Oval diamonds are one of the most iconic diamond shapes, found in many famous ring and necklace designs. As with other diamond shapes, when shopping for oval diamonds, it’s good to be aware of some of the unique factors that pertain to oval diamonds and how these factors affect their appearance and value. If you’re aware of these things, you can make an informed purchase, and get a better value for your money.
Oval Diamonds – The Basics
Oval diamonds are a relatively new arrival on the scene, having been developed during the diamond design boom of the 1960s. Technically, oval diamonds are cut in a way similar to the process involved in creating a round brilliant diamond. The principal difference is that oval diamonds have a more elongated shape (though the degree to which they are elongated can vary quite a bit) and that the shape of the facets is a little bit different from those of the round brilliant.
The minimum length to width ratio for oval diamonds is around 1.25. This ratio results in a short, almost egg-like appearance. The maximum ratio, meanwhile, is somewhere around 1.75, which results in a sharper, more elongated visual quality. The traditional oval shape falls between 1.3 and 1.6 length-to-width.
Oval Diamonds – Advantages
Oval diamonds have a number of advantages relative to other diamond shapes. Even with a middle of the road cut quality, an oval diamond will exhibit a significant degree of brilliance and sparkle, similar to what you get with the standard round brilliant cut. At the same time, the oval shape is noticeably different from the round brilliant, so it stands out in a ring setting, especially when more elongated.
The oval shape is considered especially appropriate for pendants and necklaces, and an oval diamond can make a great choice for a solitaire in this type of setting. Also, if you’re considering an oval diamond for a ring, you can choose from different length to width ratios in order to better fit the shape of the wearer’s finger, and this is a nice option that isn’t available to the same extent with other shapes that don’t offer the same degree of variety.
Oval Diamonds – Finding The Best Value
Oval diamonds usually don’t have any of the dead spots or weaknesses that can be present in some diamonds of other shapes. That being said, you may have to pay closer attention to the length to width ratio when shopping for an oval diamond. The greater variety among oval diamond shapes means that more extreme shapes are possible, and some of these may not be suited to the setting or wearer you have in mind. For example, diamonds with a length to width ratio of over 1.6 will have a noticeably “long” shape, and can be great for rings as long as the wearer has relatively slender fingers.
Otherwise, the parameters for oval diamonds are the same as those of round brilliants when it comes to finding the best value. The cut grade should be somewhere around “Very Good” or “Good,” while the clarity can be in the SI1-2 range without causing problems. Color should be in the G-I area, while carat weight should be 1 or lower.