Oval shaped diamonds are technically a modified brilliant cut, possessing fire and scintillation similar to that of a round diamond. The elongated shape of the oval creates an illusion of greater size. An average 1 carat oval diamond has a 10% larger surface area than an average 1 carat round.

Length-to-width (L/W) Ratio

A classic oval shape has a length to width ratio of 1.35‐1.50, but consumers also often enjoy a slightly thinner look‐ at a ratio of 1.60‐1.70.

The length to width (L/W) ratio is calculated by dividing a diamond's length (the longer measure) by its width (the shorter measure that runs perpendicular to length). For example, an Oval Cut diamond that is 5.00 mm in length and 3.3 mm in width will have a L/W ratio of 1.50 (5.00/3.33). For round diamonds, the L/W ratio is calculated by dividing the longest diameter by the shortest, thus giving an indication of how perfectly round the diamond is.

A perfectly round or square diamond will have a length to width ratio of 1.00 (since its length and width are equal), but many will be off slightly since they are often not perfectly cut. Any L/W ratio of 1.05 or less will appear perfectly round or square to the naked eye.

L/W ratio is more commonly used in fancy shapes. There is no "ideal" L/W ratio in a fancy shape diamond. What is important is what looks pleasing to you.

The Bow-Tie Effect

One feature of an oval stone that is hard to avoid is the bow‐tie effect, due to its varying pavillion angles. Occurring when light doesn’t bounce back in the middle of the diamond, all ovals possess some degree of bow‐tie, from minute to severe. This phenomenon also effects other “longer” cuts, including pear, heart, and marquise-shaped diamonds.

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