|The Very Highest Quality Diamond Information...|
The most usual reason for a diamond cutter to fashion a fancy shape rather than a circular one, is to retain the maximum weight. If the cutter owns a rough stone which will retain much more weight as an oval shape than as a round, only then he is likely to choose the oval shape. We have already stated that oval shapes are not as brilliant as round diamonds of the same quality. We would advise all our viewers to read our round brilliant cut page first, and perhaps some of our other pages about cut and proportion. Even the best proportioned oval shape will not be quite as sparkly as the best round brilliant. Logically and mathematically, a non-round diamond cannot be perfectly proportioned. Badly proportioned ovals will look worse than a correspondingly badly proportioned round stone.
Bow Tie Effect
Oval, in common with pear shaped and marquise shaped, diamonds often suffer from the "bow-tie" effect. Although diamond cutters try hard to avoid or minimise this effect, it is almost impossible to avoid completely. It manifests itself as a dark area, or two areas, across the middle of the width of the diamond which looks just like a black or darkly coloured bow tie, hence the name. Fortunately, this tends not to be as great a problem with ovals as with pears and marquises.
Needless to say, when acquiring a oval shape diamond, if you have a choice, try to find one without too much of a bow tie.
The price per carat of fancy shaped diamonds is almost always less than the price for similar quality round brilliant cuts, although some jewellers will try to charge more if they can get away with it! In fairness, though we should add that because of the greater variability of oval shapes compared with rounds, it is more difficult to sort and source matching pairs, sets or "layouts" of oval shapes. This sorting and sorting is more labour intensive, and does add to the cost of the diamonds. It still remains true that larger, better quality individual oval shaped diamonds should normally cost about 10 to 20% below the cost of equivalent quality round brilliants.
If your favourite shape of diamond is a oval shape, please don't allow our comments to deter you from your dream diamond, we are simply trying to make you aware of the differences. Also the oval shaped outline can look better than a circular one as a centre stone of a three stone diamond ring. Another good use for oval shapes is as shoulder stones for a major centre stone, or in a cluster around a larger diamond.
What No Vanilla?
When we came to create this page, our best two shape diamond photograph was of an intensely coloured, as you can see. We will try to add a white (colourless) oval shape diamond image when we get time.
You cannot help but notice that our photographs are of fancy blue diamond. Because the primary attraction is its attractive blue colour, rather than its brilliance, the fact that it is emerald cut may have enhanced rather than detracted from its beauty. Similar considerations would apply to most fancy coloured diamonds.
More About Cut & Shape of Diamonds
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