Oval Cut Diamonds Guide: What Are They & Everything to Know

    If you’re coveting an oval cut diamond ring, you’ve come to the right place. Between our signature Stella and Mirellasettings plus our one-of-a-kind custom designs, we make ALOT of oval cut diamond rings. We try not to pick favourites, but the oval diamond is high on our love list. Keep reading for our help-you-decide guide for an oval diamond engagement ring or a just-because ring:

    • What is an oval cut diamond?

    • History of the oval diamond

    • Why we love an oval diamond

    • Pros and cons of an oval cut diamond

    • How to choose an oval diamond - the 4Cs

    • Oval cut versus round brilliant

    • The most famous oval cut diamonds

    What Is an Oval Cut Diamond?

    As you might have guessed, oval cut diamonds are shaped like an oval with a brilliant cutting style, making them incredibly sparkly and blindingly bright. They're the perfect balance between the timeless, rounded edges of a round cut diamond and the elegant height of a marquise cut.

    Oval diamonds have 58 facets, equal to a round diamond - the perfect number of facets for next-level sparkle in every light.


    History of Oval Cut Diamonds

    Invented in the 1300s, oval diamonds are one of the oldest diamond shapes around. The shape was perfected in the 1960s by a Russian diamond cutter named Lazare Kaplan. He created the cutting process still used today for the most brilliant, full-of-fire oval cut diamond.

    Already well-known for his talent of taking cracked diamonds and cutting them into smaller, low-carat-weight, but high-value diamonds, his oval cutting invention landed him a spot in the Jewelers International Hall of Fame.

    Many hundreds of years later, the oval shape is still one of the most popular diamond shapes in the world. Some of our most viral Made By Gem Breakfast rings have been oval cut creations.


    Characteristics of an Oval Diamond

    Classified as a fancy-shaped diamond (like all diamonds except the round diamond), oval diamonds are brilliant cut diamonds that vary in shape from an ultra-thin almost-marquise shape, to a thicker, slightly squashed circle shape.

    Best Settings for Oval Cut Diamonds

    Truly, the best setting for any diamond is the one you love most. Our personal favorite settings for an oval cut diamond is a simple solitaire (like our cult-fave Stella setting) to really let your stone shine, or our bestselling half-halo Mirella setting - a stackable design that strikes the perfect balance between stone-centered minimalism and sparkle-laden maximalism.

    If you love to stack (or plan on a very extra wedding band), consider leaving the band plain to allow for more options with detailed stacking rings in the future.

    Choose a stackable ring (with a raised basket) if you'd like to stack straight bands, or a flush-to-the-finger setting if you're on team tiara band.

    The Pros and Cons of an Oval Diamond

    Pros of an oval cut diamond


    With their elongated shape, oval diamonds make fingers appear longer and slimmer - they're the flattering fit of the fine jewelry world.

    Flip it to make a statement

    While we love the chic look of an upright oval diamond, if you love to do things differently (you know we do), you might fall head over heels for an east-west set oval diamond. It's an unexpected and endlessly eye-catching design.

    Oval Diamond Ring



    With rounded corners, oval diamonds are less prone to chipping and damage vs diamonds with sharp corners. Even though they're the hardest stone on earth, diamonds can still get damaged and if you're extremely active, it's worth factoring durability into your diamond purchase!


    That lengthened shape makes an oval cut diamond look bigger than a round diamond of the same carat weight. Spend the same but get a bigger-looking diamond - who can say no to that?

    Cons of an oval cut diamond

    The bow-tie effect

    Most oval diamonds have a bow-tie effect (a dark area in the center of the stone in the shape of a bow-tie). Your search for the most aesthetic oval cut diamond will include weeding out a lot of too obvious bow-ties - the subtler the better!

    Keep in mind, a bow-tie can sometimes add to the sparkle and contrast of a stone depending on its size, position, and darkness - a Jeweler (and your own intuition) can help you decide!

    so many chOICEs

    This is both a pro and a con! The oval cut diamond has no set proportions other than being an oval shape, so there's countless variations to choose from - thin, thick, rounded, elongated - the options are endless.

    If you love to shop and have no problem selecting, choice is a blessing. If you're indecisive, this selection might feel overwhelming. Whatever the case, we're here to help narrow your choices and choose the more stunning stone in your budget.

    Bow Oval Vs. No Bow Tie Oval Cut Diamonds For Engagement Rings

    Primary Differences Between Oval Cut and Round Cut Diamonds

    Oval cut diamonds and round diamonds are both brilliant cuts with can't-stop sparkle and a timeless energy. Their main difference is their shape: round vs oval. Round diamonds also have slightly better light performance and don't have the bow-tie situation that an oval cut diamond has.


    Oval diamonds tend to look larger than round diamonds of the same carat weight, so if you'd like the biggest stone for your budget, oval is your answer. Oval diamonds are also slim and lengthen the look of your finger so if you like that effect, say yes to an oval shape.

    Both are a classic choice and can be set in infinite ways to reflect your style and energy.


    Oval cut diamond ring


    Round brilliant diamond ring

    Oval Cut Diamond – Clarity

    Clarity refers to the amount of inclusions or blemishes in a diamond. Thanks to the oval shape and brilliant cutting style, oval cut diamonds hide blemishes very well. That means you can opt for a lower clarity grade and still get an eye clean diamond. Now you're free to spend your budget on more important factors, like cut.

    Something to keep in mind: blemishes towards the center of stone will be more obvious, whereas blemishes close to the edges will be better camouflaged.

    The GIA clarity scale

    • Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes can be seen with 10× magnification

    • Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions (but some blemishes) can be seen with 10x magnification

    • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult to see under 10× magnification

    • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Minor inclusions can be seen under 10x magnification

    • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification

    • Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Obvious inclusions under 10× magnification

    Oval Diamonds – Cut Quality

    The most important C of all, cut is the best indicator of a diamond's sparkle, shine, and overall beauty.

    Like all fancy cut diamonds, the GIA doesn't give oval diamonds an overarching cut grade like they do with round brilliants. All is not lost though - there are lots of other stats which help tell the story of a diamond's cut. Peruse our chart below for where to start with cut quality.

    what is an eye clean diamond

    Keep in mind, while stats are a good place to start to weed out low-quality diamonds, your best bet is always to see a diamond in person or video and work with a trusted Jeweler to find the highest quality diamond in your budget. Oval diamonds are especially subjective and the beauty is truly in the beholder (and not the numbers).

    Book a free consult with us anytime to learn more about diamonds and find the perfect stone for you.

    Recommended proportions for an OVAL cut diamond

    Excellent Very Good Good Fair/Poor

    Table %


    52 or 64-65

    51 or 56-68

    Outside Ranges

    Depth %


    56-57.9 or 62.1 to 66

    53-55.9 or 66.1 to 71

    Outside Ranges



    Very Good


    Outside Ranges



    Very Small


    Outside Ranges

    Length to width ratio

    1.35 – 1.5

    1.3-1.34 or 1.51 to 1.55

    1.25-1.29 or 1.56-1.6

    Outside Ranges

    Girdle Thickness

    Very Thin – Slightly Thick
    Very Thin – Thick

    Ext. Thin – Ext. Thick

    Outside Ranges

    What this all means

    Polish: refers to how smooth the diamond's facets are.

    Symmetry: a measure of the shape and alignment of the diamond's facets. With oval cut diamonds in particular, look at symmetry of the overall stone in addition to facet symmetry.

    Length-to-width ratio:this ratio tells how proportionate a diamond is vs its intended shape. To calculate length to width ratio, divide the diamond's length by its width. Generally the most aesthetic oval cut diamonds have a ratio between 1.3-1.5. This is all based on your preference however - 'Movals' (a mix between an oval and marquise cut) are a newer favorite and don't fit these proportions whatsoever!

    Oval Diamond Ring

    Depth percentage and table percentage:these numbers tell you how well a diamond reflects light.

    Girdle:the slim perimeter of a diamond that separates the top from the bottom.

    Cutlet:the tiny point at the bottom of a diamond.

    Oval Diamonds – Color

    Oval cut diamonds show color more than other diamond shapes so you'll want to opt for a higher color grade to a get a certain look - whether that be cool and colorless or sunny champagne. The larger the diamond, the more obvious color differences will be.

    Having said that, the differences between two (or even three) color grades are often impossible to see with the naked eye, so focus on picking the diamond color that you love visually versus paying extra for a letter grade that's imperceptible.

    Oval Diamonds – Carat Weight

    Carat refers to a diamond's weight and not its size as many people believe. Thanks to their elongated shape, oval cut diamonds tend to look bigger for their carat weight vs other diamond shapes like a round cut diamond.

    While sizes vary depending on how a stone is cut, a one-carat round diamond usually measures 6.5 x 6.5 mm, whereas an average oval cut diamond is usually 7.7 x 5.7mm - the added height gives that larger illusion. So, if you'd like a diamond that looks bigger than its carat weight, consider an oval cut.

    For help converting any diamond shape from carat weight to mm, read our blog!

    How to choose an oval diamond: summary

    1. Start with cut - choose the highest quality cut within your budget. Work with an expert Jeweler for and refer to our chart above for where to start.

    2. Clarity - an oval diamond hides inclusions well so you can choose a lower clarity grade and still get an eye-clean diamond if that's what you're looking for. If you're a salt & pepper diamond fan, you can throw the clarity grades out the window and embrace the cosmic magic!

    3. An oval cut shows a diamond's natural color more than a round diamond. Keep this in mind, but always choose the color you love first and worry about stats later.

    4. For the most aesthetic oval diamond, stay in the range of 1.3 to 1.5 length to width ratio.

    Oval Diamond Ring



    Oval cut diamonds are significantly less expensive than round cut diamonds - that means a bigger diamond for you budget!

    Why Are Oval Cuts Cheaper?

    More of the rough diamond is used when cutting an oval diamond. Less diamond discarded means a less expensive (and more sustainable) diamond for you! Wins all around.

    is oval a good diamond cut?

    Yes! Oval diamonds are a stunning, sparkling cut that share the timeless rounded shaped of a round brilliant diamond but at a lower cost. They elongate the finger and are just behind round diamonds in their brilliance factor.

    The Most Famous Oval Cut Diamonds

    While they've been around forever, the oval cut diamond is having a major moment atm. They're the effortless, cool girl diamond, the I-don't-even-need-to-try-because-I'm-it girl diamond.

    First up on the list of most famous oval diamond wearers: the can-do-no-wrong cool girl of the moment, Hailey Beiber. Her blinding 10-carat oval diamond engagement ring is set in a simple yellow gold solitaire setting with surprise diamonds on the band. We love.

    You've probably seen Kourtney Kardashian's massive (but still incredibly chic) six-carat oval diamond engagement ring by now. It's giving Hailey Beiber energy except with a pave diamond band for extra shine.

    Speaking of shining without even trying, Blake Lively's wears a pink oval diamond solitaire engagement ring with a pave diamond band. You know we can't resist a hit of pink!

    The most unique of the four, Ariana Grande's 6-carat oval diamond is set at an angle alongside a bright white pearl. We love a statement engagement ring with hidden meaning.

    Where to buy an oval cut diamond

    We have close partnerships with diamond dealers all over the world and pride ourselves on our extremely transparent, ethics-first sourcing process.

    Peruse our selection of in-stock ovalsor book a free consultation and we'll scour the globe to find your perfect stone - whether that's a bright white diamond, a cosmic salt & pepper diamond, a romantic antique diamond, a luminous rose cut diamond, or a buttery champagne diamond. We'll find you the stone you've been dreaming of and make the absolute most of your budget.

    our favorite oval engagement rings

    oval engagement rings

    Looking for inspiration? Browse our custom galleryto see design ideas from classic & timeless to alternative and one-of-a-kind.

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