Professional Jeweler Archive: Ovals Come Full Circle

March 2004


Ovals Come Full Circle

Attractive prices and an understated, nostalgic appeal bring these shapes back into style

‘Ovals are really not a far cry from a round-cut diamond,” says Margaret de Young of Ernest Slotar Inc. “And yet they are different in a way that is elegant, somewhat understated and nostalgic. That’s why we decided to try out oval cuts again – they fit the times.”

They fit for many reasons. Ernest Slotar, president, says ovals are attractively priced compared with round diamonds – an average 10% less – because they are less in demand than rounds. But the resurgence of the oval is due also to some discriminating consumers’ growing interest in shapes other than traditional rounds.

“The standards for cut are very high in the United States, and we apply the same stringent standards to the new ovals as we do to our Cut By Gauge® Ideal-cut diamonds,” Slotar says. The company makes sure the diamonds are fashioned to return light as brilliantly as possible while also sporting attractive proportions, he says.

Bow Ties

The “bow-tie effect,” an area in the diamond that leaks light rather than reflect and refract it, is common in most commercial oval cuts. But De Young says Ernest Slotar’s cutters in Johannesburg, South Africa, take particular care to eliminate this optical effect and to increase the beauty and brilliance of the stones. The company is testing the U.S. market so it can decide how much to increase production. Response from manufacturers and retailers has been very good so far, says the company. Consequently, it’s planning lines of 0.50-ct. to 0.75-ct. and larger ovals, says Slotar. Jewelry manufacturers say they appreciate the stones are cut in standard sizes and margins.

Ernest Slotar isn’t new to fancy-cut diamonds. It already produces the Lucére,™ a squarish design that combines a step-cut crown on a brilliant pavilion. As it has with the Lucére, the company hopes oval cuts will make inroads with independent jewelers. “We look for bright, knowledgeable jewelers who are interested in making profits on the diamonds they sell,” says Slotar. Those meeting his qualifications may find the time is at hand to step forward and go oval.

  • Ernest Slotar Inc., Chicago, IL (800) 621-6537,

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.

Ernest Slotar plans to produce this new Cut by Gauge oval to help meet increasing demand for fancy cuts. Photo by Robert Weldon.

point of $ALE

Oval cuts are the most durable fancy-shaped diamond because they don’t have sharp angles or corners.

For the same reason, ovals are the easiest fancy cut to set in jewelry.

Ovals allow a customer to gently deviate from the standard round cut and save money in the process.

Ovals mounted in rings can accentuate the length of a wearer’s finger.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications