While every proposal looks different, they all have one detail in common: a beautiful engagement ring.

The trouble is, shopping for a diamond engagement ring comes with lots of decisions, from the diamond’s cut to the style of the band. With so many options, how do you choose the right ring for your sweetheart?

Not to worry. If you’re overwhelmed by the possibilities, an oval cut diamond could be the perfect choice. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about oval cut diamonds and oval cut engagement rings.

We will start by reviewing the characteristics, history and current trends of oval shape diamonds. Then we will review the expert tips to buy a super brilliant oval cut diamond.

What is an Oval Brilliant Cut Diamond?

Offering the brilliance of a round cut but with a more unique shape, the oval cut diamond is an increasingly popular choice for diamond rings. 

Put simply, an oval cut diamond is an elongated round brilliant cut.

Oval shape diamonds are described by GIA as oval brilliant.

Characteristics of an Oval Diamond

The oval shape diamond is considered fancy shape diamond, which refers to any cut shape that’s not round brilliant. Its oblong shape is elegant and has a slimming effect on the wearer’s hand. 

Typically oval cut diamonds look larger than round diamonds of a similar carat weight. 

Oval diamonds come in different dimensions ranging from short and chubby to tall and elongated. Short oval cuts look almost round whereas tall oval diamonds look similar to a marquise cut.

One of the things that is unique to oval diamonds is the bow-tie effect. The bow-tie effect looks like a black line or bow tie in the middle of the stone. It’s a reflection defect that comes from the facets of the oval cut. The bow tie effect is minimal (less obvious) in Ideal cut and premium quality oval diamonds. 

History of Oval Cut Diamonds

Oval shaped diamonds have been around for centuries. In fact, the famed Indian Koh-i-Noor oval diamond is thousands of years old and is now part of the British Crown Jewels.  

While the oval shape has a long history, oval diamonds as we know them today are a newer invention. 

The modern oval diamonds we know today were first designed by Lazar Kaplan, a Russian-born diamond cutter. In the mid-1950s, Kaplan pioneered a new process of cutting oval diamonds. The oval cut included 58 facets which made them look more brilliant. 

Kaplan is famous for turning flawed diamonds into highly sought-after pieces. The beauty of an oval diamond depends on the way it’s cut. 

The Oval Cut Diamond Trend

While oval cut diamonds have been around for years, their recent resurgence in popularity is in part thanks to actress Blake Lively. Her engagement ring from Ryan Reynolds features a 12-carat oval cut pink diamond. They got married in 2012, but oval diamond engagement rings have become a major trend for brides since then. 

blake lively oval cut diamond engagement ring

Other celebrities like Serena Williams, Julianne Hough, and Katherine McPhee also sport oval cut engagement rings. 

The oval trend is perfect for any bride who likes classic designs, but is looking for a ring with a bit more personality. It’s a subtle update to the classic round cut, yet it doesn’t stray too far from tradition. It will look stylish for years to come. 

Oval cut rings are also popular because they make the wearer’s hands look slender and elegant. Plus, it’s a flattering shape that looks sophisticated on anyone’s finger. 

The Pros of Oval Cut Diamonds

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons so many people are choosing oval cut diamonds for their jewelry.

High brilliance and sparkle
The oval cut is one of the most impressive when it comes to brilliance and sparkle, and it’s one of the brightest cuts on the market.

An elegant shape
The elongated shape of the oval cut diamond doesn’t just make for an elegant-looking ring, it also has a slimming effect on the wearer’s fingers.

More affordable
If you’re looking for a stunning diamond but don’t have the budget for a round cut, the oval cut is an excellent compromise that will still offer high levels of brilliance and sparkle.

A smooth shape that doesn’t catch or snag
Diamond ring owners are often concerned about catching and damaging the jewelry, or snagging clothing on sharp corners. This is a common issue for the princess cut, for example.
However, the rounded, smooth shape of the oval cut makes this much more unlikely, ensuring you can go about your day without constantly worrying about damaging the stone or breaking the setting

The Cons of Oval Cut Diamonds

Although the oval cut is one of our favorites here at Diamond Mansion, there are a couple of drawbacks you should be aware of, and it wouldn’t be a complete oval brilliant cut diamond buying guide without considering them

The ‘Bow tie’ effect
Due to the internal cut of an oval diamond, light is not distributed evenly inside of it. This can lead to a bow tie shape appearing in the center of the stone.
Although these ‘bow ties’ are generally quite subtle, they are present in most oval cut diamonds, so it’s worth making sure it’s not going to be an issue for you before purchasing.

Shows more flaws
Oval cut diamonds are less forgiving when it comes to flaws, blemishes and inclusions, so you’ll need to invest in a stone with a higher clarity rating than you would a round cut diamond. Fortunately the lower cost of the oval diamond means more of your budget can go towards a higher clarity.

The Four Cs of Diamond Shopping: Cut, Carat, Clarity, Color

Before you do any diamond shopping, you should learn the four Cs of diamonds. The cut, carat, clarity, and color of a diamond will give you an idea of its overall quality. The Gemological Institute of America created the four Cs to provide a universal method of grading diamond quality. 

The cut refers to the facets of a diamond. A well-cut diamond will reflect most of its light, which is what makes it sparkle. The cut also has a big impact on price. 

Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, but it also indicates the size. One carat weighs 200 milligrams, and every carat gets broken down into 100 points. 

Clarity measures the internal perfection of a diamond. No diamond will be blemish-free, but the closer it gets to perfection the better clarity it has. 

Unlike it sounds, color actually measures a lack of color. In white diamonds, The more colorless a diamond is, the higher quality it is and the higher the price tag it’ll have.  

Are oval cut diamonds expensive?

Although there are no ‘cheap’ diamond rings, oval cut diamonds represent fantastic value for money when you consider the brilliance and sparkle on offer, not to mention their elegant shape.

Compared with the popular round cut, oval diamonds typically cost 20-30% less. There are certainly cheaper cuts available than the oval, but when you consider the combination of price and quality, there are few diamond cuts that offer better value.

Tip #1: Cut and brilliance recommendation when shopping for an oval cut diamond

The GIA cut grades range from Fair to Excellent for round shape diamonds, but the requirements are different for other diamond shapes. Round diamonds have a GIA standard because there is such a thing as a near-perfect round brilliant diamond. 

Oval diamonds are different. Because oval diamonds don’t have a uniform shape, GIA doesn’t have a standard quality requirement to compare them to. Therefor, GIA does not list a cut grade for oval shape and other fancy shape diamonds.

The beauty of an oval cut diamond is subjective, however over many years of experience in dealing oval shape diamonds, our diamond experts at Diamond Mansion have learned the secret specs to a beautifully cut oval shape diamond. We have shared our insights in the chart below.

An oval diamond’s table and depth percentage impacts it’s brilliance, or how brightly it shines and sparkles. The table is the flat surface on top of the diamond, and the depth is the thickness of the diamond. 

Ideal cut oval diamonds will have a table percentage between 53 and 63% and a depth percentage between 57 and 63%. The table percentage measures the size of the table compared to the entire top surface of the diamond. The following chart lists the recommended specs for an Ideal Cut, Excellent Cut and Very Good Cut oval diamond.

| Ideal Plus Cut
& Brilliance

Ideal Cut Oval Diamonds
exhibit the following proportions and specs:

  • Depth: 57% to 63%
  • Table: 53% to 63%
  • Girdle: thin to thick
  • Culet: No culet
  • Polish: Excellent
  • Symmetry: Excellent
  • Fluorescence: Non
  • Length/Width Ratio: 1.36-1.50

| Excellent Cut
& Brilliance

Excellent Cut Oval Diamonds
exhibit the following proportions and specs:

  • Depth: 57% to 63%
  • Table: 53% to 63%
  • Girdle: thin to thick
  • Culet: No culet
  • Polish: Excellent to very good
  • Symmetry: Excellent to very good
  • Fluorescence: Non to medium
  • Length/Width Ratio: 1.36-1.50

| Very Good Cut
& Brilliance

Very Good Cut Oval Diamonds
exhibit the following proportions and specs:

  • Depth: 56-56.9% or 63.1-66%
  • Table: 52-52.9% or 63.1-66%
  • Girdle: Very thin to extr thick
  • Culet: No culet
  • Polish: Excellent to very good
  • Symmetry: Excellent to very good
  • Fluorescence: Non to Strong
  • Length/Width Ratio: 1.25-1.55

Tip #2: Look at the measurements and not just the carat weight

Remember that carats measure weight and not size. When you are just beginning your search for an oval cut diamond; using carat weight is a good and simple way to narrow down your choices. However as you become a bit more savvy and you are closer to making an actual purchase, you want to compare the size of the diamonds you are considering by looking at it measurements.

Take a look at the following oval cut diamond certificates:

Oval Cut Diamond GIA Certificates Comparing thecarat weight and measurements

They are both graded by GIA as 3.01 Carats Oval Brilliant. However as you can see the diamond on the right has much larger measurements. When you compare these two diamonds next to each other, the one of the left will appear like a 2.5-2.7 carat oval diamond. The one on the right will appear like a 3.2-3.5 carat oval diamond.

Chances are that if you follow Tip #1, the ideal cut and brilliance recommendations I mentioned above, you will automatically choose a diamond that has large measurements. However, you always wanna take a second look to make sure that the diamond you are selecting as your final choice has measurements that are average to above average for its carat weight. Below we explain how to find the right ratio of an oval diamond.

In the example above another difference you will notice between the two Oval diamonds is their Length-to-Width Ratio.
Length (L) divided by Width (W) is the Length to Width Ratio. A ratio of 1.0 indicates a diamond that is perfectly round. As the ratio increases, the diamond becomes more elongated in shape.

The diamond on the left has a ratio of : 10.23 ÷ 7.66 = 1.33
The diamond on the right has a ratio of : 11.49 ÷ 7.83 = 1.47

The diamond on the left will appear chubby and short and the diamond on the right will appear more skinny and long.

Based on current trends, the ideal length to width proportion for an oval cut diamond we recommend, is between 1.36 and 1.5, but it comes down to your personal preference.
My personal preference is an oval cut diamond with a ratio between 1.40-1.48

Below in our ‘Diamond Carat Size Comparison Chart for Oval Cut Diamonds’ is four examples of oval cut diamonds with length to width ratios ranging from 1.31 to 1.51.

Comparing 4 oval diamonds with different length to width ratios

What is the best setting for an oval diamond?

When choosing a setting for your oval diamond you can’t go wrong with a prong setting. This classic setting type is one of the best choices for oval diamonds because it allows more light into the diamond, emphasizing the brilliance and sparkle this exceptional cut can offer.
One of our best selling oval settings in 2021-2022 has been the hidden halo oval engagement ring

Below are also some other setting that are perfectly made for oval cut diamonds.

Which cut of diamond has the most sparkle?

Our oval diamond buying guide has looked at many different characteristics of oval cut diamonds, but you could argue the most important for many consumers is how much it sparkles.

Oval cut diamonds boast high levels of brilliance, but they lose out to the round brilliant when it comes to most sparkle. This is because the facets of the round cut are designed to maximize fire, brilliance and scintillation. However, as we’ve already mentioned, the still considerable brilliance and sparkle of the oval cut diamond, combined with the significantly lower price tag, makes the oval cut a fantastic choice.