Round diamonds have been the most popular diamond shape for quite a while. Round diamonds are loved for their classic look and incredible brilliance. However, among those searching for a traditional-looking diamond shape, there’s another beautiful option: the oval shaped diamond. So what’s the difference between round and oval diamonds? Which should you choose for your engagement ring? In this post, we’re breaking down round vs. oval diamonds to help you decide. Here are the top five considerations for round and oval diamond engagement rings.
1. Round vs. Oval: Shape and Style
First, let’s talk about the shapes of these two diamonds and how that affects their style. These shapes are just as they sound: round diamonds are round, while oval diamonds are oval. All round diamonds will be almost exactly the same shape, though they can differ in size, of course. But oval diamonds offer a bit more shape variety. Oval diamonds can range from wide and short to quite long and thin. So when you choose a round diamond, you’ll always get a perfectly round diamond. While when you choose an oval diamond, you have more options in terms of shape.
In terms of style, both round diamonds and oval diamonds have a timeless look. Round diamonds are very classic and traditional. While oval diamonds, on the other hand, are still classic but more unique. If you’re looking for a very traditional engagement ring, you may prefer a round diamond engagement ring. If you want something a bit more unexpected, yet still timeless, an oval diamond engagement ring might be best for you.
2. Round vs. Oval: Price
In the round vs. oval diamond price competition, oval shaped diamonds come out ahead. Round diamonds are easily the most expensive diamond shape. One reason for this is that the creation of a round diamond leads to more raw diamond waste. Another reason is that high quality round diamonds are in very high demand, which means jewelers can charge more for them.
All fancy shaped diamonds are less expensive than round diamonds with the same qualities. But how much less expensive are oval diamonds? A one carat oval diamond will often cost around $1,000 less than a round diamond with the same qualities.
3. Round vs. Oval: Size
Oval diamonds actually look larger than round diamonds of the same carat weight. This is because of how they are shaped and how their surface area is spread out. When compared to oval diamonds, round diamonds have more of their mass below their table (their top). Oval diamonds have a larger table surface area percentage than round diamonds, which makes them look larger per carat.
An oval cut diamond will look around 10% larger than a round diamond with the same carat weight. If size is important to you and you’re on a bit of a budget, you may want to consider going with an oval to maximize size. Oval diamonds are less expensive than round diamonds in general and, then, they also offer more table size per carat.
4. Considering Brilliance
Next up, we have brilliance, which is the white light reflected by a diamond. In the brilliance category, round diamonds have oval diamonds beat. Round diamonds are the most brilliant diamond shape. While the way they are cut leads to more diamond waste and a smaller table area, it also maximizes brilliance.
Though round diamonds are more brilliant than oval cut diamonds, this difference in brilliance isn’t extreme. Oval diamonds feature a modified version of the round diamond’s brilliant cut and are still an extremely brilliant shape. Oval diamonds are second in brilliance only to round diamonds.
The higher brilliance of round diamonds is a plus, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that round diamonds are more beautiful. Oval diamonds are still extremely brilliant and have a gorgeous shimmer. However, if you want the most brilliant diamond possible, you will want to go with a round diamond.
5. Considering the Bow Tie
When comparing round and oval cut diamonds, we can’t leave out the bow tie effect. The bow tie effect is something that is not found in round diamonds, but is found in oval cut diamonds.
The bow tie effect is a name for a certain shading of light that occurs in oval cut diamonds. Due to the way oval cut diamonds are shaped, they will always have a slightly shaded area around their center. This shaded area is shaped just like a bow tie, which is why this is called the bow tie effect. The bow tie effect isn’t unique to just oval cut diamonds. Some other fancy shaped diamonds, such as marquise and pear shaped diamonds, also have the bow tie effect. Round diamonds do not have the bow tie effect, however, due to their perfectly symmetrical shape.
The bow tie effect is not necessarily a bad thing. Bow ties often blend in perfectly in an engagement ring. Additionally, many people actually find a slight bow tie visually appealing. However, it is important to know that the bow tie effect exists and to consider whether or not it is something you personally like.
Both round and oval diamonds are lovely options for your engagement ring. Still haven’t decided between these two shapes? Or do you want to learn more about your other diamond shape options? Browse our Diamond Shape Guide to see how every shape compares.