Oval Cut Lab Diamonds: The Ultimate Buying Guide

Learn all you need to know about oval cut lab diamonds before you buy. We'll teach you how to save and find the perfect oval lab-grown diamond in our complete buying guide.

Last Updated on September 18, 2023 by Rolf Hartmann

SALES ALERT! Save at our best-rated lab diamond jewelers:

Welcome to our in-depth guide to oval cut lab diamonds. If you’re searching for a gorgeous, ethically sourced, and eco-friendly diamond, then oval cut lab diamonds are an excellent option to consider.

The elongated oval diamond shape and brilliant shine offer a unique blend of sophistication and versatility. This guide will cover everything you need to know about oval-shaped lab diamonds, including their features, advantages, drawbacks, what to consider when purchasing one, and how to save on oval lab-grown diamonds.

An oval cut diamond engagement ring from Grown Brilliance
An oval cut diamond engagement ring from Grown Brilliance

Whether you’re a seasoned diamond enthusiast or a first-time buyer, this guide will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision and discover the perfect oval cut lab diamond that matches your preferences and budget.

3 of the best places to buy oval lab-grown diamonds

What is an Oval Cut Diamond?

Oval cut diamonds are more of a modern diamond shape whose popularity heightened in the 1960s when they first appeared on the market.

At the time, other fancy shapes like the princess cut, marquise diamonds, and emerald cuts had already been established. Instead, oval diamonds were designed to be a modified and unique variation of the round brilliant cut diamond created by Lazare Kaplan.

An oval diamond engagement ring is cut similarly to the traditional round cut diamond, with modified facets and an elongated shape for a more slender and elegant look.

Oval cut lab diamond diamgram showing the length-to-width ratio.

Pros and Cons of Oval Cut Lab Grown Diamonds

Like any other diamond shape, oval cut lab diamonds have pros and cons. You should weigh them according to your liking and your general lifestyle. 

Pros

  • Oval diamonds still keep the rounded shape but appear larger than round cut diamonds of the same carat weight.
  • The elongated shape of an oval cut can make your fingers look longer or more slender. 
  • Oval diamonds are one of the most sparkly diamond cuts due to their brilliant cut.

Cons

  • Finding a well-cut oval diamond is harder than other diamond shapes.
  • Despite their brilliant cutting style, oval diamonds can be more prone to reveal color tint than other diamond shapes. 

How to Pick Out the Best Oval Cut Lab Diamond

First-time diamond buyers come to the jewelry counter or go online jewelry shopping with a lot of assumptions about picking out their diamonds. Add in the pressures of salespeople or flashy websites. Picking out your dream engagement ring can turn into a nightmare pretty quickly. 

There’s a lot of misinformation among jewelers and customers, and diamonds are often wrongly perceived as scams or overpriced hunks of carbon. But that’s not how it is. 

Not all diamonds are the same. You can spend thousands of dollars on a beautiful diamond or thousands of dollars on a not-so-beautiful diamond. Diamonds aren’t all the same. 

To pick out the best lab-grown oval cut, you need to consider the 4Cs of lab diamond quality. It’s the industry standard for rating the four main pillars of diamond quality: 

These aren’t the only factors that affect price and quality, but they are the most significant. The most well-known diamond laboratory developed this system, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Within each of the 4Cs, there are additional charts and scales created by GIA. 

Oval cut lab diamond grading certificate example report.
Oval cut lab diamond grading certificate example report (from Brilliant Earth)

To help you find the perfect lab-grown oval diamond, we’ll guide you through all the important things to know when shopping for a lab-grown oval cut diamond and oval lab diamond jewelry. 

Best Cut Quality for Oval Lab Diamonds

The GIA developed a cut grade scale, but it only applies to round cut diamonds. Round diamonds have the advantage of exact proportions and symmetry, so a cut grade of Excellent or Ideal is the best cut grade. But not all Excellent or Ideal cut diamonds are the same either. 

Fancy shape diamonds (shapes besides a round brilliant) have “ideal proportions”, which are ranges that would constitute an Excellent or Ideal cut grade for a fancy shape if there was one. 

The parameters for proportions in fancy diamonds are a range, not exact. It’s up to you to decide what you like best while staying within the ideal parameters for an oval cut diamond. 

Ideal Proportions for Oval Cuts

Unlike round diamonds, the oval diamond cut has a range of proportions and measurements that would give it ideal or excellent quality. It isn’t exact. As long as you’re within the ideal ranges of a fancy shape, the rest is personal preference and shape appeal. 

The ideal proportions for oval cut diamonds are: 

  • Table Percentage: 53-63%
  • Length to Width Ratio: 1.35-1.5 (higher ratio is more elongated)
  • Depth Percentage: 60-70%
  • Crown Height: 10-15% of the total depth
  • Polish and Symmetry: Excellent (learn about lab diamond polish and symmetry)

What is the Bowtie in an Oval Diamond?

The biggest hurdle with buying an oval diamond is finding a well-cut one. Staying within the above proportions can reduce the risk of purchasing an oval diamond with cutting mistakes, such as extra facets or misalignment.

To avoid the risk of buying a low-quality oval lab-grown diamond, shop at a jeweler who helps you find the best diamonds at the lowest possible prices. If you buy at one of our best-rated places to buy oval lab diamonds, you can easily avoid low-quality oval lab diamonds – and save!

Oval diamonds are known for exhibiting a visual phenomenon referred to as the bow tie. They’re not the only diamond shape susceptible to it, but bow-tie tends to be the most obvious in ovals. 

The “bow tie effect” in an oval diamond is a dark shape resembling the outline of a bow tie. The prominence of the bow tie depends on different cutting factors. Even oval diamonds within ideal proportions can have a slight bow tie. 

The bow tie is just a visual effect of the diamond, but it can bother some customers. Most people are looking for their diamond to be bright all around, not have a dark shape across the center. Bow ties also range from completely void to slightly visible.

A lab-grown oval diamond with slightly visible bow tie effect (from Clean Origin)
A lab-grown oval diamond with a slightly visible bow tie effect (from Clean Origin)
A lab-grown oval diamond with a very visible bow tie effect (from James Allen)
A lab-grown oval diamond with a very visible bow tie effect (from James Allen)

It’s best to view oval diamonds in motion rather than just with pictures or under a jeweler’s loupe. Online 360 video is an excellent way to view how the light reflects in accordance with the bow tie.

All our recommended lab-grown jewelers have 360-degree videos of their lab diamonds. 

Do not that there are lab-grown oval diamonds that do not exhibit the bow tie effect. However, most retailers don’t have a way for you to sort through diamonds with bow ties via a filter. So finding bow tie-free oval cut lab diamonds may require sifting through many online 360-degree diamond images.

Saving tip: If you don’t mind the bow tie effect or perhaps find it charming and part of the intricate complexity of diamond brilliance, then you can save on oval cut lab diamonds that have the bow tie effect.

Best Color Grade for Oval Lab-Grown Diamonds

One of the more common complaints about oval cut lab diamonds is the way they reveal color tint. 

Oval diamonds are brilliant cut, known more for reflecting more white light and lessening the visibility of faint yellow tint. But the elongated shape and longer facets work against this. 

Of course, this is only a concern if you’re trying to choose lower color grades on the clarity chart. GIA has developed an official diamond color grading scale to show the presence of yellow or brown tint in a diamond. 

The official GIA diamond color grades are

  • Colorless: DEF
  • Near Colorless: GHIJ
  • Faint: KLM
  • Light Yellow: N-Z

Color grade is entirely visual, so selecting at either end won’t compromise the durability of your diamond as it would with cut quality (or, in some cases, low clarity grades). 

Those who prefer warmer diamonds (closer to the tinted side) are at an advantage because they are much less expensive. 

But if you are set on a colorless diamond (and there’s nothing wrong with that either), buying a lab-grown oval diamond is a great idea. 

Because of the controlled conditions in the lab, more lab diamond oval cuts are colorless than with mined ovals. In fact, you can buy a colorless lab-grown oval diamond for less than you would a near-colorless and possibly even a faint yellow mined diamond.

That’s because lab-grown diamonds are 60-80% less expensive than mined diamonds – but without the potentially negative environmental and societal impact.

Best Clarity Grade for Oval Diamonds

GIA also developed diamond clarity grades, though they aren’t the only gemological lab that awards clarity grades. The standardized clarity chart created by GIA assesses the natural inclusions and surface blemishes on your diamond. 

The clarity chart consists of the following grades: 

  • Flawless (F)
  • Internally Flawless (IF)
  • Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2) 
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2) 
  • Slightly Included (SI1, SI2)
  • Included (I1, I2, I3) 

You shouldn’t expect imperfections to affect durability in retail and fine jewelry diamonds. But in some cases, they can. These are often found in lower-clarity diamonds sold from private sellers at a more affordable price than at more popular retailers. 

Some surface blemishes can increase the risk of your diamond chipping or splitting if accidentally struck. But again, these blemishes shouldn’t be found in jewelry-quality lab diamonds. 

For the majority of diamonds, inclusions, and blemishes affect the diamond visually. Inclusions can come in different shapes, types, colors, and sizes, with random locations. 

An oval diamond with no dark inclusions that you can see with the naked eye is the best choice. Eye-clean oval cut lab diamonds are easier to find in SI Clarity and higher clarity grades. 

We recommend starting at VS2 unless you are willing to invest the time in searching for the occasional SI-graded oval cit lab diamonds that are eye-clean. But, if you want to save on oval lab diamonds, an eye-clean oval lab diamond will be less expensive and just as good as more expensive, higher-clarity lab diamonds.

However, we advise that you avoid I-clarity oval cut lab diamonds because their flaws tend to either be larger or contain many smaller ones throughout the entirety of the diamond. And these will be both noticeable and limit the diamond’s brilliance.

Buying lab-grown oval cuts puts you at another advantage, as most lab diamond retailers don’t offer any oval diamonds below SI clarity anyway. During the creation of lab-grown diamonds, they are not exposed to as many impurities as mined diamonds are. That is why the frequency and the types of inclusions are fewer. 

Best Carat Weight for Oval Cut Lab Diamonds

Oval cuts have the advantage of looking larger than other shapes of the same carat weight. Confused? Let us explain. 

A lot of people think the carat weight of their diamond determines the overall size of the diamond. While this is more or less true when comparing diamonds of the same shape, it’s not true when different diamond shapes are compared.

It’s true that a 1-carat, 1.5-carat, and 2-carat oval cut is going to increase in size as the carat weight gets higher. 

But when comparing shapes, you’ll find that, for example, a 2-carat oval diamond and a 2-carat cushion cut diamond will look much different in size due to their cutting. 

The rounded corners of a cushion-cut lab diamond make the top look smaller than the elongated shape of an oval cut. It’s not that the carat weight is shaved off, but it’s distributed to where you can see it from a faceup view. 

There’s no perfect carat weight for any diamond shape. There are certain diamond shapes you don’t want to be too low because they lose distinctive features the smaller they get, like with heart cut lab diamonds. The divet in the top becomes less noticeable, and it starts to look almost like a poorly-shaped pear cut lab diamond

But you don’t have to worry about that with oval cuts. Ovals are cut more shallow with their carat weight distributed in the crown. So you can easily find well-cut oval-shaped lab diamonds.

Keep in mind that increasing the carat weight of a diamond raises the price more than anything else. This is because of the rarity of larger diamonds. And because the bigger the diamond, the higher your other grades must be to still have a beautiful diamond.

Bigger is not always better when it comes to diamonds. You can have a very unappealing 3-carat oval cut diamond that costs more than a beautiful 1-carat oval diamond. Make sure not to settle on size unless you know you can afford the other quality factors too. 

But if you’re buying a lab-grown oval cut diamond in higher carat weight, you can get it at a much more affordable price than with diamonds that have been mined out of the earth

So, if you have your heart set on a higher-carat oval cut, you can get it at a much better price with an oval lab diamond than with a mined oval diamond of the same quality. See how much in our lab-grown diamond price analysis.

How Much Does an Oval Cut Lab Diamond Cost?

How much cheaper is a lab-created oval diamond than a mined one? 

Well, it varies. Assuming all diamond grades and diamond specifics are the same, you can expect a lab-grown oval diamond to be around 60-80% less expensive than mined oval cuts.

Oval lab-grown diamonds are cheaper than round brilliant and heart-shaped diamonds but more expensive than radiant or emerald cut lab diamonds.

Diamonds are expensive, regardless of how it was produced.

But, while a 1-carat mined diamond with good clarity and color typically will cost $3000-$5,000, or more, a lab-grown oval diamond is much less expensive. 

You can find 1-carat oval lab diamonds with decent color and clarity grades starting at $500

You might be suspicious of their savings if you don’t know a lot about lab-grown diamonds. Rest assured, that’s because lab-grown diamonds are much easier to produce than using diamond mining. Much of the labor is cut out, but so is the rarity. But who cares about rarety when you can actually afford a beautiful diamond?

Lab diamonds are real diamonds in every way and still follow all the same quality factors as diamonds mined from the earth. They’re cheaper to produce, so the industry can afford to sell them for less.

Next, let’s help you find the best and cheapest oval cut lab diamonds.

Where to Buy Oval Cut Lab Diamonds

Below, we have listed the best places to buy oval cut lab diamonds based on their high quality of diamonds and jewelry, wide diamond selection, affordable prices, and outstanding customer service. You can shop confidently at any of our below highly-rated lab-grown diamond jewelers.

Ritani review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ritani

Ritani tops our list of the best and cheapest places to buy oval cut lab diamonds because of their market-leading low prices and price transparency, the largest inventory of lab diamonds, customization options, and jewelry store partnership.

Ritani tops our list of the best and cheapest places to buy oval cut lab diamonds.
Brilliant Earth is the leading sustainable lab-grown diamond jeweler and one of the best places to buy oval cut lab diamonds.
Brilliant Earth review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Brilliant Earth

Brilliant Earth is the leading sustainable lab-grown diamond jeweler. Their deep commitment to sustainability, including being the only seller of sustainable graded lab diamonds, sets them apart. The prices are excellent, too, and they have an extensive inventory of oval cut lab diamonds.

James Allen is one of our best-rated places to buy oval cut lab diamonds overall.
James Allen review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

James Allen

James Allen is among our best-rated places to buy oval cut lab diamonds. The service is top-notch, prices are low, the selection is enormous, and the quality and craftsmanship are superb.

With Clarity review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

With Clarity

With Clarity is another of our favorite places to buy lab-grown diamond engagement rings because of their unique 3D ring replica home previews (that you can try for free). In addition, they have a large selection of stunning oval cut lab diamonds and excellent prices.

With Clarity is another of our favorite places to buy oval cut lab diamonds.
Clean Origin is another of our favorite places to buy oval cut lab diamonds.
Clean Origin review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Clean Origin

Clean Origin is another of our favorite places to buy lab-grown diamond jewelry, including oval cut lab diamonds. We recommend Clean Origin for its unbeatable prices, a large selection of lab-grown diamonds and jewelry, and excellent support (plus 100-day risk-free returns).

Final Thoughts on Oval Cut Lab Diamonds

Oval diamonds were created as an alternative to the traditional round cut diamond. Instead of a smaller face-up view, oval diamonds add length and size to their overall shape. 

While picking a well-cut oval without a prominent bow tie can be a bit of a mission, you can still find gorgeous oval cut lab diamonds to swoon over with just a little more observation.

When you choose lab-grown oval cut diamonds, you’re likelier to have better color grades, eye-clean, and well cut diamonds than you would if you bought mined diamonds of the same quality. And for a much better price!

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Rolf Hartmann
Rolf Hartmann

Rolf Hartmann has decades of experience in the jewelry industry. He knows everything you need to know to find the perfect diamond. He's an expert in lab-grown diamonds and has followed the exciting development of lab diamonds from industrial usage to the incredible gemstone quality that lab-grown diamonds are today. Rolf guides you to find the right diamond at the best possible price and expertly and transparently reviews all lab-grown diamond sellers.

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