Let’s face it: diamonds are an investment. As such, when you’re comparing an oval vs. round cut diamond, it’s critical to make the right choice for you. In order to make a wiser investment, you’ll have to have a great understanding of these two diamond cuts. From style to brilliance to affordability and sustainability, there’s a lot to consider for both cuts.
So, which is the right choice for you?
When considering this question, you’ll have to ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend, what styles you’re more interested in, and whether or not sustainability should play a role in your decision. For a budget-friendly, gorgeous design that’s more eco-friendly, you might want to take a look at an oval cut. But for a classic, more brilliant cut that’s been popular for ages, consider round cut diamonds for your piece of jewelry.
Still, choosing the right diamond cut for you might take some more mulling over. We’ll clarify all the differences between oval vs. round cut diamonds — including the costs of each — along with the reasons one or the other might be a better choice.
Let’s break down these two diamond cuts and see how they compare.
Oval vs. Round Cut Diamonds
Although round cut diamonds are more popular and traditional, oval cut diamonds can no longer be ignored as a mere runner-up to the former.They’re an up-and-coming cut compared to round diamonds and are more modern. But how do the two cuts shape up against each other?
Oval Cut Diamonds
Oval cut diamonds have a signature shape, and although similar to round cut diamonds, these elongated cut diamonds have an appeal all their own.
Oval cut diamonds — invented in the mid-20th century — offer some of the same brilliance as their round cut counterparts but with a more one-of-a-kind feel. Some people even associate a special meaning with the elongated cut, representing your relationship’s longevity.
Jewelry experts say that this diamond shape, in particular, can give the illusion that a person’s fingers are longer and thinner than they actually are. This makes it a great option for multiple hand sizes and shapes.
Even the most well-known celebrities seem to favor the oval cut. Ryan Reynolds’ engagement ring to Blake Lively features an oval pink diamond accented by other diamonds. Kourtney Kardashian’s engagement ring from Travis Barker also sports an oval cut diamond — estimated to be between 10 and 12 carats — on a pavé diamond band.
Round Cut Diamonds
Round cut diamonds are considered the most traditional cut, as they were created first. This cut has 58 facets and has a signature symmetrical, even pattern — one of the reasons it’s so popular. More than half of all diamonds sold by jewelers are round cuts.
These long-established cuts can also affect the way inclusions and color are reflected. In general, when compared to other fancy shapes, round cuts improve the appearance of both color and inclusions.
Because they’re so established as a diamond cut, round cuts are everywhere. John Krasinski’s engagement ring for Emily Blunt is an estimated $100,000 3-carat round cut diamond, surrounded by baguettes in a platinum setting. Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson’s engagement ring from Romain Dauriac accentuates three round cut diamonds in an art-deco inspired setting.
Oval vs. Round Cut Diamond Similarities
Both the oval and round cut diamonds are gorgeous, trusted diamond cuts that have been featured in engagement rings in particular for decades.
These two cuts are similar in that they’re versatile choices for diamond cuts. For example, you can see both these choices in jewelry, from rings to necklaces to earrings.
With regard to rings, both the oval cut and round cut diamond will steal the show no matter the setting. You can commonly find these cuts in three-stone, halo, and solitaire settings.
Unlike a square or rectangular diamond cut, oval and round cuts don’t have any corners or edges to snag on clothing or hair. This translates to less protection needed for your ring to protect it against chips or other types of potential damage.
Still, these two cuts, though both beautiful selections, have their differences.
Oval vs. Round Cut Diamond Differences
Both rings differ in overall style and aesthetic. While the oval cut diamond is more contemporary, round cut diamonds are traditional and well-loved by many jewelry and diamond enthusiasts. Still, it’s a fair assumption that neither diamond cut will be going out of style anytime soon.
The two cuts can also differ in brilliance. Generally, round cut diamonds will have a stronger brilliance than their oval cut cousins. A round cut diamond won’t present imperfections from color as obviously as an oval cut would.
However, when it comes to clarity, oval cut diamonds aren’t going to show as many blemishes or inclusions as a round cut would.
Oval diamonds can also seem bigger — reportedly about 10% bigger — than their round cut counterparts, even when the two have the same carat weight. This is because of their elongated shape and surface area.
All that to say, there are real pros and cons to each type of diamond cut.
Pros and Cons of Oval vs. Round Cut Diamonds
Even though you truly can’t go wrong with an oval vs. round cut diamond, there are a few respective pros and cons to be aware of.
For oval cuts, the pros are going to be their uniqueness and rarity. This shape is considered more modern and contemporary when compared to round-cut diamonds. They’re also generally less expensive.
For people who might be worried about the size of the diamond, oval cuts can make gemstones look larger thanks to their elongated shape and surface area. In a similar vein, these can also make your hands or fingers look thinner and smaller if that attracts you.
Unfortunately, oval cuts aren’t as brilliant — that is, they don’t shine as brightly — as round cut diamonds. That’s not to say they don’t have an impressive amount of brilliance; it’s just that round diamonds will sparkle more due to their fire and pattern.
One of the other primary cons of choosing an oval cut diamond involves something called the “bow-tie effect.” The bow-tie effect refers to an area in the middle of the diamond where there’s a lack of light reflection, making it appear as a dark patch. The bow-tie effect is due to this cut’s longer shape.
Though this is generally thought of as a con, it doesn’t have to be. Some people even prefer the bow-tie effect as the visual effect it produces gives the diamond a unique appearance.
One of the most glaring pros of the round cut diamond is its brilliance, fire, and scintillation. These types of cuts prioritize both clarity and cut. That being said, round cuts maximize the brilliance of these gems in an ideal way through their many facets. There are also generally more options available in comparison to oval cut diamonds.
As opposed to an oval cut diamond, a round cut will never produce a bow-tie effect, no matter what. Even the most poorly cut round cut diamond won’t show that dark area. These round cuts also won’t display imperfections from color like an oval diamond might because of their shape.
However, round cut diamonds will probably appear smaller next to an oval cut just because of their shape alone.
In terms of price, round cuts are generally more expensive; still, you could combat this by selecting a diamond with a lower color grade since round cuts don’t show color imperfections as much. And if finding a budget-friendly gem isn’t a huge concern for you, you won’t need to give it a second thought.
Let’s break the costs of oval vs. round cut diamonds down a bit further.
Prices of Oval vs. Round Cut Diamonds
Diamonds are usually priced by the four C’s: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. So the better the cut, clarity, and color, the more expensive. As you choose diamonds with more carat weight, that’ll positively affect the price too, so you’ll end up paying more.
The supplier or manufacturer from where you get your diamond will also change the price.
But how does the shape influence the cost?
Oval cut diamonds make for stunning pieces of jewelry. When they’re compared to round cut diamonds, the oval cut takes the cake in terms of how budget-friendly they are.
Even when comparing two diamonds of the same carat weight and quality but different cuts, you’ll find that the majority of oval cut diamonds cost less — around 10% to 30% less — than their round cut counterparts.
Because of their unique shape, less of the rough diamond is wasted with oval cut diamonds, making them not only a more budget-friendly choice but also a more sustainable choice.
For example, a very good oval cut, one-carat diamond with a high level of clarity might sell for around $7,000, while a round cut diamond of the exact same quality could cost around $8,000.
On the other hand, round-cut diamonds are usually going to cost you more when compared to oval cuts. This can be traced back to two primary reasons: demand and rough diamond waste.
Round cuts have simply existed longer than oval cuts, and as such, they’re more well-known and popular. There are tons of options when it comes to round cuts, and that also increases the demand for them.
In terms of sustainability, more of the rough diamond is wasted when cutting a round diamond instead of an oval cut diamond. In general, diamond cutters will waste up to 40% of the rough gem. Not surprisingly, this will also increase the cost since they’re more expensive to produce, making round diamonds the more expensive option of the two.
But this isn’t a hard and fast rule, thanks to the four C’s grading system. After all, a poorly cut round diamond can sell for much less than a higher-grade oval diamond.
Which Is the Right Choice?
Although both oval and round cut diamonds are excellent shapes, the right choice for you will depend on factors like your budget, your personal taste in style, what might be more trendy at the time you’re looking to buy, and even the number of options you’d like to evaluate.
In terms of style and taste, if you value tradition and are looking for a classic shape that never seems to get old, a round cut diamond is probably the one for you. However, if you’re looking for a more modern but still elegant and sophisticated shape, an oval cut could be your perfect fit.
If you have a larger budget and aren’t bothered by the amount of rough stone wasted, a round cut is likely the better cut for you. Customers looking to save a bit of money while also making a more eco-friendly choice should look at the oval cut.
Brilliance, fire, and scintillation are very important factors to consider for many shoppers. After all, nobody wants a diamond that doesn’t sparkle as it should. For maximum brilliance, the round cut diamond is going to be the showstopper. For a less brilliant but still dazzling look, an oval cut is for you.
How versatile a cut is should also impact your decision. If you’re looking for a diamond that’ll look great in many settings, round cut diamonds are going to give you more options to consider. Oval cut diamonds are wonderful but tend to have fewer options for customers to explore.
Round cut and oval cut diamonds are two of the most popular choices on the diamond market today.
When considering affordability, sustainability, trendiness, and other style factors, the oval cut diamond will certainly meet your expectations. However, if you’re in search of a classic, traditional shape with the most dazzling brilliance and the most options, round cut diamonds are for you.
Ultimately, it’ll be your decision whether to go with an oval or a round cut for your specific needs. Either way, it’s clear both the oval and round cut diamonds make for phenomenal jewelry.