Looking for the perfect place to buy oval diamonds online?
Perfect, you're in the right place!
In this Learning Jewelry guide, I'll answer common questions like:
- Do Ovals Have Cut Grades?
- What Is A Bowtie And Why Should You Avoid It ?
- What Are The Best Places To Buy Ovals?
Top 4 Best Places to Buy Oval Diamonds Online
If you need the list quick, here are my top picks for finding oval diamonds from reputable online dealers. Keep reading for more information about each of these shops.
1. James Allen
Our top pick for best place to buy oval diamonds is going to James Allen. Despite oval shapes being a fancy shape that's not in high demand, they carry a wide selection of them.
James Allen has over 4,000 mined oval diamonds and over 2,000 oval lab grown diamonds. They also carry over 1600 oval colored gemstones and over 1000 oval fancy colored diamonds.
They have the best 360˚ video of all our picks. A high quality viewer is the most important factor when picking out loose diamonds online. I like James Allen the best because it's straightforward. You can control the video and drag it back and forth, catching any characteristics of the diamond.
James Allen's viewer is the best for identifying inclusions and bowtie effects. You can learn more about the oval bowtie in the FAQ.
They have about 160 ring settings for ovals you can pick from whether you're interested in plain metal or side stones. Some of the settings can be modified even further using their newest ring studio feature. You can actually start off in the Ring Studio or modify one you see that has the rainbow ring in the corner.
James Allen gives all of its customers a free lifetime warranty that covers routine maintenance. If you were to buy that oval solitaire at Kay, you're going to have to pay an additional $329 bucks for the same warranty that James Allen would give you for FREE.
- 6,000 colorless oval diamonds
- GIA and AGS diamonds
- Free lifetime repair warranty
- Clear 360˚ view
- Carries IGI graded natural diamonds
2. Clean Origin
Clean Origin is a great place to go if you're looking for a budget deal and don't care if your diamonds came from a lab instead of the ground. They sell lab diamonds exclusively. Lab diamonds can be over up to 70% cheaper than a mined diamonds of the same grades.
They have around 4,000 oval cut diamonds in their inventory, but only about 1100 of them are minimum 1 carat weight. Clean Origin's also a great place if you're wanting diamonds with larger carat weights for a fraction of the cost it would be for a mined diamond at any of our other picks.
Clean Origin has 360˚ viewing on their diamonds, but they have two different viewers. One has a lot of features and is really good and the other is really awful.
While I don't need all the bells and whistles while looking for a bowtie or obvious inclusions, the Diamond Scan is much worse. Sometimes it spins too fast and other times the diamond is way too big for the screen.
Clean Origin has another feature that separates them from the rest of the pack. Their return policy allows customers to have 100 day free returns. Most places offer 30 day returns or even 60 day returns.
I think this is a good example to customers to show that Clean Origin has a lot of faith in their products. It's nice to see a company that wants customers to love their wedding rings as much as they do.
Like Blue Nile, they're also lacking a great warranty to cover routine maintenance. They also have the manufacturer's warranty, but nothing for rhodium or tightening stones.
- 6,000 oval diamonds
- Great for larger carat weights
- GIA certified lab oval diamond
- 100 day free returns
- Inconsistent 360˚ video
- No repair warranty
3. Blue Nile
Blue Nile has a very strong customer fanbase and are recognized as the world's first online diamond retailers. This feat alone makes Blue Nile a veteran in the online diamond game, and customers love reliability. But a long standing reputation isn't the only thing that makes Blue Nile appealing for oval diamonds.
They carry over 16,000 oval diamonds but only half of them have 360˚ viewing. For a 1 carat minimum with the 360˚ video, your options are down to about 4,200. That's a pretty drastic drop. Still, 4,000 oval diamonds is a pretty large pool to pick from.
All of the diamonds at Blue Nile are going to be GIA certified. While GIA certified diamonds are usually more expensive, they are the most valuable and have the most accurate diamond grades in the industry. We recommend only purchasing natural diamonds that are either GIA or AGS certified.
So in comparison to James Allen, Blue Nile's oval diamonds are going to be a little more expensive.
Sometimes it's because James Allen also carries IGI certified diamonds. They're cheaper than GIA or AGS, but not as accurate. Blue Nile's loose oval diamonds are going to be within an average of $500 when compared to James Allen. Many of them are about the same price.
I also like that a customer can actually view the GIA report with the diamond online and James Allen requires you to call and ask.
They have a little recommendation guide if you wanted to compare similar diamonds to the one you're looking back. It shows you a brief overview like Amazon does.
The main thing Blue Nile is severely lacking and really puts it behind our top pick is going is because they don't have a free lifetime warranty. Don't be fooled by the words "lifetime manufacturer's warranty" because that only covers defects and design flaws at any point.
When it comes to daily wear and tear, you're out luck. This is a particular bummer about Blue Nile because many of their diamonds are more expensive than other online retailers.
- 4,000 oval diamonds
- View reports on site
- Great customer reputation
- Clear 360˚ view
- 360˚ viewing on about half
- No repair warranty
4. Brilliant Earth
Brilliant Earth is a well-known online diamond retailer as well. They specialize in going "Beyond Conflict-Free" by offering more transparency with their natural diamonds and colored gemstones than most.
Every retailer we recommend is conflict-free, but that covers the origin of the diamond. Brilliant Earth offers blockchain diamonds to combat this. When you buy a blockchain oval diamond from them, you'll get a special code emailed to you after purchase.
That's a unique key to access your diamond's history. The diamond is signed off in every phase of production. Blockchain technology is secure and virtually unhackable and Brilliant Earth is the first to use it on diamonds.
They have 5500 natural oval diamonds, with 373 of them being blockchain diamonds. A lot of their diamonds have GIA Origin Reports, which is slightly different from the regular ones everybody else has. The Origin Report can tell you what country your diamond was mined from.
They carry 11,000 lab grown oval diamonds and 40 recycled oval diamonds. Recycled diamonds have been previously-owned, recut, and repurposed. They also used recycled metals in their ring settings.
The 360˚ viewer is nice and controllable. Like Blue Nile, they don't have it on all their diamonds. There's more than enough to choose from though.
The environment and giving back to the community is a fueling fire beneath Brilliant Earth. They have collections that go towards causes like female miners in Tanzania or the NAACP.
Brilliant Earth's diamonds tend to be more expensive than competitors, which is why they often take a backseat. There's also a lack of information on their website. It doesn't mention much about their Extended Service Plan they offer.
You can't add it on the site and have to call afterward to add it. It's a three-year service warranty that will cover your routine maintenance
- Eco-friendly brand
- Trackable blockchain diamonds
- GIA Origin Reports
- Clear 360˚ view
- More expensive oval diamonds
- Lack of information about warranty and blockchain ovals
FAQ When Buying Oval Diamonds Online
Here's a list of some of the most popular questions asked about fancy colored diamonds. For a more in-depth guide to oval cut diamonds, you can check out our Oval Diamond Buying Guide.
What is the Bowtie Effect?
The bowtie effect is the name of a shadow that appears on marquise, ovals, and sometimes pear cut diamonds. At certain angles, a shadow resembling a bow tie shape appears across the center of the diamond.
Oval diamonds with better cut quality will have less noticeable bowties. Worse cut diamonds will have a dark bowtie.
Even fancy shapes like ovals don't have official cut grades, the best cut category you might see loose ovals sorted into will be Very Good. Any oval diamonds described as Good (with Very Good as an option as well) will have more noticeable bowties.
Some retailers will categorize their best fancy shapes as ideal or super ideal.
Brilliant Earth does it. That means their ideal and super ideal oval diamonds are going to be the best cuts. They won't have bowties, like the one below.
A bowtie can be unfortunate because it distracts from the overall sparkle. It can be especially frustrating when you've paid for the cost of high clarity grade like a VVS1 to avoid dark shapes in your diamond. With VVS diamonds price and brilliance are expected to go hand in hand.
I don't know about you, but I'd be pretty annoyed if I paid for an eye clean diamond to have a dark shadow play across it and detract from the brilliance.
But not everyone is like that. Some find the idea of the bowtie unique and don't mind it so much. It's definitely up to personal preference.
For those of us who aren't crazy about the effect and want less noticeable bowties, the first thing you're going to need is to be able to look at an oval with either a jeweler's loupe or Gemscope in person, or a high quality crystal clear 360ˆviewer with an online retailer.
It's a lot easier using a controllable viewer like James Allen's or Blue Nile's. That way, you can control the light and angles to see exactly how the light hits that bowtie and how dark it is.
You might not be able to avoid a bowtie completely, but that's just due to the intricate faceting a diamond cutter has to use when cutting the oval shape.
Do Oval Diamonds Have More Sparkle?
The two main type of cutting styles of diamonds are brilliant cut and step cut. Some are even a combination of the two. Oval diamonds are brilliant cut, like round diamonds. Brilliant cut diamonds are known for having extra sparkle over step cut shapes like emerald and Asscher cut stones.
Even though both are brilliant cut, an oval diamond engagement ring will pale in comparison to the overall sparkle of a round cut diamond. But that's mainly because the round shape of the diamond is the only shape that is ideal cut, or perfect in symmetry and proportions.
Oval might look more sparkly to some simply because oval shapes have a bigger surface area than round diamonds. The elongated shape also makes it look larger than other fancy shapes like cushion cut diamonds or when buying princess cut diamonds.
Read also: Cushion Cut Diamonds Pros & Cons
One of the biggest reasons why some opt of oval diamonds is because of how large they look on the finger and they help your fingers look longer.
Are Oval Cut Diamonds Expensive?
The price of an oval diamond is going to be less than the price of a round diamond of the same grade. Round brilliant diamonds are the most expensive shape. Less popular shapes like the oval tend to have lower diamond prices.
This isn't always the case though. The cushion cut diamond is the third most popular shape and also one of the lowest pricing. Marquise and heart cut diamonds tend to be the least expensive. Here's a price chart on where the oval stands against other diamond shape prices.
So why are oval diamonds cheaper on average? Well, we already know they don't have the same brilliance as a round diamond, but they are still cheaper than other shapes like princess cut or radiant cut diamonds.
One of the reasons is because color and clarity tend to be pretty noticeable in oval shapes. Fortunately, the brilliant cut style of short and choppy facets can hide minimal inclusions pretty well. Darker inclusions may appear more noticeable. This can also be solved with a 360˚ viewer.
The color grades are a little more difficult. Usually, I recommend a minimum H color grade for diamonds that are 1.5 and below. But for oval shapes, I'm going to recommend to you a G color grade. Ovals show color more than some shapes.
This means that some near colorless ovals (H, I, J) may appear to have more of a yellow tint. Be very wary of this if you are choosing a halo ring setting.
Most halo diamonds have better color because they're smaller. They might not have as good of clarity, but too small to really notice anyway. However, if you choose too low a color grade for an oval halo, you can tell how tinted the center stone is compared to the center.
A great example of this would be to walk up into any Kay's and ask to see a Neil Lane oval halo setting. Then take a minute and really compare the color. You'll see what I mean. It's one of the reasons I hate Neil Lane in general.
The worst thing is that both the halo and center diamond will be I color, but it'll look so much more yellow than the actual halo because of the carat weight.
If you're not to picky about the metal for your ring setting, you could save even more money by choosing yellow gold instead of white gold. You can have a warmer colored oval against a yellow gold solitaire setting and it will appear as if it has less color. The yellow in the metal will offset any tint going on in the diamond.
Remember, color is difficult to see and may show up differently depending on your eyes or screen. For that reason, we recommend making sure you buy from a retailer that has a good return policy and easy return process just in case you don't like it.