Photo: Frances Tulk-Hart
Engagement ring style is a matter of personal preference: Some girls dream of a classic and beautiful round-cut jewel, while others hope for a glam emerald style that could rival Beyoncé's gigantic rock. If you happen to fall in the latter category, but don't have the money to get a celeb-worthy sized bling (who does?!), we're here to help.
There are some ways to make your diamond look bigger than it is — without the cost associated with going up in carat size. Greg Kwiat, partner at Kwiat Diamonds and CEO of Fred Leighton, and Michelle Adorjan, Style Director of Tacori Jewelry, share five tricks that can make a big difference.
The Cut Is Extremely Important
"Make sure that your diamond is very well cut," advises Kwiat. "A well-cut diamond with proper angles and facets will not only be beautiful and brilliant, but look larger. The carat weight will be in its proper place where it adds to the visual dimension of the stone." So how can you tell if a diamond is cut well? For round diamonds, Kwiat recommends only considering stones that have an "Excellent" cut grade as issued by the GIA. For all other shapes, there isn't a cut grade, so you should seek the guidance of a trained gemologist. But, ultimately, you should also trust yourself: A well-cut diamond is brilliant and full of sparkle — something you can certainly judge.
Consider the Shape of the Center Stone
"In terms of shape, round diamonds look larger for their carat weight than many other cuts," says Kwiat. "The circular cut is not as deep so much of the weight is reflected in its size appearance." Elongated stones, such as oval, emerald, and marquis shapes, also tend to look bigger for its carat weight.
Use Slender Prongs
One clever way of maximizing the appearance of your center stone is to minimize the appearance of something else: "Look for a setting that has more discreet prongs," says Adorjan. "You'll see the more of the diamond's surface area, rather than having the stone be covered by the prongs."
Choose a Bright White Metal Band
"The pure white metal of a platinum setting will act as a mirror to reflect the diamond's colorless-ness for maximum brilliance and shine. This creates the optical illusion of a bigger stone," explains Adorjan. "It's the same reason that interior designers add a wall of mirrors into a small room — to make it look larger."
Consider the Overall Appearance
Certain settings, such as a halo style where there's a band of diamonds that encircle the center stone, tend to make for a larger-looking ring. Also consider cluster settings since the grouping of diamonds add to the appearance of its overall size.
At the end of the day, remember that size is just one factor — sparkle and style are just as (if not more) important.