6 Ways To Make Engagement Rings Look Bigger (Without Sacrificing Quality)

Author Lynelle Schmidt
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Date Jan 16, 2015

6 Ways To Make Engagement Rings Look Bigger (Without Sacrificing Quality)

She wants a bigger ring. You have a strict budget. Where do you go from there?

The amazing part about diamond engagement rings is that you can still find a beautiful, stunning ring no matter what your budget is. If she wants that big diamond look, there are small tips and tricks that we recommend on a daily basis to give the illusion of a larger diamond.

A large diamond ring doesn't have to break the bank if you know subtle ways that can really make a strong visual impact.

Don't focus so much on a diamond's carat weight, which determines how large the diamond is. If you put too much emphasis on getting a certain carat size ring, then you might end up having to sacrifice on other extremely important factors that will affect how beautiful the diamond is. And I can't speak for all women, but I'd much rather have a smaller diamond that is absolutely stunning than a larger diamond that is completely dull.

With that said, let's explore 6 ways to make engagement rings look bigger without sacrificing quality:

Idea #1: Add a diamond halo around the center diamond

Add a diamond halo around the center diamond

The halo engagement ring has been an extremely popular choice in the past few years. This type of ring features a center diamond surrounded by a "halo" of smaller diamonds to give the illusion of a much larger stone. This is a perfect way to get the big diamond look for a much lower price tag.

Choosing a halo engagement ring allows you to purchase a smaller center diamond and amplify the look and size of it with smaller diamonds all along the sides. Halos can be shaped around any stone. They can be square, circle, or even hexagon depending on the look you are going for.

Idea #2: Make it a three-stone ring with smaller diamonds instead of one large solitaire diamond

Make it a three-stone ring with smaller diamonds instead of one large solitaire diamond

One of the best ways to give the appearance of a larger diamond for less money is to actually stop trying to find the largest center diamond possible in your budget. Sometimes trying to find the largest stone in your budget will mean that you have to sacrifice other qualities of the diamond like its cut (which has the biggest impact on its overall sparkle) or clarity and color.

Instead, opt for a beautiful smaller diamond that can be accompanied by two smaller diamonds on either side. This is what is called a three-stone engagement ring. Having three smaller diamonds side-by-side that are beautiful on their own will create a larger diamond look and will add volume to the ring.

Idea #3: Opt for a cluster diamond ring

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Diamond cluster rings are becoming a more popular choice for engagement rings because of their illusive nature. in fact, they made our list of top engagement ring trends for the new year.

Cluster rings feature smaller diamonds that are paired together in a cluster to give the appearance of a larger diamond. Done correctly, it would take someone looking at the ring really close to notice that the diamond is in fact a cluster of diamonds instead of one larger stone.

This is a great choice for the budget conscious shopper that wants that big diamond look. Smaller diamonds will always be significantly less expensive than larger diamonds. As diamonds increase in size, their price goes up exponentially instead of in a linear fashion. For example, two 1/2 carat diamonds will be significantly cheaper than one 1 carat diamond, because the 1 carat diamond is much more rare. Because of this, clusters of smaller diamonds will help keep the price of the ring way down.

Idea #4: Choose diamonds that have an elongated shape

Add a diamond halo around the center diamond

Round diamonds are still the most popular shape for diamonds because of their brilliance. They are perfectly cut to reflect light in the best way possible to maximize a diamond's fire and sparkle.

However, more recently, "fancy" cut diamonds have started becoming more popular. This trend can really work in your advantage if you have a tight budget but still want to give the illusion of a larger diamond. Shapes like marquise, oval, pear, and emerald will elongate the stone to make it seem like the diamond is bigger than it actually is.

Idea #5: Choose a fancy cut diamond instead of the classic round shape

Choose a fancy cut diamond instead of the classic round shape

While round cut diamonds are the most popular today, they are also the most expensive. Round diamonds cost more because of higher demand and because the most raw material is removed during the cutting process. It takes a larger rough diamond to cut a round diamond than other shapes.

Other fancy cut diamonds, such as princess cut, use less wasted material when they are being professionally cut so they are typically less money per carat. Carat is a measure of the weight of the stone, which corresponds to how "big" it will look. To stretch your money further for a bigger carat ring, consider a fancy cut diamond instead.

Idea #6: Add side stones on the side of the diamond

Choose a fancy cut diamond instead of the classic round shape

One of the most popular styles of engagement rings that has continued to hold strong throughout the years is the classic solitaire. Solitaire rings feature beautiful diamonds on plain metal bands or ones accented with smaller diamonds. This is a great way to really highlight the center diamond and show off its beauty.

However, sometimes budget can hold people back from buying the large stone that they desire to be the star of their solitaire ring. We always say that a beautiful diamond does not have to be large. If it is cut correctly, then the facets on the diamond will play with light in a way that is truly stunning. But, if you still are aiming for that big diamond look, you can add some extra sparkle on the sides of the center diamond to give it the illusion of large, more stunning diamonds.

Pair a smaller diamond with diamonds on the side to create a blinding sheet of diamonds that will cover the entire width of the finger. If all the diamonds on the band are beautiful as well, the overall look and shine of the ring will impress people way more than a larger diamond that has no life to it at all.

The single most important factor to any good engagement ring is its cut. Why is it so important? Let's find out:

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