How do I make sure my oval diamond is cut well?

An oval diamond comes under the category of ‘fancy shape’ because of its elongated design which makes it appear larger than other diamond shapes of the same carat. Oval diamonds are popular for engagement rings because they can make the hand and fingers appear slimmer on the ring wearer.

Oval shaped diamonds have been seen for centuries and date back to the 1300s, but it wasn’t until Russian diamond cutter Lazare Kaplan improved the oval diamond brilliance using his own techniques in 1957 that oval diamonds really became popular. He pioneered how diamond cutters create oval cut stones today.

We decided to write this guide to help you choose the perfect oval diamond engagement ring. We’ll discuss:

  How can you tell if a diamond is well cut?

  What is the ideal oval diamond ratio?

  Do all oval diamonds have the bow tie effect?

  What is the best setting for an oval diamond?

How can you tell if a diamond is well cut?

At Holdsworth, we believe a good oval diamond should have an aesthetically pleasing outline, which is not too elongated or too squat.

Oval diamonds shouldn’t have heavy shoulders as this adds weight without adding beauty. In order to make the diamond weigh more a diamond cutter can square off what would otherwise be an eye-pleasing oval outline. In the worst cases the outline becomes almost a cushion shape.

Broad 'shoulders'

Heavy ‘shoulders’ add weight while subtracting beauty.

Another aspect is the diamond girdle. This should be thicker at the ends than the middle for assistance in setting. The girdle is the thin perimeter of a diamond that divides the crown above the pavilion below. When looking at a diamond in its setting, the girdle is the widest part of the diamond – the part of the stone that has contact with the setting itself. In fancy colour diamonds the girdle can be quite thick to show more body colour, however in white diamonds it needs to be just thick enough to offer protection from chipping without adding weight to a diamond that you can’t see.

What is the ideal oval diamond ratio?

It really comes down to personal preference as to what ratio is best for an oval cut diamond, but we think the ideal length-to-width ratio is between 1.30 to 1.40. Any cut below that starts to become too round and anything more than that starts to look too narrow.

Oval Diamond Ratios

Oval Diamond Ratios. How long the diamond is compared to how wide. Each of these diamonds has the same width.

Do all oval diamonds have the bow tie effect?

All oval diamonds create a bow tie effect. If you’re not familiar with what this is, it’s almost a shadow that can be seen stretching across the diamond’s centre. It looks like two black triangles on their sides with their tips meeting at the centre of the stone in the middle – exactly like a bow tie.

Some oval diamonds have a very noticeable bow tie while others are hardly noticeable. Bow tie effects are not graded by diamond labs so whether it is distracting or not to the beauty of the stone is dependent on the person looking at it. Most people prefer a more subtle bow tie effect.

The level of bow tie effect depends on the various proportions in the diamond cut. Various aspects affect this including the total depth, the ratio, the crown and pavilion angles as well as the table size. There is no ideal set of proportions and the only thing that can ensure you find a beautiful oval diamond without a bow tie is to examine the diamond in person. Photographs can hide the bow tie through utilisation of light boxes but do not show how the diamond will look in the real world.

The bow tie effect can be a major factor as to the type of oval diamond you decide to choose.

Bow Tie Effect

Bow-tie effect. A dark band appears through the diamond

What is the best setting for an oval diamond?

Oval diamonds are very versatile, so they look good in many different settings.

People tend to like the four or six claw setting as this showcases the shape of the diamond. They can also look beautiful in bezel settings.

While oval diamonds already appear larger in size than a round diamond, halo settings are quite popular to make the stone radiate even more. Small diamonds placed around the oval diamond can give the ring plenty of sparkle.

Are you looking for an oval diamond engagement ring?

Holdsworth Bros. have lots of oval diamond engagement rings that you can find in a number of different styles, cuts and settings. You can have a look online but we recommend coming in to see us in person so that you look at the different types of oval diamonds we offer.

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