Oval-Cut Diamond Engagement Buying Guide

Let’s talk about Oval diamonds. Today we are going to give you some tips on what you should look out for when purchasing an Oval diamond engagement ring.

Oval diamonds are one of the most popular diamond cuts and have been for the past few years. The Oval cut is very similar to the Round cut and both are defined as brilliant cut. But the Oval cut’s elongated shape makes it appear bigger than its actual size. Where Oval diamonds are elongated it makes your finger look longer and narrower. The Oval diamond dates all the way back into the 1300’s, but they were not described in literature yet until the 1800’s. Lazare Kaplan a Russian diamond cutter perfected the oval cut process in 1957.

Before purchasing an Oval diamond here are a few things you should know:

  • The GIA does not give them a cut grade.
  • You need to visually review the diamond before purchasing. As the certificate doesn’t provide any information of how the diamond looks.
  • The elongated shape makes the Oval diamond look larger than other diamond cuts.
  • Almost all Oval diamonds have a bow tie effect. This is where the centre of the diamond is darker slightly looking like a bow tie. Hence why it is called the bow tie effect. It is important to look for an oval diamond with a subtle bow tie if possible. The lesser the bow tie the more valuable the diamond is.
  • Normally an Oval diamond is less expensive than a Round cut diamond.
  • Oval diamonds tend to show their colour more. Therefore, you have to go with a higher colour grade to make sure your diamond will not look yellow in certain settings.

What Is The Ideal Length To The Width Ratio?

Oval diamonds do not come in standard sizes. It largely depends on the length to width ratio. The length to width ratio effects the overall shape of your diamond. Giving it the overall appearance of your diamond being either wider or narrower. The shape you decide on is down to your personal preference, as well as the setting you have chosen for your diamond.

The ideal length to width ratio of oval cut diamonds is about 1.40 to 1.50. 1.39 to 1.30 gives oval diamonds a wider look. Then if you go below 1.30 your diamond may start to look chunky. Or not even look like a Round or Oval cut. A length to width above 1.50 makes the Oval cut diamond longer and narrower.

One of the biggest disadvantages to Oval the cut diamond, or any elongated shapes really would be the bow tie. The bow tie is a darkened area of the diamond. Shaped like a bow tie. In the centre of the diamond when perceived in certain angles. Bow ties happen when the diamond has been cut poorly or has misaligned facets. Which restricts the light performance of the diamond.

Here is an example of a bow tie:

When choosing an Oval diamond, you want to choose a diamond where a bow tie is not really visible. Here is what you should be looking for when it is comes choosing an Oval diamond. on the left is a bow tie and a diamond you want to avoid. Then on the right is a diamond with no bow tie, that is what you should be looking for when it comes to Oval diamonds.


Symmetry in an Oval diamond is very important. The diamond should be identical each side and nicely rounded edges that drop elegantly towards the end. If there is any asymmetry in the diamond it will easily be noticed. So, when choosing an Oval diamond checking for symmetry is very important.

Cut Quality

The GIA does not grade the cut quality of Oval cut diamonds. As they are classed as a ‘fancy’ cut diamond. They do not grade the cut on any ‘fancy’ cut diamonds unfortunately. Therefore, you are left to choose yourself. But at Avita we will advise and help you choose the best quality Oval diamond possible!

Colour Grade

Oval cut diamonds are great at hiding colour. This is due to their amazing faceting pattern. This means you can go down on the colour scale and still have a beautiful looking diamond. But you have to keep in mind that some Oval diamond can look more yellow in certain settings. So just keep that in mind when choosing an Oval diamond.

Clarity Grading

Oval diamonds are great for hiding inclusions the diamond may have. Especially around the edges. This means for a gorgeous Oval cut diamond you will not have to go for a high clarity diamond. Diamonds with higher clarity are more valuable than lower clarity diamonds. Which means you can save money by going down lower on the clarity grade, without losing the beauty of the diamond.

Choosing a Ring Setting

The Oval cut diamond does not have any pointed edges. It is not as delicate as other diamond cuts that have edges, for example the Pear cut rings. The classic setting for any diamond ring would be the solitaire setting. For the best possible look choosing the prong setting allows the most amount of light to reflect off the diamond.

At Avita we would say Ovals look great in most settings. Down below is an example of a solitaire and halo setting.

These tips should help you to find the most beautiful and perfect Oval diamond for your engagement ring. If you would like more advise please make an appointment by calling 020 8065 0391 or email info@avitajewellery.co.uk