Oval is one of the most brilliant and sparkly diamond cuts available on the market. Its elongated shape provides a slimming effect for fingers and gives the illusion of higher carat weight. Being a versatile cut oval looks good in any design. However, there are still some factors to consider when choosing the best settings for oval diamonds.
History of Oval Cut Diamonds
Oval cut diamonds have always been a popular choice among jewellery lovers around the world. They have a long history, undergoing many changes since their early years.
The earliest oval diamonds date back to the 1300s; however, they have never been described as “oval” in literature until the 1800s.
The modern brilliant oval cut has 57 or 58 facets and was created by a Russian-born diamond cutter Lazare Kaplan in 1957. Before inventing the modern oval cut, Kaplan was mastering his skills in cleaving, a process in which cracked or heavily included diamonds are cut into smaller, less included stones. In other words, he was working with diamonds that other cutters considered “worthless” turning them into gorgeous stones. However, his talent was not fully recognized until he designed the modern oval cut.
The elongated shape of oval diamonds gives them the illusion of higher carat weight. An average 1-carat oval diamond has a 10% larger surface area than a round diamond of the same carat weight. Another benefit of this shape is the slimming effect provided for the fingers of the wearer. Moreover, oval diamonds tend to be more affordable than round brilliant diamonds because cutters cut away less of the original rough than they would when cutting a round diamond.
Choosing Prong Setting for Oval Diamonds
The prong is one of the best settings for oval diamonds. Being the most common and classic setting type, it leaves most of the stone visible and allows more light to enter the diamond, increasing its brilliance and sparkle.
Most prong settings feature either four or six prongs. The former allows us to see more of the stone due to a minimum presence of metal, while the latter makes the diamond look a bit smaller in comparison, but it is more secure.
The downside of the prong setting is that it leaves a significant portion of the diamond’s surface, including the girdle area, exposed to accidental hits and damages.
Prongs can also band and snag clothes and hair, especially if the diamond is high-set. It is also worth mentioning that prongs may wear down with time, and when they are worn, they can easily bend or even break putting you at risk of losing your diamond. That is why it is recommended having the prongs inspected by a professional at least twice a year.
Choosing Bezel Setting for Oval Diamonds
The bezel setting is the second most popular ring setting type for oval diamonds. It encircles the diamond with a thin metal frame which holds the stone tightly in place, making it the best solution for those looking for protection from accidental hits and chances to lose the stone.
Apart from the main advantage of the bezel setting, it does not band and snag clothes or hair and offers a modern and sleek look which is perfect for minimalist designs.
A bezel setting can be full or half. A full bezel surrounds the diamond, while half bezel leaves the sides open. The latter may be a good option if you are not so concerned about safety but want something more secure than the prong setting.
The downside of the bezel setting is that it covers a significant portion of the diamond and makes it look a bit smaller than the actual size of the stone. Moreover, depending on the structure, the bezel setting tends to keep more of the diamond hidden in the metal, which results in less light entering the stone and reducing the stone’s brilliance.