My Bottom Line Recommendation
I strongly recommend reading the full Oval Diamond Buying Guide below; however, if you’re just stopping by for the key points, here’s the essential advice on purchasing the best oval diamond:
Optimal Ratios: Seek oval diamonds with a length-to-width ratio between 1.3 and 1.5 for a balanced and aesthetically pleasing shape.
Cut Precision: Aim for a table percentage of 54-60 and a depth of 59-63 to ensure maximum brilliance and fire in the diamond.
Color Grade: For settings in white gold or platinum, I suggest a diamond with a color grade of H or higher to maintain a bright, white appearance. However, if you’re choosing a setting in yellow or rose gold, you can afford to select a diamond with a color grade as low as K-J without compromising on balance.
Clarity Choice: Select a clarity grade of VS2 or higher to guarantee that any inclusions are not visible to the naked eye.
Bowtie Effect: Inspect the diamond for a minimal bowtie effect; a well-distributed brightness across the diamond is ideal.
Reputable Retailers: Purchase from reputable dealers who provide high-resolution images and 360° videos, allowing for a thorough inspection before buying.
If you’re looking for a wide variety of both natural and lab-grown oval diamonds at reasonable prices, I recommend this trustworthy supplier.
For those who are on the hunt for GIA-certified lab-grown oval diamonds, this reputable retailer is a top pick. If you’re seeking substantial lab-grown oval diamonds that won’t break the bank, it’s worth paying this respected retailer a visit.
James Allen Discounts
Blue Nile Discounts
Table of Contents
Oval diamonds captivate with their unique blend of classic round brilliance and a distinctive elongated shape, making them a sophisticated choice for engagement rings. With a history that dates back to the 1300s, these diamonds have evolved into a popular alternative to traditional round diamonds, offering a larger appearance and affordability that’s hard to resist.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of oval diamonds – from their history and key factors to consider when selecting one, to the pros and cons, pricing, and setting styles. By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the perfect oval diamond for that unforgettable engagement ring.
What is an Oval Diamond
An oval cut diamond is an elongated, brilliant-cut diamond with rounded edges, exhibiting a unique and sophisticated aesthetic that makes it perfect for oval cut engagement rings, including the stunning oval cut diamond ring. The oval diamond offers a unique blend of classic round brilliant and a distinctive shape, appearing larger than its actual carat weight. Its elongated design enhances finger aesthetics and provides a modern alternative to traditional diamond cuts.
Invented many centuries ago, oval diamonds are one of the oldest diamond shapes in existence. It dates back to the 1300s. Lazare Kaplan, a Russian diamond cutter, perfected the diamond shape in the 1960s. This is what resulted in the modern oval diamond. Their popularity has surged in recent years due to their unique shape and brilliance.
When compared to round diamonds, oval cut diamonds appear larger and are generally more affordable. In fact, an oval cut diamond can cost up to 25% less than a round cut diamond of the same weight. The rounded corners of oval diamonds make them less vulnerable to chipping, adding to their appeal.
The Pros and Cons of Oval Diamond Engagement Ring
The elongated shape of oval diamonds offers several advantages:
They can seem larger than round diamonds of the same carat weight, which makes them a desirable choice for engagement rings.
The elongated design of oval cut diamonds also creates a flattering look, slimming the finger.
Moreover, oval diamonds are often more affordable than round diamonds of the same carat weight, representing a cost-effective selection.
However, there are also some drawbacks to consider when choosing an oval diamond engagement ring. One notable disadvantage is the bowtie effect, which is a dark area that can be observed across the center of an oval diamond. Another potential issue is the presence of dark tips in some oval diamonds, which can detract from the overall appearance. But don’t worry, with the right knowledge, which you’ll gain by continuing to read, you can easily avoid these issues!
Key Factors in Selecting an Oval Diamond
While choosing an oval diamond with unique faceting, you should consider important factors such as cut quality, color, and clarity, especially focusing on minimizing the bowtie effect and identifying the best proportions.
The subsequent sections will provide a detailed examination of these key factors, guiding your selection of the ideal oval diamond.
The quality of the cut is greatly significant for oval diamonds because it directly influences their brilliance and overall look. A well-cut oval diamond is noted to be exquisite and unique, exhibiting brilliance and fire. It has an elongated design that renders it elegant and sophisticated. A well-cut oval diamond should possess evenly spaced contrast (dark areas) and brilliance (white sparkle).
The cut of an oval diamond has a direct influence on its sparkle. A diamond that has been cut to a high standard will have a more pronounced sparkle in comparison to one that has been cut poorly. The cut determines the amount of light that is reflected, and a well-cut diamond will reflect more light, thus creating a brighter and more dazzling sparkle. However, keep in mind that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) does not assign an overall cut grade for oval diamonds, given their complex and varied structure.
Color is particularly noteworthy in oval diamonds, as they tend to exhibit color more prominently than other diamond shapes. When selecting an oval diamond, it is prudent to consider the color grade, hue, and tone. As color evaluation in oval diamonds is subjective, it is recommended to stick to color grades of H or better for optimal appearance.
When selecting the color of an oval diamond, one should prioritize selecting the diamond color that appeals to them visually rather than incurring additional costs for a letter grade that is indiscernible. If I and J color oval diamonds appear unsatisfactory, it may be beneficial to consider vintage styles in yellow or rose gold.
If you’re considering diamonds larger than 2 carats and you find that an H color diamond seems a bit off, it might be worth looking into diamonds with an F or G color.
Clarity and Inclusions
Diamond clarity refers to the level of inclusions or blemishes present. It determines the value and appearance of the stone. The oval shape and brilliant cutting style of oval cut diamonds make them adept at hiding blemishes, particularly near the edges of the stone. However, blemishes towards the center of the stone will be more apparent.
Clarity evaluation in oval diamonds is also subjective, and each customer will have a unique standard for clarity. It is recommended to opt for a clarity grade of VS2 or SI1 for an aesthetically pleasing look. This will ensure an eye-clean appearance, where inclusions are not visible to the naked eye.
Avoid The Bowtie Effect
The bowtie effect is a dark area across the center of an oval diamond, resembling the shape of a bowtie. This effect is attributed to light blockage and diminished light reflection internally, thus resulting in a shadow or dark contrast in the shape of a bowtie. The severity of the bowtie effect varies across all oval diamonds and is only visible from a direct face-up viewing angle.
To minimize the bowtie effect, aim to find a diamond that radiates brightness uniformly, including the bowtie region. Tools such as the Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool (ASET) can be employed to evaluate the bowtie effect. This can help you choose an oval diamond with minimal bowtie effect, ensuring a high-quality and visually pleasing stone.
Length-to-Width Ratio: Finding the Ideal Proportions
The length-to-width ratio of an oval diamond has an impact on its visual aspect and perceived size. The ideal length-to-width ratio for oval diamonds typically lies between 1.3 and 1.5. This ratio affects the overall appearance of the diamond, with a larger ratio resulting in a slender, elongated shape, while a smaller ratio will provide a more rounded shape. The selection of ratio is based on personal preference.
A greater length-to-width ratio produces a more elongated shape, thus making the diamond seem bigger, while a lesser ratio results in a more round shape, consequently making the diamond appear smaller. Identifying the ideal proportions for your oval diamond allows you to strike an optimal balance between size and visual appeal.
For the most radiant, brilliant, and sparkling oval diamonds, refine your search by considering these parameters:
Crown angle: 13.5-15.5
Pavilion angle: 42-44
Oval Cut Diamond Prices
The price of oval diamonds changes based on carat weight, with larger diamonds being more expensive. The subsequent sections will examine the prices for oval diamonds of different carat weights, factoring in elements like cut, color, and clarity.
How much is a 1 carat oval diamond
The cost of a 1-carat oval diamond is influenced by several factors, including its cut, color, and clarity. While typically more affordable than their round counterparts, the price for a natural 1-carat oval diamond can vary significantly. For example, a natural 1-carat K-color, VS1-clarity oval diamond may be priced around $1,960, whereas the same carat weight with an H color and VS1 clarity could cost approximately $3,890. The highest standard in this range, a 1-carat D-color, VS1-clarity oval diamond, might set you back about $5,490.
Conversely, lab-grown diamonds offer a cost-effective alternative, with a 1-carat D-color, VS1-clarity lab-grown oval diamond priced at roughly $1,410. The cut quality can also affect the price, with superior cut grades commanding higher prices due to their scarcity and the greater amount of raw material lost during cutting. Clarity is another price determinant, with higher clarity diamonds fetching higher prices.
How much is a 2 carat oval diamond
The cost of a 2-carat oval diamond varies based on several factors, including the cut quality, color grade, and clarity grade. On average, you might expect to pay around $17,361 for a 2-carat oval diamond with good cut, color, and clarity.
Here’s a breakdown of how prices can differ with varying qualities:
A 2.00 carat K VS1 natural oval diamond may cost about $7,940.
A 2.00 carat H VS1 natural oval diamond is priced around $17,530.
For a premium quality, a 2.00 carat D VS1 natural oval diamond can reach up to $24,830.
If you’re considering a lab-grown option, a 2.00 carat D VS1 lab-grown oval diamond could be significantly more affordable at approximately $4,870.
Remember, oval diamonds typically offer a price advantage over round diamonds, providing a budget-friendlier option without compromising on the visual appeal.
How much is a 3 carat oval diamond
The price of a 3-carat oval diamond is influenced by its cut, color, and clarity, with the average cost ranging from $17,404 to $84,899. Typically, you can expect to pay an average price of around $39,902. However, depending on the specific qualities of the diamond, prices can vary widely from $14,000 to $100,000.
Here’s a quick look at some price points based on different qualities:
A 3.00 carat K VS1 natural oval diamond might cost you approximately $24,310.
Stepping up in color, a 3.00 carat H VS1 natural oval diamond could be priced at about $44,630.
For a top-tier color and clarity, a 3.00 carat D VS1 natural oval diamond may reach up to $61,330.
For those considering lab-grown alternatives, a 3.00 carat D VS1 lab-grown oval diamond is much more accessible at roughly $10,790.
It’s important to note that with larger carat weights, the price per carat often increases significantly, reflecting the rarity and desirability of larger diamonds.
Lab-Grown vs. Natural Oval Diamonds
Lab-grown oval diamonds offer cost savings and eco-friendliness compared to natural diamonds, with identical properties. These diamonds are produced in a laboratory environment and possess the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as natural diamonds. The advantages of procuring a laboratory-cultivated oval diamond include cost efficiency, environmental sustainability, and ethically-sourced materials.
Lab-grown oval diamonds are created utilizing two primary methods: high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Both methods replicate the natural processes that occur in the earth to create diamonds. Online jewelers, such as James Allen, Blue Nile, and Whiteflash, offer lab-grown diamonds, providing a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to natural diamonds.
Setting Styles for Oval Diamonds
Popular setting styles for oval diamonds include:
Solitaire: This setting allows the oval shape to be the central feature of the ring, accentuating its elongated and attractive silhouette. The simplicity of the solitaire setting also amplifies the diamond’s radiance and luster, creating a timeless and traditional look.
Halo: The halo setting surrounds the oval diamond with a circle of smaller diamonds, enhancing its size and brilliance. This setting adds extra sparkle and creates a glamorous and eye-catching effect.
Vintage-inspired designs: These settings often feature intricate details and filigree work, giving the ring a vintage and romantic feel. Oval diamonds in vintage-inspired settings exude elegance and charm.
A halo setting augments an oval diamond by incorporating a circle of smaller diamonds around the center stone. This generates a captivating effect and adds radiance, making the diamond seem larger and more luminous. The halo setting also amplifies the overall beauty and grandeur of the oval diamond.
Vintage-inspired settings, on the other hand, impart a sentiment of nostalgia and timeless elegance to the overall design, making them increasingly popular.
Tips for Buying an Oval Diamond Online
When purchasing an oval diamond online, give priority to reputable dealers, 360° views, and expert advice to ensure the best results. Reputable online dealers, such as James Allen, Blue Nile, and Whiteflash, offer extensive selections of oval diamonds, complete with high-quality images and 360° views to help you make an informed decision.
You should also take into account the vendor’s policies on returns, exchanges, and resizing for a hassle-free purchase experience. Expert guidance, such as customer service representatives or gemologists, can provide valuable insight and assistance in choosing the perfect oval diamond. Following these guidelines and conducting thorough study will certainly guide you towards finding the perfect oval diamond for your engagement ring.
Conclusion - My Personal Experience
In my years of guiding clients through the nuances of diamond selection, I’ve found that while the round diamond is often the go-to for its brilliance, there’s a growing appreciation for the oval diamond. It’s not just about the shape; it’s about the character it brings to the table. Approximately 70% may lean towards the round cut for its light performance, but those who opt for the oval are looking for something beyond conventional sparkle. They’re drawn to the oval’s ability to offer a larger visual spread and its subtle nod to individuality—qualities that round diamonds, despite their popularity, don’t quite capture.
To sum up, oval diamonds have a distinct place in the realm of gemstones, offering a blend of size, grace, and a modern twist on the traditional. This guide has been a journey through the finer points of choosing an oval diamond, ensuring you have the insight to select a stone that stands out for its elegance and meets your personal expectations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are oval diamonds more expensive?
Oval diamonds are generally less expensive than round diamonds due to the higher demand for the latter. Price differences can range from 10-30% in exact quality comparisons.
Does GIA grade oval diamonds?
The GIA does not grade oval diamonds for cut, so any associated cut grade is given by the jeweler. To help couples select a beautiful oval diamond, we have included our suggestions below.
Is a 1 carat oval diamond too small?
A 1 carat oval diamond is a popular choice for engagement rings due to its combination of fire, brightness, and larger surface area. Therefore, it is not too small.
Is 2 carat oval diamond too big?
A 2 carat oval diamond is not excessively large and can still look great with thinner fingers if balanced with a pave diamond band. However, too much bling could make your finger appear crowded.
What are the key factors to consider when selecting an oval diamond?
When choosing an oval diamond, it is important to consider the cut quality, color, clarity and symmetry, as well as finding a length-to-width ratio that suits your taste. Minimizing the bowtie effect is also essential.