If you were to ask any jeweller in South Africa what the most popular fancy cut diamond shape is right now (“now” being May 2021), their answer is going to be “oval diamonds”. Across South Africa, and the world, diamond cutters, traders and manufacturing jewellers are struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for this beautiful cut.

But why? What’s driving this popularity? Why is the demand for oval shapes so high?

  1. Oval diamonds have as much sparkle as round diamonds

Round brilliant cut diamonds are still considered your “classic” diamond shape. With 57 facets (58 if you count the culet), round diamonds are mathematically proportioned to give you the ultimate reflection and refraction of light, resulting in maximum fire and brilliance. Whilst an emerald cut diamond can have anywhere between 50-57 facets, an oval brilliant cut diamond has 57 facets, giving you as much sparkle and brilliance as a round brilliant cut diamonds.

Oval diamonds South Africa

With 57 facets, oval diamonds show as much fire and brilliance as a round brilliant cut diamond.

  1. They look bigger than round diamonds

There are many arguments for quality over size when it comes to diamonds, but on a carat for carat basis, the visual surface area of an oval diamond always looks bigger than a round diamond. The elongated shape of the oval takes up more space on your fiancé’s finger than a round diamond of the same size. Let’s be honest, what girlfriend would say no a diamond that looks bigger than it is?

Halo diamond engagement rings

Halo engagement rings are popular in South Africa with both round and oval cut diamonds.

  1. Oval diamonds are cheaper than round diamonds

One of the first points we share with our Katannuta Diamonds clients are that fancy cut diamond shapes are cheaper than round brilliant cuts. Whether that shape be a princess cut, a cushion cut or an oval cut, you’ll get way more value for your money than with a round brilliant cut. When you combine the larger surface area of an oval cut diamond to that of a round diamond, and consider the cheaper price per carat, what is there to think about? Compared to other fancy shapes (princess cuts, cushion cuts or pear cuts for example) however, oval diamonds may be slightly more expensive due to the increased demand of the cut in the last 2-3 years.

Solitaire oval diamond ring South Africa

A solitaire oval diamond engagement ring will cost a few thousand rand less than a round diamond engagement ring.

  1. They’ll make your girlfriend’s hands look good

The elongated shape of oval diamonds naturally draw the eye down the length of the wearer’s finger, making the fingers look longer, graceful and more elegant. Bear in mind that the proportions of oval brilliant cut diamonds vary greatly, and some ovals look longer and thinner, whilst others look shorter and wider. We’ll get into the intricacies of proportions and shapes in a later blog post.

Oval diamond prices

Size comparison of some oval diamonds on a hand.

  1. Oval shapes are popular with celebrities

Like it or not, celebrities still have a huge impact on jewellery and fashion trends around the world. Whilst the marriage didn’t last, singer Seal proposed to supermodel Heidi Klum with a canary yellow oval diamond back in 2004. Ryan Reynolds proposed to actress Blake Lively with a spectacular 12ct light pink oval diamond ring designed by Lorraine Schwartz and when they announced their marriage in 2012, jewellery trend spotters around the world jumped onto the oval diamond band wagon. And, although it’s not a diamond, it’s hard to ignore Princess Catherine’s (a.k.a Kate Middleton) oval sapphire halo ring, the iconic ring that once belonged to Princess Diana.

Princess Diana ring South Africa

The oval sapphire and diamond halo ring is a perennial favourite engagement ring style around the world, inspired by Princess Diana’s engagement ring.

How much is an oval cut diamond in South Africa?

Asking how much an oval diamond costs is a bit like asking how much a car costs. What are the specifications? What colour, clarity and carat weight are you looking at? Like all diamonds, oval cuts come in a huge range of qualities, and each of the 4C’s affects the price tag. An additional factor to take into account in South Africa is the Rand-Dollar exchange rate, because all diamond prices are fixed in dollars so the ZAR amount fluctuates according to the exchange rate.

That said, here are some examples of currently available oval diamonds in South Africa (prices approximate due to exchange rate fluctuations). Prices include 15% VAT. For a guideline on colour and clarity, please see our 4C’s education page.

  • 0.41ct oval cut, G colour, SI1 clarity = ± R9,200
  • 0.47ct oval cut, E colour, VS2 clarity = ± R13,980
  • 0.50ct oval cut, I colour, SI1 clarity = ± R13,000
  • 0.50ct oval cut, M colour, VS2 clarity = ± R6,920
  • 0.72ct oval cut, G colour, SI2 clarity = ± R30,750
  • 0.76ct oval cut, L colour, VS2 clarity = ± R17,260
  • 0.90ct oval cut, H colour, SI2 clarity = ± R43,230
  • 1.00ct oval cut, M colour, SI2 clarity = ± R25,350
  • 1.07ct oval cut, E colour, VVS1 clarity = ± R130,000
  • 1.51ct oval cut, H colour, SI2 clarity = ± R130,970

Now you have a better idea of why oval diamonds are so popular right now, and how much an oval diamond costs in South Africa.

If you’re looking for an oval diamond engagement ring or want some options on available oval diamonds that we have here at Katannuta Diamonds, reach out to us via our contact page, or via our Facebook or Instagram social media pages. We can’t wait to hear from you!