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An Overview of Oval Engagement Rings

By Edited Apr 14, 2014 1 0

When you want a diamond ring to present as a token of your love and commitment, suddenly you might find yourself faced with the task of entering a completely unfamiliar world.  Jewelry terms can feel overwhelming, but a little bit of research can go a long way. 

If your girlfriend has shown an interest in oval shaped jewelry, if she has slender fingers, or if she loves diamonds that show off maximum sparkle, then an oval shaped engagement ring might be a good choice.  One of the less common but increasingly popular shapes, oval engagement rings are having their moment but are also a style that is as timeless as your love. 

Carleen's CZ Oval Engagement Ring - 1.3 TCW Sterling Silver Size 7
Oval engagement rings are, at their root, a modification of the round brilliant cut.  This is part of the reason that the oval cut diamond is one of the best cuts for a high quality diamond to show off its luster. 

The oval cut has been around for quite a while, but the cutting techniques were perfected in the 1960s by Lazare Kaplan and since then has remained one of the most recognizable diamond shapes. 

Something that is appealing about the oval cut is that it is reminiscent of the most common diamond shape without being too common.  An oval ring stands out in its unique look but still maintains a classic style about it. 

An oval engagement ring is not to everyone’s taste, and women can have strong opinions on which shapes they would and would not like.  Just because she has oval rings, doesn’t mean she would want an oval engagement ring, but it is a good sign that she may be partial to that shape.  Ask around with friends and family if she has mentioned her feelings about an oval engagement ring, or if you are discussing it openly, find out from her directly.  Once you have the go-ahead, there are a few points to keep in mind when picking the diamond and the setting for your oval engagement ring. 

Carleen's CZ Oval Engagement Ring - 1.3 TCW Gold Plated Size 9
Oval engagement rings can come in a variety of lengths and widths.  More narrow or wider oval diamonds are available and it completely depends on your taste.  Because of the shape of an oval diamond, this cut is subject to something called “the bow tie effect”.  This is an occurrence when a shadow in the shape of a bow tie can be discerned at the widest part of the diamond. 

If you can faintly see this effect when tilting the diamond at all angles, that’s all right.  The bow tie effect is accepted in its mildest incarnations as an inescapable reality of the physics of light.  If, however, you can see a dark bow tie without moving the diamond at all, then that is not considered desirable.  Do not let a jeweler convince you that a dark and consistently visible bow tie effect is the norm. 

Bling Jewelry Kate Middleton Diana Ring Oval Blue Sapphire Color CZ Engagement Ring Silver Plated 5ct with Crystal Gift Box
This is also something to consider when buying a diamond online as you may not be able to tell whether or not the bow tie effect is an issue.  Be sure to buy online from reputable jewelers and particularly those with a good return policy.  Online shops like Blue Nile or Shane Co  are world renowned for their high standards of quality in both their products and their customer service.  This is certainly not to say that you should avoid buying online from independent artists or from Etsy shops for example, just do some research, read reviews and testimonials, and check on their policy in case you should find a problem. 

When a star as big as Blake Lively is seen rocking an oval engagement ring, you know that the style is going to rise in popularity.  There are more and more oval engagement ring options out there for those who want one. 

An oval diamond requires a six prong setting and is stunning in a solitaire, or Tiffany, setting.  This simple setting allows the diamond to speak for itself.  You can add some flair by using rose gold, like Blake Lively’s ring.  If a single stone ring is not for you, then there are many other options. 

1.81ct Oval Cut Diamond Engagement Anniversary Ring
Harry Winston has a beautiful oval engagement ring with a micropave halo and a platinum band set with micropave diamonds.  This contrast of the thick oval diamond with the thin band, seen in many designs, is extremely flattering to both the diamond and the woman who wears it. 

Oval diamonds are said to be flattering to thin, slender hands, as they accentuate the delicate shape of the finger.  If the principle of a simple engagement ring is not your thing, and you want something truly elaborate, then you don’t want to miss looking at the Neil Lane offerings at Kay Jewelers. 

With a romantic band that is decked in sparkling diamonds bordered by a thin millgrain detail leading towards a diamond halo surrounding the 1.5 carat oval diamond, this ring is dramatic and a great option for those who want to go big.  Of course, there are ways to feature more than just the main oval diamond without quite so much going on that are also flattering. 

A three stone setting, like one offered by Tiffany & Co. is a symbol of your past, present, and future.  This setting is well suited to an oval diamond and you can also find it using gemstone accents which bring some color and diversity to the ring.  For a stunning oval engagement ring that is truly one of a kind, take a cue from the always sophisticated Princess Diana, who wore an oval sapphire that was recently placed on Kate Middleton’s finger.

Because of the wide and flat shape of the oval, when picking an oval diamond it’s best to get the highest color and clarity grading that you can afford.  The oval shape reflects more light than other cuts and flaws will be more noticeable. Otherwise, oval engagement rings are available in a range of sizes, shapes, styles, and colors to flatter any woman’s hand.

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