Buying Guide for Loose Oval Diamonds

Buying Guide for Loose Oval Diamonds

If you want a diamond with absolute stunning brilliance for a modest price, then look no further than loose oval diamonds.

Developed in the 1960’s by Lazare Kaplan, oval diamonds are a modified brilliant-cut with key characteristics. They make fingers appear more slender and magnify a diamond’s size. Today, oval diamonds are quite rare, but despite their rarity, they are less in demand than other shapes like round or princess cut diamonds. This makes the unique stone quite affordable.

Length and width ratio, cut, and color grading of an oval diamond are all essential aspects to consider. The following is a buying guide for loose oval diamonds that you can use to make the purchase of a lifetime considerably easier.

Loose Oval Diamond’s Cut Grade

Cut is an essential factor when searching for that perfect diamond, especially when it comes to loose oval diamonds. And examining a diamond’s cut can be challenging.

When looking oval diamonds, the length and width ratio is important in defining the actual appearance of the oval shape, as well as the overall cut of the diamond. A ratio between 1.30-1.50 provides the classic oval cut range. However, ratios more than 1.64 or less than 1.25 will start to effect the brilliance and fire, as well as the shape.

The cut grades associated with LW ratios for loose oval diamonds are...

  • Excellent: 1.30 to 1.50
  • Very Good: 1.28 to 1.34, 1.51 to 1.56
  • Good: 1.25 to 1.28, 1.57 to 1.64
Loose Oval Diamond’s Cut Grade

Oval Diamond: The Bow-Tie Effect

The more exaggerated the ratio is in either direction, the more susceptible the diamond is to “bow-tie” effect or the loss of sparkle in the middle of the stone. “Seen with the naked eye, this is a dark area which looks like two triangular pieces joined in the center of the stone,” according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). “When the diamond is viewed face-up, you want the ‘bow-tie’ to be minimized as much as possible.”

All oval cut diamonds have some degree of “bow-tie,” but you want to minimize this when buying. The key is to pick one with as little “bow-tie” effect as possible.

Oval Diamond: The Bow-Tie Effect

Oval Diamond: Cut Integrity

The ratio is not the only important factor to consider when examining cut. Here is a summary of other loose oval diamonds cut guidelines to follow.

Excellent Cut Oval

  • Table: 54 to 62 percent
  • Depth: 58 to 63 percent
  • Girdle: Thin to slightly thick
  • Culet: None
Excellent Cut Oval

Very Good Cut Oval

  • Table: 52 percent, 63 to 65 percent
  • Depth: 55 to 57.9 percent, 62.1 to 65 percent
  • Girdle: Very thin to Thick
  • Culet: Very small to None
Very Good Cut Oval

Good Cut Oval

  • Table: 51 percent, 66 to 68 percent
  • Depth: 52 to 54.9 percent, 65.1 to 71 percent
  • Girdle: Very thin to Very Thick thick
  • Culet: Small
Good Cut Oval

Color in Loose Oval Diamonds

Although the color of your loose oval diamond relies heavily on personal preference, make no mistake, the color of a diamond is important. There are a few aspects to keep in mind when making your purchase.

“The diamond color evaluation of most gem-quality diamonds is based on the absence of color,” explains the GIA. “A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water, and consequently, a higher value.”

You may, however, prefer a warmer color grade in the I-K range for your oval cut diamond to the more expensive colorless grades in the D-H range. Your preference and budget will often assist you in making a color choice. Use the following color guide to help you compare an oval diamond’s grade and price.

Top Quality Color

  • < 0.50 ct.: D to G color grade
  • 0.51 ct. to 1ct.: D to F color grade
  • 1 ct. to 2ct.: D to F color grade
  • > 2 ct.: D to F color grade
Top Quality Color

Best Value Color

  • < 0.50 ct.: H to K color grade
  • 0.51 ct. to 1 ct.: G to J color grade
  • 1 ct. to 2 ct.: G to I color grade
  • > 2 ct.: G to H color grade
Best Value Color

Noticeable Color

  • < 0.50 ct.: K and lower color grade
  • 0.51 ct. to 1 ct.: J and lower color grade
  • 1 ct. to 2 ct.: J and lower color grade
  • > 2 ct.: I and lower color grade  
Noticeable Color

Clarity & Oval Diamonds

Like their round cousins, oval diamonds hide inclusions very well. For stones under 2 carats, an SI1 grade will get you an eye clean stone for the best value. Over 2 carat, it’s best to stick to a VS1 or VS2 clarity rating for an eye clean diamond.

Get the most out of your loose oval diamond purchase by using this guide to help you make the perfect choice for your preference.

Loose oval diamonds enhance size regardless of carat weight and make any would-be wearer's finger appear more slender. These diamonds serve up rarity, showing your adoration in a unique way.

Clarity & Oval Diamonds
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