When you shop for an engagement ring or other diamond jewelry, you'll realize very quickly how expensive diamonds can be. A diamond's cut, shape, and setting all have an impact on its appearance. There are ways to use these elements to get more diamond for your buck. Use these techniques to help you buy a diamond that looks larger than it really is.
Focus on the Right Shape
Fancy-shaped diamond usually looks larger than round diamonds of equal weight. This is especially true of diamonds with elongated shapes, such as marquise, oval, and pear-shaped diamonds.
You might be tempted to buy an engagement ring set with diamonds that are cut shallow. This means they are not as deep as they ideally should be. Shallow cut diamonds do appear larger than the same size stones with a more proportional cut, but what you gain in size you could lose in brilliance. Light traveling through a shallow cut tends to go out the back instead of bouncing off of the sides of the stone and back into your vision.
Princess cut diamonds are pressure set together so tightly that they appear to be one larger diamond. If that's the look you want, go for it, but keep in mind that these can be costly to repair if you lose a stone. With so many stones in each ring, it is much more probable that you will lose one.
You can choose to add accent stones to enhance your ring's size. One accent diamond on either side of a center diamond makes a beautiful engagement ring. If you want the main stone to appear larger in a three stone ring, have the accent stones be half the size of the main stone.
Choose a Setting That Enhances the Size
A halo setting or bezel setting both add an extra continuous surface of diamonds around your center diamond. These small diamonds expand the overall diameter of your ring and make your diamond appear larger. It's difficult to distinguish these small individual stones, so a halo setting makes you think the jewelry has more, and larger, diamonds than it truly does. Keep in mind that diamond rings with intricate pavé halo settings can be expensive, so sometimes it's less costly to buy a larger diamond.
Another option is a vintage ring. A lot of vintage diamond rings from the 1940s are set in an illusion setting. Metal prongs are built up in a square shape to make round diamonds appear square in shape and larger than they really are. Side stones, like small diamonds set into the band on either side of a center stone, will make the focal diamond look larger than if the diamond was set in solitaire. Make sure the accent diamonds are small in scale for optimal impact.
Prongs should work to enhance your diamond's size, not take away from it. Six prong crown settings can make a diamond appear smaller. Opt for four prongs instead.
The Metal Band
The right metal will make a difference. Platinum or white gold will blend with and enhance a white diamond, making it appear larger. A yellow gold setting can throw a yellowish tint back onto the diamond. If your diamond is on the smaller side, make sure your ring doesn't have a very thick band. The thinner and more dainty the band, the more your center diamond will be the focal point. Keep your setting in proportion to the size of your diamond.
The same goes for wedding bands. If you have a very small diamond ring, don't mix it with a very thick wedding band with larger scaled diamonds. Keep it thin and simple with small pavé set diamonds.
Diamond Enhancers for Rings or Earrings
Diamond enhancers are pieces of jewelry sold separately from your diamond ring or earrings. The earring enhancer is a thin halo setting that slides underneath your solitaire diamond earrings. Diamond enhancers for rings are essentially a cradle that you set your solitaire diamond ring into. It adds top and bottom interest to the solitaire, making the overall ring appear larger.
Keep Your Diamond Clean
A clean diamond shines brighter and appears larger than a dirty, dingy one. Regular cleanings at home and an occasional deep clean at a jewelry store will make a huge difference in the sparkle and shine of your diamond. It's an easy way to make the ring look bigger (and brand new).