Essentially an elongated variation of the Round Brilliant, an Oval Cut diamond likewise features 57 or 58 facets, and similar visual qualities. But, because it has a larger surface area, it seems bigger to the human eye than the round stone of the same weight. It is a favored choice for some ring buyers because it makes the fingers seem longer, while many jewelers and diamond cutters prefer it to other fancy shapes, because the absence of pointed corners means that it is less prone to chipping.
Historical evidence of Oval Cut can be found as far back as the 1700s, with the Koh-i-Noor diamond most probably being the most famous of such stones in existence. Originally the property of rulers from Persia and India, it was presented to Britain’s Queen Victoria in 1850, and is now set in the Queen Mother’s crown, which was fashioned for Queen Elizabeth, the wife of George VI and mother of Elizabeth II, for their 1937 coronation.
Other famous Oval Cuts are the 31.06 carat fancy deep blue colored Wittelsbach-Graff, which was sold at auction for $24.3 million in December 2008 to London jeweler Lawrence Graff, and the 59.6-carat Internally Flawless, fancy vivid pink colored Pink Star or Steinmetz Pink, which sold in April 2017 for $71.2 million, becoming the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction.
The modern version of the Oval Cuts dates back to 1957, and it is attributed to Lazare Kaplan, the Belgian-American diamond cutter. It allows for a variety of facet arrangements, but the most common is 8 bezel facets and 8 main facets on the pavilion.
Since it is neither round nor with pointed edges, terms have been developed to denote to specific part of its anatomy. The “heads” or “ends” refer to the two tips of the oval. The “belly” is the central area where the sides curve out the most, while the “shoulder” is the curved area reaching from the heads or ends to the belly.
A survey conducted in 2009 by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) indicated that both consumers and diamond professionals prefer longer oval shapes, with the most popular length-to-width ratio being 1.7:1, even though it is rarely practical to cut such long oval diamonds from rough diamonds without resulting in what generally is an unacceptable yield. Length-to-width ratio ratios more typically range from 1.3:1 to 1.4:1.
Like most elongated cuts, Oval Cut will often display a bow-tie effect, which appears as a darker triangular patch in the center of the stone. These are more pronounced when the diamond is cut too shallow, but, if the polisher over-compensates, resulting in exaggerated depth, the stone could appear dull or lifeless.
MORE DIAMOND SHAPES