Can’t decide between a round and oval diamond engagement ring? You’re not alone. Oval and round diamonds are two of the most popular choices for the center stone of an engagement ring. These two diamond cuts both boast a flattering, elegant, and classic shape– whether we’re talking about a natural diamond or a lab grown diamond. They also both work well in a variety of settings and offer a good amount of sparkle.
What, then, are the key differences between oval and round diamonds? Mainly, they come at a different cost, give off different levels of brilliance, and appear different in size relative to their carat weight. Our complete comparison guide here, oval vs round diamond, will help you weigh the pros and cons of each cut and select the stone that is right for your diamond ring.
What Is an Oval Diamond?
While there are different types of diamond cuts, oval cut diamonds have become very popular. An oval cut diamond can be thought of as an elongated round diamond; it is oval in shape, featuring elegantly rounded edges. The length and width of oval cut diamonds can vary greatly. While some appear almost round, others are long and narrow. The most appealing cuts have a length-to-width ratio of 1.3:1 to 1.5:1.
For a diamond engagement ring, an oval diamond is most commonly set in a North-South direction to flatter the wearer’s hand, as its elongated shape can lengthen and thin the look of one’s fingers. However, many brides looking for a trendier take on this classic oval cut engagement ring choose to set it facing East to West. Both designs show off the stone brilliantly.
Pros and Cons of Oval Diamonds
There is one crucial consideration to make when opting for an oval cut diamond: the bow-tie effect. This is a shadow that can appear like a bow-tie across the center width of the diamond when the cut isn’t optimal. The problem with a diamond with a bow-tie effect is that it can appear dark and won’t sparkle as brilliantly. This effect is visible to the naked eye, so as long as you can’t see any trace of a bow tie under various lighting conditions, you don’t need to worry about it.
Oval diamonds also tend to show more color than other diamond cuts and can show more imperfections along the center of the stone as well. Ensure your stone is “eye-clean” and has a high color grade to avoid these diamond downfalls.
What Is a Round Diamond?
A round cut diamond is the most popular diamond cut of all. While round diamonds have been around for centuries, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that the cut of the round shape was perfected and the round brilliant cut diamond, which features 58 facets, or flat cuts, was born.
Today, the ideal faceting of a round brilliant cut diamond is the standard for brilliance, sparkle, and symmetry that all other diamond shapes are compared to. For this reason, this cut is coveted for not only engagement rings, but all types of jewelry.
Pros and Cons of Round Diamonds
There is no doubt that a round diamond is one of the most timeless choices for an engagement ring. Its classic shape and incomparable sparkle will never go out of style. Its beauty, however, does come at a cost. To create the ideal faceting pattern of a round brilliant diamond, much of the raw diamond is cut away, which means the cost per carat is higher than other cuts where more of the diamond is preserved. Its popularity, of course, also drives up its price.
If you have the budget, though, there are no other real cons to a round diamond engagement ring. The way the cut sparkles enhances its ability to hide color and imperfections.
Oval vs Round Diamond
Oval vs Round Diamond Sparkle
As we mentioned above, the round brilliant cut diamond is the standard for diamond sparkle; it is cut in a way to optimally reflect any light that hits it, creating unmatched brilliance and fire. While an oval diamond certainly does sparkle and reflect the light beautifully, its faceting pattern isn’t as sparkly as a round diamond of the same cut quality.
Oval vs Round Diamond Size
What a modern oval cut lacks in sparkle, it makes up for in size. The elongated oval shape of an oval diamond creates an illusion of a large diamond cut. Thus, carat for carat, an oval diamond will appear larger than a round diamond. The fact that oval diamonds appear larger than round diamonds can also help you make the most of your budget.
Oval vs Round Diamond Price
Oval diamonds not only appear larger than round diamonds of the same carat weight but also typically cost less. Round brilliant cut diamonds, being the most popular diamond cut, are one of the most expensive. However, they are more forgiving in terms of color and imperfections. So, while you may be able to compromise more on size with an oval diamond, you can compromise more on clarity and color with a round diamond to find a stone that suits your budget.
It’s even easier to find a round or oval diamond within your budget when you shop lab created diamonds at 12FIFTEEN Diamonds, which can cost up to 50% less than comparable mined diamonds.
Which Diamond Should You Choose
There’s no denying that choosing between an oval diamond and a round diamond is a difficult decision. The good news, though, is that you can’t go wrong with an oval diamond ring or a round diamond ring. Both diamond cuts come with their own sets of pros and cons and shine in their own unique ways. So, choose the cut that speaks to you and start building your dream engagement ring today.