An oval diamond has an elongated shape, almost like a stretched out round diamond. When cut correctly it’s brilliance can rival that of the round diamond. A statement of elegance and beauty that stands out.

This Blog will cover the following:

Anatomy of an oval Diamond

History of an Oval Diamond

Famous Oval Diamonds

What to look for in an Oval Diamond

Oval Diamond Engagement rings.


Anatomy of an Oval Diamond

Ovals are known as fancy shape diamonds. Fancy shapes will include all shapes except the round brilliant cut. These includes Cushions, emerald, princess marquise and radiant cuts, to name a few. Fancy shapes are also typically less expensive then round diamonds and makes them a popular choice when working on a budged or when you simply want to stand out!

When choosing an oval diamond its important to know the anatomy. Below you will find an illustration by GIA to help you understand the anatomy of the oval cut.

Illustration: GIA

Typically, an oval diamond also has 57 or 58 facets like a round brilliant cut, giving it similar brilliance. Below

A common facet arrangement for oval diamonds: eight bezel facets on the crown, pictured in light blue (left); eight main pavilion facets, pictured in dark blue (right). Illustration: GIA

Other then most fancy shapes, ovals don’t have any sharp corners or angles, making it less likely to getting chipped or damaged when setting or even wearing it in a ring. Visually it also appears bigger than a round diamond of the same weight because of its bigger surface area, making it a great option for an engagement ring and is also gentler on the pocket.

History of the Oval Diamond

Around the 1700’s is when brilliant cut diamonds where introduced. Mostly cushion shapes at first as cutters tend to follow the natural outline of the rough crystals.

All of the shapes, including ovals where revered to as brilliant cuts back then. Only in the late 1800’s mention where made of oval diamonds in literature.

Late 1950’s showed the start of modern appeal for this shape with spike in popularity in the late 90’s and early 2000 partly driven by marketing campaigns.

Today oval diamonds are making a huge comeback and is a very popular alternative to round diamonds. According to Town & Country magazine, the oval diamond ranked 6th in popularity with American consumers in 2016 (round diamonds were still no. 1).

Famous Oval Diamonds

Currently set in the Queen mothers crown, the 105.60ct Koh-Noor is probably the most famous of al oval diamonds. Before it was given to Queen Victoria in 1850, it was in the possession of rulers from Persia to India for centuries. When visiting London next, you can go and see the diamond in the Tower of London with the rest of the Crown Jewels

The 31.06ct Wittelsbach-Graff or also known as the Wittelsbach Blue is an oval diamond from the Golconda District in India.

In 1666 it was giving as part of a wedding gift (Lobola) for the marriage of Infanta Margarita Teresa of Spain into the House of Hapsburg. Again in 1722 for a marriage into the House of Wittelsbach.

In 1931 the diamond vanished from sight until it was re discovered in 1961.

It was renamed the Wittelsbach-Graff after it sold on action for $24.3 million in 2008 to London Jeweller Lawrence Graaf. It was recut to a 31.06ct Making it a Fancy deep blue internally Flawless gem.

Pictured here is the 31.06ct Wittelsbach-Graff diamond, recut from the historic Wittelsbach Blue. Photo: Robert Weldon/GIA

Known as the Pink Star, this 59.60ct Fancy vivid Pink Flawless oval diamond was sold on auction to Hong Kong Jeweller for $71.20 million in 2017. Mined in Botswana, it took the cutters the best of two years to cut the diamond into it’s final shape.

The Pink Star, now called the CTF Pink Star. Courtesy: Sotheby’s



What to Look for in an Oval Diamond

As with any diamond, the 4Cs applies when looking to buy an oval diamond, the same as for a round brilliant cut diamond.

Length-to-Width Ratio

With oval diamonds, you need to keep in mind the proportions. This includes the Length to width proportions. Typically, they range from 1.3:1 to 1.4:1.

This 1.06 ct oval diamond has a 1.71:1 length-to-width ratio. It is rare to find oval diamonds this long. Photo: Kate Waterman/GIA

This 3.01 ct oval diamond has a 1.26:1 length-to-width ratio, which is a little shorter than most oval diamonds. Photo: Kate Waterman/GIA

This 2.28 ct oval diamond has a 1.48:1 length-to-width ratio. Even this length is a little hard to find. Photo: Kate Waterman/GIA


Equally important when cutting an oval diamond. When drawing and imaginary line down the centre of the diamond and again across, it needs to symmetrical and mirror each other.

Symmetry is based on how closely the shape and facets on either side of these imaginary centre lines mirror each other. Illustration: Peter Johnston/GIA


Shape Appeal

It’s best to look at a few options when shopping for an oval diamond the find the shape that appeals to you. Unlike round diamonds, ovals can come in various shapes depending on the cutter’ style and preference.



This oval cut has flat shoulders, which many in GIA’s survey considered less graceful. Image: Al Gilbertson/GIA

This oval cut has bulging shoulders – an aspect that many of those surveyed also considered less graceful. Image: Al Gilbertson/GIA

This oval cut has no shoulder bulge. Its overall symmetry and well-proportioned shape contribute to its visual appeal. Image: Al Gilbertson/GIA

Bow-tie Effect

A commonly asked question, ‘’What is a bow tie in an oval diamond? ‘’

A ‘’bow tie’’ in a diamond is a dark bow shaped pattern, hence the name, across the middle of the diamond. You can expect to see this in Oval diamonds.

This is caused by reflections of your head and shoulders blocking the light from entering the diamonds when you are looking at it. This is because diamond facets act as mirrors that gather light around you and return it to your eyes. The closer you bring the diamond to your face the more obvious the effect will be. Having a well-cut diamond will minimise this effect.

The grayed-out area across the table in this illustration is where you’ll likely see the bow-tie effect. Illustration: Peter Johnston/GIA


Oval Diamond Engagement Ring Settings

When choosing your design to set your oval in, you are spoiled for choice. Below are a few options you can choose when setting on oval.

Halo Setting

Bezel Setting


All these designs and many more can be found on our website.

If you are looking for the perfect Oval diamond to create your dream ring with, look no further. We have range of beautifully cut oval diamonds just for you. Give us a call today or set up an appointment now and we will make your dream ring into reality.






Written by Martin Nagel

Owner and Jewellery Expert at  Martin Nagel Manufacturing Jewellers.

Source: GIA

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