By Dirk Rendel
The Oval diamond is always a great statement, especially when a brilliant cut allows it to shine in all its splendor. If your gift recipient has long, thin fingers, the oval cut will look even more glorious. While it isn’t as popular as its cousin, the round brilliant, it’s definitely an alternative.
The thing you’ll want to decide, if you’re going with the oval, is the proportion of its shape. Oval diamonds can sometimes be thinner and longer, but they can also be very short and stout. Some folks like the shorter, fatter ovals while others prefer the long types, so it may help to get an idea of the recipient’s preference. Either way, you can play it safe and get a traditionally beautiful oval if you stay in a ratio between 1.4 and 1.5
One thing to be careful of, however, is any dark spots that may be in the center of your oval diamond. This is a somewhat common problem known as the “bow tie effect” and it happens because of the oval’s inherent shape capturing light and holding it hostage. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to see the bow tie if it’s there, just so long as you make sure to look at the stone in different lights and angles.
As for a setting, you’re basically left with prongs as your only option, due again to the oval’s difficult shape. But don’t worry, this is actually a good thing. Nothing makes the oval pop more than the six prongs that seem to delicately suspend it in midair for all the world to see and drool over.
The Marquise Cut
This cut has plenty of history behind it. Louis XIV, the father of luxury, commissioned this cut as a celebration of the late 17th century Marquise de Pompadour. The marquise cut is essentially an elongated oval but with the ends considerably pointier and meant to celebrate the smile of the eponymous Marquise. We never really got a glimpse of her, but if there was one thing Louis XIV knew, it was diamonds, so we’ll take his word for it.
The great thing about this cut is that it is versatile; far more versatile than you’d think, given its somewhat jarring shape. Typically a larger carat stone will serve as the centerpiece and other, smaller diamonds are often used to flank it and make it seem even more magnificent. While the marquise isn’t as popular as it was in its heyday, you’ll still see this beautiful cut make an appearance every now and then.