Oval stones complete Pinterest’s top engagement ring looks from their 2018 Wedding Trends: Sweet and Simple report. The fancy shape took the #3 spot on the social site’s list with a 125% increase in popularity over last year.
In recent years the oval brilliant diamond has risen in demand, and according to Town & Country magazine, is ranked 6th in popularity with American consumers in 2016 (round diamonds were still no. 1).
The fire and brilliance of an oval diamond emulates that of a round with a bit of a twist. Its elegant elongated shape conjures sophistication and intrigue.
There is nothing revolutionary about ovals. The shape has always been used in jewelry; however, it wasn’t until the mid-1950s that the modern oval brilliant cut diamond garnered mass appeal.
Many of the rich and famous have opted for the opulent oval.
Blake Lively wears a twelve-carat pink oval diamond from her actor husband, Ryan Reynolds. The stunning Lorraine Schwartz ring is rose gold with a micro-pavé diamond band.
Julianne Hough also sports a Lorraine Schwartz design with her six-carat oval diamond engagement ring. Hough’s fiancé Brooke Laich proposed at their home with the elegant ring, which also features their initials and a heart in diamonds on the back.
Before her breakup with Seal, Heidi Klum wore an approximately ten-carat fancy yellow oval brilliant cut diamond. Another Lorraine Schwartz piece, the ring was made in yellow gold and accented with smaller yellow diamonds.
Buying an Oval
If you are looking to purchase an oval brilliant cut diamond for yourself or another, there are a few things to consider. If you are familiar with The Four C’s of Diamonds, that’s a great start. The same factors are used to evaluate the carat weight, clarity, and color for oval diamonds as with round brilliants and can help with your search.
Considering the cut of an oval diamond is very personal. A 2009 survey conducted by Gemological Institute of America found that consumer and trade professionals prefer a longer, narrower oval shape. It showed the most popular length-to-width ratio was 1.7:1. It is challenging to find oval diamond cut to this proportion because of the shape of the diamond rough, so most ovals are cut to 1.3:1 or 1.4:1 ratio.
While the proportion of an oval diamond is often a personal decision, the symmetry is objective. Poor symmetry in a stone will result in a dull and unappealing stone. Draw an imaginary line vertically along the length of the diamond and view each side – do the facet patterns mirror each other? Do the same across the diamond’s width. The outline of an oval diamond has a large impact on the beauty of the stone as well. Look for minimal variations such as an uneven outline.
Look for the bow-tie. The bow-tie effect is unique to elongated brilliant shapes – oval, marquise, and pear. Since a diamond is cut to act as a collection of mirrors, reflecting as much light as possible, it also reflects shadows. The bow-tie often seen in these diamonds are a reflection of the shadow from the viewer (you). Look for an oval diamond that is well cut and has a minimal bow-tie. It is helpful to be able to compare a few stones side-by-side.