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round and oval engagement rings

You’ve been narrowing down engagement ring options and it’s time to commit to the shape of the center stone. Straight lines were eliminated straight away. But even after you avoided those sharp corners, that still left a dazzling array of pleasing curves on the table. While you understand the appeal of pear-shaped rings and the charms of the cushion cut rings, you keep circling back to the round and oval ring selections. And that’s where you’ve been stuck. 

If you are looking for a tiebreaker to nudge you one way or another in the battle of oval vs. round brilliant cut, maybe Modern Gents can help. Whether you are weighing in on the ring that is going to be sitting on your own finger or shopping for your future fiancé, the following are some factors to consider when it comes to settling on the right gemstone or diamond shape.

Discover the Different Types of Engagement Rings

You Can’t Go Wrong with Either

If the choice is causing you anxiety, take comfort in knowing that you will end up with a lovely stone no matter what direction you take. For the most part, this decision comes down to personal preference, and neither option is “better” than the other. Both round engagement rings and oval cut engagement rings are classics that remain trendy, and they are popular choices for good reason. On account of their enduring popularity, we have invested in them as a society, which translates to technical mastery for ring makers and abundant information for ring buyers. 

Even though jewelers have been crafting round and oval cut diamonds for hundreds of years, both cuts received a modern upgrade in the twentieth century. Marcel Tolkowsky reimagined round diamonds in 1919, while Lazare Kaplan’s 1957 innovations put oval shaped gems in their current orbit. So, even if you feel like you don’t know enough to make an educated decision, you will still likely walk away with a well-crafted piece of jewelry. 

However, we’re confident we can help you make that educated decision! Here’s one easy way to stack them up against each other. Both cuts can do a lot with a little, but, as a general principle, round stones maximize sparkle and ovals maximize size.  

‘The One and Only’ engagement ring in yellow gold

‘The One and Only’ engagement ring in yellow gold

Round Stones Get the Most Out of Their Sparkle

If you are wondering why round gems have been far and away the most popular shape for so long, just reflect on their shiny disposition that sets them apart from even the scintillating company they keep. Simply put, there is no better shape than a round stone in terms of sparkle. The perfect symmetry of a round stone perfectly distributes the light. 

That perfect distribution is so valuable that jewelers will often sacrifice extra material for the concentrated dazzle of a smaller, rounder stone. Not only does that brilliance catch the eye, it holds the gaze away from discolorations, surface blemishes and interior inclusions. So, maximizing sparkle means minimizing the flaws. For this reason, round gemstones are perfect for solitaire rings. Whether it’s a natural stone or lab-grown diamond alternative, a round stone will almost always have the sparkliest appearance when viewed with the naked eye. Very few things will ever outshine a round brilliant diamond! 

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‘The Elena’ engagement ring in rose gold

‘The Elena’ engagement ring in rose gold

Oval Stones Get the Most Out of Their Size

A round gem might outshine an oval stone, but the oval stone will appear about 10 percent larger than its actual carat size. For this reason, many people choose oval shaped diamonds over their round counterparts when shopping for engagement rings. It’s a great way to get more bang for your buck!

What causes this optical illusion? The oval is simply spread out over a larger surface area. The elongation of an oval doesn’t just make the stone look bigger. Oval engagement rings also pull off the magic trick of complementing long, slender fingers while slimming shorter, thicker ones. So if size (whether it applies to finger or stone) is your main concern, the length to width ratio of an oval cut might be the way to go. 

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Other Factors to Consider

Of course, the shape of the stone isn’t the only way to play up its sparkle or size, so that doesn’t have to be the only variable determining your decision. If you were drawn to round and oval stones because you were worried about catching the ring on something, remember that the oval ring is usually shallower, but takes up more real estate on the finger. And the elongated shape may be more prone to getting caught on things. As long as you purchase a quality piece of jewelry with sturdy prongs, though, durability shouldn’t be too much of a worry with everyday wear. 

Or maybe you have questions about the traditional meaning of each respective shape? Like the circular ring band, the round cut is a classic way to symbolize the never-ending nature of love. Oval cuts are sometimes favored by those who want a little more variation on that classic symbol. 

There are also other factors that impact how good a stone looks regardless of its shape, including color grade and cut grade. Color grade mostly applies to natural diamonds, with higher grade stones commanding the highest price and offering the most beauty. Cut grade refers to the quality of the cut which, of course, impacts a stone’s overall appearance. It could affect how it looks in the ring setting, too. Whether you prefer a round shape or oval, it’s important to keep these quality considerations in mind to ensure that you’re buying a piece of jewelry that will look its best throughout a lifetime of wear.

Another Option: The Marquise

If you’re still on the fence between oval and round gems, consider an alternative: the marquise. This cut is elongated like an oval but features points on each end rather than being rounded. The fancy shape adds visual appeal and offers all the versatility of an oval diamond engagement ring with a unique twist that many brides-to-be prefer over traditional round and oval shaped stones. 

Closing Thoughts

Deciding between an oval center stone and a round one doesn’t have to be difficult. Consider your (or your bride-to-be’s) personal preferences and the information above to make an informed decision. There really is no “wrong” option! 

If the choice still remains difficult for you, the good news is that Modern Gents offers a hassle-free return and exchange policy. So, you can still loop back around again, even after you make a purchase.

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