The oval cut diamond is a rounded shape which typically comprised of 58 facets with a ratio between 1.33 and 1.66.
The oval cut optimizes carat weight, which means that this drawn out and symmetrical shape can make it appear larger than round cut stones of a similar carat weight. The oval cut is also an ideal way to elongate shorter fingers and it has recently become fashionable to use as the center stone for engagement rings.
Like the Pear, Marquise and Heart shapes, the oval cut can suffer from the “bow-tie effect”, which occurs when light passing through the diamond casts a shadow across the central facets of the stone. It can be reduced by altering the depth of the pavilion, and adjusting the angles of the table and facets to better diffuse light in the central area.
Oval shaped diamonds were first introduced over 200 years ago, although the modern oval cut was invented in the early 1960s by leading Russian cutter Lazare Kaplan. The popularity of the oval cut eventually earned him a place in the jewelers International Hall of Fame, however he also left his mark on the diamond industry with his unique ability to split a rough diamond into smaller stones with a single blow, in a process known as cleaving. Using this technique he became famous for his expertise in taking stones that were otherwise deemed unworthy and transforming them into beautifully cut stones.