The History and Appeal of the Oval Diamond

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The History and Appeal of the Oval Diamond

With so many shapes to choose from, sometimes you need to look beyond a Diamond's silhouette and discover why that shape was created in the first place. Today we will look at the history and origins of the Oval Diamond. One of the most elegant shapes for a Diamond, it bridges the incandescence found in a Round Diamond and adds a level of elegance by stretching it. The end result is a magnificent design that adds an added level of character to the ubiquitous Round Diamond while providing the purchaser with monetary and visual benefits.

The Origin of the Oval Diamond

While the Oval Diamond shape has been around since the 1700's, it remained in relative obscurity until 1957. It was then that Lazare Kaplan, a true icon of the industry and the nephew of Abraham Tolkowsky, re-engineered the Oval shape. From then on the new shape would be referred to as Oval Elegance or the Modern Oval cut, and would be sought out for its unique brilliance.

Diamond Cleavers and Cutters appreciate the Oval shape because of its ability to maximize the amount of raw Diamond they are dealing with. Because of this, it is common to find some of the most historically significant Diamonds have been cut in an Oval shape. Examples of famous Oval Diamonds include the Koh-i-Noor (105.60 ct found in the Crown of Queen Elizabeth), the Wittelsbach-Graff (31.06 ct), the Jonker I (142.90 ct) and the recently sold CTF Pink Star (59.60 ct).

Benefits of Choosing an Oval Diamond!

Beyond its unique styling and elegant design, an Oval Diamond provides some distinct benefits to the consumer:

  • They are Bigger: While not actually bigger than their carat-per-carat Round Diamond counterparts, the shape of an Oval Diamond provides a 10% greater surface area. What does this mean to you? Compared to a 1.0 ct Round Diamond, a 1.0 ct Oval Diamond will look as large as a 1.1 ct Round Diamond. Thus, you're getting more in return just for choosing the Oval shape.
  • They Cost Less: As we have previously detailed in our Shape vs Cost analysis, an Oval Diamond is on average 18% less than a comparable Round Diamond. On a $3000 Diamond, that's over $500 in savings. 

As you can see an Oval Diamond is an incredible choice. It costs less, looks bigger, and most agree that its shape is more refined and elegant. While Round and Princess Diamonds are clearly more popular, a sophisticated buyer will not hesitate to make an Oval Diamond part of their Engagement Ring choice.  

What makes an Oval Diamond, Oval?

Just like a Round Diamond, an Oval Diamond is cut in a brilliant faceting style. What this means is that the Diamond will have 58 facets. Giving it the same intense brilliance that one would expect from a Round Diamond. The elongating of the Diamond's shape has little effect on its ability to reflect light in comparison to a Round Diamond. As such, the benefits of the more elegant shape carry with it few drawbacks. 

What Should You look for when Buying an Oval Diamond?

Beyond the typical Diamond Criteria that one should always look for, when purchasing an Oval Diamond there are specific things to check:

  • Symmetry: With any elongated shape, a Diamond's Symmetry becomes more important. What this means is that you want each half of the Diamond to be as close to perfectly equal to the other half as possible. If the shape is not symmetrical (either the top half compared to the bottom, or the left compared to the right)  then it will greatly detract from the Diamond's beauty.
  • Length-to-Width Ratio: The ratio of the Diamond's length-to-width will determine if it is tall or squat. While there is no right or wrong answer, it is known that Oval Diamond's with more extreme ratio's, such as 1.7-to-1, are more desirable. Ultimately, as long as the ratio falls between 1.35 & 1.50, that would make it perfectly fine. Choosing a ratio within that range comes down to personal choice.
  • The Shape of the Shoulders: Ideally an Oval Diamond should have a nice soft shape, which means that the curvature of its shoulders should not be too extreme. If the Diamond's shoulders are either flat or bulge out too much, then it detracts from the Diamond's Shape.
  • Bow-Tie Effect: An Oval Diamond will always have some semblance of a Bow-Tie Effect (a shadowy contrast within the center of the Diamond caused by you yourself blocking some light from entering the Diamond.) A well Cut Diamond should minimize this effect, but it will always be pronounced.

Would you like us to help you with your diamond ring search? Contact us and we will provide you with a one-on-one service that will get you the best diamond available!