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If your ideal diamond is as brilliant as it is affordable, as iconic as it is modern and as durable as it is elegant, the oval cut might be worth your time to consider. With all these amazing attributes, it is surprising that this particular cut doesn’t find itself at a higher notch of popularity.
The Oval Cut Diamond – What to Know
If you are considering an Oval cut stone, it is essential to be well informed of the pros and cons that come with the cut, the most suitable GIA grades for the cut, and the most sensical settings for the cut. This article will walk you through the in’s and outs, as well as the in between, of the Oval cut.
The Oval cut is a relatively recently developed style, created as recent as the 1960’s by Lazare Kaplan International. This cut possesses the brilliance of the brilliant round cut while maintaining an affordability that surpasses that of its fancy cut counterparts. This cut, as can be reasonably assumed, is shaped as an oval and is identified by its 56 (or more) facets – the number of which depends on the size of the underside of the cut.
What are the pros?
With its rounded face and edges, the oval cut is a stable and durable cut that will meet the demands of day-to-day wear for men and woman of all walks of life. This stability also allows for versatility in setting and stone. The oval cut looks marvellous on gemstones, particularly ones that have high refractive indexes and allow for the cut to show off the brilliance of the stone.
The oval cut shares similar attributes to, and is significantly rarer than, both the Brilliant Round cut and the Princess cut – however, the oval cut, for unknown reasons, is much less demanded than either of the two. Due to its mysterious lack of demand, the oval cut is extremely affordable, in some instances as much as thousands of dollars cheaper than its previously mentioned counterpart, making the oval cut a smart invested and easy decision for the budget minded newlyweds.
While on the topic of affordability, the oval cut has a long surface area which makes the stone appear larger than it is – combine the large surface area with the brilliance this cut demonstrates and you have a cut well worth its inexpensive price tag,
And the cons?
The biggest complaint we have in terms of the oval cut is something called “The Bowtie” effect. The bowtie affects several cuts, including this one, the Marquis cut, Pear cut and the Heart cut, and is the results of shadows creating a dark band around the center of the diamond in the shape of a bowtie. The bowtie effect, however, can be remedied by the quality of the stone used to create it. A good quality stone will be less likely to create the bowtie effect.
Purchasing a good quality stone for your oval cut should be a consideration as well. The oval cut has a large and long surface, and as a result, this particular cut will highlight poor color and inclusions in a stone. Because of this, it is a challenge in itself to find this cut in large carat sizes.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has created an international diamond rating system that allows for a universal standard for determining a diamonds quality. An aspect of this quality is the diamonds clarity. A diamonds clarity is determined by its number of inclusions and/blemishes. All diamond will have some inclusions and blemishes, but a flawless diamond will be one where they can’t be seen when magnified by ten.
This list contains the clarity ratings as they determine the value of a diamond from the most expensive to the least:
Flawless (Fl) – No Inclusions.
Internally Flawless – (IF) No inclusions, only blemishes.
Very Very Slightly Included – (VVS1 and VVS2) Contains inclusions but they are very difficult to see.
Slightly included (SI1 and SI2) – Noticeably included.
Included (I1, I2, I3) – Obviously included.
An ideal diamond for an Oval Cut will be anything from VVS2 and up. Avoid Oval cuts that fall into the categories of SI1, SI2, I1, I2 and I3.
The GIA also grades diamonds on their color – or rather, lack of. This rating system does not include colored diamonds. Essentially, the ideal diamond is colorless while the least desirable is light yellow or brown.
These changes in color are extremely subtle, and may not even be noticeable to the naked eye, but they make a colossal impact on the price of a diamond so they are important.
This list contains a list of the color ratings, D being completely colorless and most valuable and Z being of color and the least valuable.
D, E, F – colorless
G, H, I, J – near colorless
K, L, M – faint color
N, O, P, Q, R – very light color
S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z – light color
The ideal diamond for an Oval is colorless, so grades D, E, or F – however a nearly colorless grading that’s closer to the completely colorless spectrum, such as G, will also produce desirable results.
As with any cut that demonstrated high levels of brilliance, a 4 prong setting is ideal for the oval cut. The reason for such is to allow natural light to penetrate the stone and maximize the brilliance for which the cut was created.
The Bezel setting is also a quite popular option for this stone – this setting is one in which the material of the band itself wraps around the stone and by this method, keeps it in place. Though popular, this setting does not allow for optimal utilization of the cuts brilliance.
A popular setting for the oval cut is a mixture of the 4 prong setting and the bezel. Through mixing both settings, the main stone set on 4 prongs maximizes its brilliance while the band of bezel set stones accent and highlight its beauty.
Recap Plus Some
Alright, so what do we know? We know that the oval cut has approximately 56 facets but this can depend based on the underside of the cut, we know that the clarity of the stone used should be VVSI or better and the color shouldn’t go below G, we also learned that this is a stable, durable and affordable cut that also looks stunning on gemstones, but should only be used on high quality stones to minimize the bow-tie effect and/or the seeability of blemishes and inclusions.
But wait – don’t run to your nearest jeweler quite yet. Before you run out your door, here are a few additional tid bits to keep in mind:
1. If your Oval cut stone is a diamond, deal only with reputable jewelers that will provide IGA certification.
2. If you’re buying a used or antique diamond studded ring, don’t listen to number one. The IGA hasn’t been around forever and diamonds have. Instead, in the instances of antique or used diamonds, ask for a certificate of authenticity or professional appraisal of the diamond you’re buying.
3. If a colored, or colorless, gemstone is your thing, we’re into it. Check out our extensive gemstone directory for ways to ensure your are purchasing the best quality authentic gemstone for your ring.
4. It never hurts to get a second opinion – if you’re confident in your purchase, this isn’t necessary, but if you’re like us and like play it safe, take your purchase to a professional jeweler or gemologist for a second opinion as to the quality of your stone.
5. You’re getting married! This should be the most rewarding and enjoyable experience in your life to date – while we absolutely promote the idea that knowledge is important, and that you should be well informed, we also want you to remember not to lose sight of your excitement and joy, so go on, go shopping for your engagement or wedding ring and don’t forget to have fun with it!
- About The Pear Cut – General Information
- About The Marquise Or Navette Cut – General Information
- About The Heart Cut – General Information
- About The Emerald Cut – General Information
- About The Cushion Cut – General Information
- About The Brilliant Round Cut – General Information