Round vs. Oval Diamond Engagement Rings: Comparison and Key Considerations

Round vs. Oval Diamond Engagement Rings: Comparison and Key Considerations

Feb 8th 2022

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re thinking about popping the question to the gem of your life.

It’s a memory that you’ll both hold dear for the rest of your lives, and the engagement ring with which you propose should reflect the gravity of that indescribable moment. It represents a promise of fidelity, love, and perseverance.

But with so many styles of engagement rings out there, it can be hard to make a choice, especially since you can only ultimately choose one. Even when you narrow it down to a specific stone like diamond, there are still so many options out there with respect to color, cut, size, and more.

Two of the most popular styles are round and oval diamond engagement rings, and both offer a certain sense of timeless appeal.

In this guide, we’ll break down some of the differences so you can be confident when you make your decision.

What Is the Difference Between Round and Oval Diamond Engagement Rings?
Both round and oval cut diamond engagement rings have been around and popular for a long time, and the main feature that distinguishes them is their shape.

A round cut diamond is just that - round. They typically have either 57 or 58 facets. The bottom of the diamond will either have a small flat face known as a culet, or the facets will meet at a perfect point. There are two main types of round cut diamonds, being modern brilliant-cut and Old-European cut round diamonds. The former type has a medium to large culet and reflects light beautifully; Old-European cut diamonds are typically larger and are sometimes used with colored diamonds.

Modern oval cut diamonds are considered brilliant-cut diamonds and are an elongated variation on the round cut. Like the round cut, they have either 57 or 58 faces, but unlike the round cut, oval cut diamonds can give the illusion of greater size because they are longer.

Diamond Sparkle: Brilliancy and Imperfections of Both Round and Oval Diamonds
One of the most important aspects of a diamond to consider is its sparkle. The nature of the facets, the shape, dimensions, and clarity of a stone will all affect its interaction with light and the “fire” it produces.

The three things you want to look at with respect to overall sparkle are fire, brilliancy, and scintillation.

Fire refers to a diamond’s ability to refract light, breaking it up into its constituent colors. Fire often appears as bright flashes of different colors in a diamond.

Brilliance refers to the amount of light that a diamond can capture and then redirect to the eye. A perfectly cut diamond, either round or oval, will return the maximum amount of light to the observer, making it look brighter.

Scintillation refers to how a diamond appears to “twinkle” or “flash.” Diamonds described as having “high” scintillation will appear to glitter or move as they play with the light.

When it comes to sparkle and brilliance, round-cut diamonds are considered to be the superior choice. Because of their shape and the orientation of their facets, they produce unrivaled sparkle and brilliancy.


That said, oval cut diamonds (which are another type of brilliant cut) also produce excellent fire, brilliance, and scintillation.

It’s also important to note that shape and cut are not the only things that affect sparkle. Color, clarity, and size can also affect this, so an oval diamond with better clarity and whiter color might actually produce brighter sparkle than some round-cut diamonds.

In addition, round diamonds are better at hiding imperfections than oval cut diamonds, which means an oval cut diamond with a lower clarity or color rating may not be able to hide them as well.

Rarity, Versatility, and Setting
Round diamonds are far more popular than oval diamonds, in part simply because more of them are produced. That said, oval diamond engagement rings have been growing in popularity. Two of the main reasons for their popularity are tied to the fact that they are considered rarer and that they appear larger than round cut diamonds.

Because both round and oval cut diamonds have rounded corners, they are harder to chip or damage, and they are also very versatile with respect to setting. Both of them look amazing with either a halo, prong, or solitaire setting, for example.

Is One More Expensive than the Other?
All of the Four C’s, when taken together, are the primary determinants of a diamond’s cost. Carat weight and clarity, for example, will ultimately determine a diamond’s value more than shape. However, when all else is equal, round cut diamonds are typically more expensive than oval cut diamonds.

With that said, there are some important things to consider with respect to the lower price point of oval diamond engagement rings.

One is that oval cut diamonds appear larger than round diamonds, meaning that you can potentially get a diamond that appears larger at a lower price point. Oval-cut diamonds tend to arrest the attention because they are rarer, as well.

In addition, oval cut diamonds can produce something known as the “bow-tie effect,” which is a darker region at the center of the stone where light isn’t reflected as effectively. Some buyers consider this a defect, others appreciate this unique attribute of the stone and consider it an advantage.

Are Oval Cut Engagement Rings a Good Choice?
While some consider round-cut diamonds to be the ultimate, premium diamond, there are some advantages of oval diamond rings. Round cut rings are great if budget is not a concern or you want to see a lot of styles (since there are so many round cut diamond rings available), but oval shapes have their own unique draws.

Of course, the first advantage is cost, since oval engagement rings are typically more affordable. That said, if you’re looking to get a diamond that looks bigger for the same price, oval may be the way to go.

In addition, oval cut rings still offer excellent brilliance and a classic look that’s a little bit more novel. Since they’re rarer, they provide a bit of a twist on a classic design. If you want your engagement ring to stand out in a crowd without entirely diverging from a classic appeal, oval diamond engagement rings are an excellent choice.

Come Visit Us for the Full Korman Experience
Are you in the market for an oval diamond engagement ring near Austin, Texas? Come visit us in our shop to get the full experience.

Our experienced stylists will help you choose the engagement ring that’s perfect for you and for the special lady in your life. Give us a call at 1-512-451-9292 to learn more or come by our shop on Burnet Road in Austin today!

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