8 Ways to Make Your Engagement Ring Look Bigger

Some people want a subtle engagement ring, while others want their engagement ring to look as glamorous and sizable as possible. If you fall into the latter category, we’re here to help with some handy tips on how you can make your engagement ring look bigger— without spending more for an enormous center stone. 

In this post we’ll share 8 ways to make your engagement ring look bigger. We’ll include tips on initial choices you can make that will make a new engagement ring look more substantial, as well as some tips on how you can make your existing engagement ring look bigger.  

1. Prioritize Cut 

If you’re looking for a diamond for your engagement ring and you want your diamond to look as big as possible, don’t overlook cut grade. People often assume that the only thing that will make a diamond look larger is going up in carat weight. But that’s far from true. Many factors determine how large a diamond will look, including how well it was cut. 

So how does the cut of a diamond change how big it looks? When a diamond has excellent brilliance (meaning, sparkle), it looks larger to the eye. And for a diamond to have maximum brilliance, it has to have great cut. To ensure your diamond has excellent brilliance, we recommend selecting a diamond with a cut grade of Very Good or Excellent. 

Cut grade is so important for how large a diamond looks that a poor cut grade can actually make a large diamond look considerably smaller. So know that while a higher carat weight will lead to a diamond that’s technically larger, a very low cut grade can negate all that pricy extra carat weight. 

2. Choose Your Diamond Shape Wisely 

Another thing that can change how large a diamond looks is its shape. Diamonds can be cut into many different shapes, such as round, princess, or oval. But each diamond shape has its mass distributed differently. Some diamond shapes have more mass on their table (the top of the diamond), which makes them look much larger per carat. 

Wondering which diamond shapes look the largest per carat? The four shapes that look the largest per carat are (in order of which looks the largest): marquise, pear, oval, and emerald diamonds. Among these shapes, oval diamonds are a top choice among those who want a classic-style engagement ring, yet want to maximize the size of their engagement ring’s center diamond. Oval cut diamonds look quite a bit larger than round diamonds per carat, yet they have a similar traditional look. 

3. Avoid Certain Diamond Shapes 

Just as some diamond shapes look larger per carat, others look smaller per carat. If you want the largest-looking diamond you can fit into your budget, you may want to avoid asscher cut and princess diamonds. Both of these shapes hide much of their weight below their table, simple due to how they’re cut. 

Round diamonds are another shape you may want to avoid if you’re trying to get a larger-looking diamond while maximizing your budget. Round diamonds look smaller per carat than marquise, pear, oval, and emerald diamonds. Then, they also tend to be much more expensive. Round diamonds are by far the most expensive diamond shape, partially due to demand (round is the most popular diamond shape) and partially due to the fact that there is more raw diamond waste during the round diamond cutting process. 

4. Consider Going Lower in Color and Clarity

Unlike diamond cut, diamond color and diamond clarity don’t have much of an impact on how large a diamond looks. So if size is your main priority, know that you can maximize your center stone budget by going a bit lower in diamond color and clarity. Being flexible with your color and clarity grades frees up room in your budget for a diamond that is higher in carat weight, yet still has a Very Good or Excellent cut. 

5. Shine Bright With a Halo 

Halo engagement ring settings are an excellent option if you want your engagement ring to look as glamorous and sizable as possible. In a halo setting, your center stone is surrounded by a shimmering ring of smaller accent diamonds. This brilliant halo optically extends the size of your center diamond, making it look much larger. The extra shimmer provided by the diamonds in a halo setting adds to this effect.  

If you’re shopping for an engagement ring for the first time, halo settings are a great way to add drama and impact to your engagement ring. But they’re also a great option if you’re looking to upgrade your old engagement ring. You can switch out your current engagement ring’s setting for a halo setting and get a much larger-looking ring for a fraction of the cost of upgrading your existing center diamond. 

6. Go Slim With Your Setting 

Another way to use your setting to make your center diamond look larger is to go with a very slim, delicate setting. If you select a setting with a slim band and slim prongs, your center diamond will look larger in comparison. On the other hand, if you choose a wide band with bulky prongs, your diamond will look smaller. So if you want your center stone to look as large as possible, always select a slim, delicate setting. 

As with our last tip, you can use this trick on a new engagement ring or your current one. If your current engagement ring has a wide, bulky setting that is overpowering your diamond, you can easily (and inexpensively) switch it out for a slim setting to make your center diamond look much larger.

7. Choose a Bright White Setting 

Some precious metals can make your engagement ring look bigger than others. Namely, platinum and white gold— but especially 18k white gold. A shiny white metal will reflect your engagement ring’s center diamond like a mirror might, making it look larger. 18k white gold is particularly good at reflection, as it’s plated in rhodium, which is extraordinarily shiny. As an added bonus, 18k white gold is not only more reflective than platinum, but less expensive, which can help you put more of your budget toward a larger center diamond. 

8. Keep Your Ring Clean 

Our last tip is perhaps the easiest one to follow on this list. If you want your engagement ring to look as large as possible, year after year, always keep it clean. As we mentioned throughout this article, the more sparkly your engagement ring is, the larger it will look. Over time, diamonds and precious metals accumulate oil and dirt, which dulls their sparkle. So to keep your engagement ring shining, clean it regularly. 

Wondering how often you should clean your engagement ring? We generally recommend getting your ring professionally cleaned every six months. Then, in between professional cleanings, simply clean your ring at home using warm water, dish soap, and a soft toothbrush whenever you think it’s starting to look a bit dim.

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