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August 17, 2022

Oval vs Round Diamond: Which Should You Choose?

oval cut diamond vs round cut diamond

Round-cut diamonds and oval-cut diamonds are both extremely popular choices for engagement rings and fine jewelry. But which should you choose? We’re here to tell you that you can’t go wrong with either choice but keep reading for a full breakdown.  


If price is your main concern while shopping for a diamond, you should definitely choose an oval-cut diamond over a round-cut diamond. Round-cut diamonds are the most expensive diamond shape due to their immense popularity – they are the #1 all-time best-selling shape. During the cutting process, round-cut diamonds produce the most diamond waste, which also contributes to their higher prices.  

That being said, you can save money on your round-cut diamond by opting for a lab-grown diamond instead.  


If size matters, choose an oval-cut diamond. Oval-cut diamonds have a large surface area, so they will appear larger than a round-cut diamond of the same carat weight. Additionally, oval-cut engagement rings will have a flattering, lengthening effect on your hand due to their elongated shape. Round-cut diamonds still look great on any finger, but they don’t create the illusion of longer, slenderer fingers the way that oval-cut diamonds do. 


Round-cut diamonds are the most sparkly shape, so if lots of sparkle is important to you, you should choose a round-cut diamond instead of an oval-cut. Oval-cut diamonds are still very sparkly – they're just not as sparkly as the round-cut.  

It’s important to note that oval-cut diamonds do not receive a cut grade from most grading laboratories, including the GIA. Only round-cut diamonds will receive a cut grade. The quality of a diamond’s cut will determine how sparkly it is. Choosing a well-cut oval-cut diamond can require a little extra work – you'll need to look at the stone’s polish and symmetry grades (always choose Excellent!) while also considering its depth percentage and table percentage, which will influence how sparkly it will be. At Ritani, we assign cut grades to oval-cut diamonds for you based on these factors to make shopping less stressful for you. 

Shape Options  

With oval-cut diamonds, you get more options when it comes to the silhouette and personality of the stone. This is both a pro and a con because while you have greater control over the appearance of the stone, it can also make shopping for an oval-cut diamond more stressful.  

Oval-cut diamonds have different length-to-width ratios. 

oval diamond length to width ratios

You can choose between a wider oval-cut diamond or a narrower oval-cut diamond. This allows you to have greater variety and more control over what your engagement ring will look like. Round-cut diamonds, on the other hand, will all pretty much look the same since they have a length-to-width ratio of 1.0 or 1.01.  


Round-cut diamonds are much better at hiding inclusions than oval-cut diamonds since they are very brilliant and sparkly. Oval-cut diamonds will still hide plenty of inclusions, just not as well as the round-cut. 

Another issue with oval-cut diamonds that round-cut diamonds don’t present is the bow-tie effect. The bow-tie effect is exactly what it sounds like – a dark bow-tie shape appears at the center of the diamond where light is not being reflected. 

oval cut diamond with small bow tie

This effect can be seen in other elongated diamond shapes, like the pear-cut diamond or the marquise-cut diamond.  

The bowtie is considered undesirable because it affects the sparkle and beauty of the diamond. However, many oval-cut diamonds will still exhibit a faint bowtie. The best way to avoid diamonds with bowties is to choose one with excellent symmetry (uneven facets can enhance the bowtie effect) and to always view HD imagery and videos of your diamond before purchasing it. A stone’s grading report will not list if it has a bowtie or not.  


Since round-cut diamonds are extremely brilliant and sparkly, they will hide hints of yellow or brown more easily than an oval-cut diamond. Color isn’t necessarily a bad thing in a diamond (some prefer a little color!), but if you choose an oval-cut diamond and prefer an icy-white diamond, you’ll need to be a little more mindful of it.  


Both the oval-cut and round-cut are extremely timeless. While many jump to the conclusion that round-cut diamonds are more timeless, oval diamonds have been around since the 14th century.  


Round-cut diamonds and oval-cut diamonds look beautiful in a variety of ring settings. However, when it comes to pendants or earrings, most prefer the look of a round-cut diamond pendant or a pair of round-cut diamond earrings, which tend to sit more nicely in the natural curve of your earlobe.  

The Bottom Line 

When it comes to choosing between an oval or round diamond, it’s really up to you and your personal preferences. There is no right or wrong shape to choose. If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, go with an oval-cut diamond. If you prefer something more traditional, go with a round-cut diamond.  

When you’re ready, browse our inventory of over 100,000 round-cut and oval-cut diamonds.

Related Articles: 

How to Buy an Oval Engagement Ring

How to Buy a Round Engagement Ring

Design Your Dream Engagement Ring
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