6 Ways To Make A Diamond Look Bigger (Without Huge Costs!)

how to make diamond ring look larger

Diamonds are priced by a combination of factors (mainly the 4Cs) and the biggest influence comes from the carat weight of the stone. Speaking from experience, I know it can be difficult to find a diamond of a certain size that meets your specifications while staying within your budget.

Why is that so?

Large diamonds are much rarer in supply and the higher demand makes them a lot more expensive than smaller stones. The other reason is that people tend to underestimate the cost of a bigger sized diamond and set unrealistic expectations of what they can get for their budget.

So, is it possible to get yourself a bigger looking gem without breaking the bank? What if you already had your eyes set on a grandiose ring and don’t have a large budget to work with? 

Well, you are in luck. In this article, I’m going to show you 6 practical ways to make a diamond look larger than it is. Read on!

If you are in the midst of shopping for a diamond, remember to read our proven step-by-step tutorial here. I guarantee it will be the most important guide you’ll ever read and it will help you save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Tip#1: Consider Buying Fancy Shapes Instead of Round Cuts

Round diamonds often look a lot smaller than a fancy cut diamond with an equivalent carat weight.

By choosing a fancy shape like an emerald cut or a marquise cut, you can get better spread and enjoy lower prices at the same time. Besides these benefits, fancy shapes also define the character of the ring and will help you veer away from mainstream designs.

So, if you are wondering which diamond cut looks biggest when you make comparisons of identical carat weights, elongated shapes such as the marquise, oval and pear tend to provide better finger coverage.

That said, I’ve got to be honest with you here. The drawback of fancy cuts is the inherent loss of brilliancy when we make a comparison to their round counterparts.

Technically speaking, well-cut round brilliants will always outperform fancy cut diamonds in terms of light performance. For this reason, fancy shapes are usually chosen for their unique look and symbolism it represents.

comparison of 3 diamonds of different shapes

Click on the image to enlarge it and check out the physical measurements of each stone

So, which diamond cut looks the biggest? If you ask me, emerald shape diamonds have the best spread to carat weight ratio. This ranking is followed by oval, pear and marquise diamonds. To browse through these diamonds, check out James Allen

Tip #2: Use Halo or Cluster Settings to Spice Up the Ring

Halo or cluster settings are designs in which a large surface area of the setting is covered by many smaller diamonds. These melees (small diamonds) could be placed into leveled holes and held in place by prongs.

Since the small diamonds are reflective and “packed” closely together, it creates a fused appearance. This makes it extremely hard to figure out where the smaller individual stones are unless the setting is examined closely.

pave mounting of multiple diamonds

Careful placements of clustered diamonds create the illusion of a single large stone

As a result of using a clever design (small diamonds to make bigger diamond), the overall ring looks bigger. A seemingly “larger” diamond made of smaller melees usually goes undetected during casual observations.

ways to make a diamond look larger with halos

A great option to explore for majestic looks and to enhance the bling factor.

Have you always wanted to create your own jewelry masterpiece as a symbol of your love? Well, great news! Now, you can view and interact with 100s of halo designs using 360° videos at James Allen!

Tip #3: Applying The Optical Illusion

There are many direct ways to make diamonds look bigger through the use of optical illusions. The tools for creating such “optical illusions” are usually built into the base of the mounting where the diamond is being held in place.

In its most basic form, the illusion setting makes use of a mirrored plate or a highly reflective metal collar that is placed along the circumference of the diamond. The presence of this collar gives the center stone a boost in its glimmer and gives the diamond a bigger looking appearance.

Even though this method is by far the cheapest option, the downside is that mirrored settings can become dull once they are damaged. Unless the center stone is completely dismounted from the setting, damage incurred to the mirror finish cannot be repaired without unobstructed access.

Tip #4: Use of Smaller Side Stones for Accentuation

Having side diamonds can create a leading edge that draws attention from the hand towards the center of the ring. This also helps make the ring look more extravagant and adds multiple dimensions of sparkle to the main diamond.

To illustrate this, here’s an example of an affordable pave ring that utilizes small sized melees placed along the shanks.

14k white gold petite pave engagement ring flush fit review

To create a larger looking center stone, you can also choose a setting that uses less prongs to hold the diamond in the mounting. For example, a 6 prong setting would create more metal coverage on the diamond compared to a 4 prong setting.

A slimmer shank could also be used to generate a stronger contrast between the diamond and the metal band. The best way to go about doing this is to buy a ring setting with a thin shank instead of trying to make modifications to an existing setting. 

If you do intend to thin out your current ring, I would recommend that you to get professional advice to see if there will be any stability issues involved.

Tip #5: Choose A Bezel Setting

bezel platinum round brilliant diamond setting

Beautiful white gold bezel solitaire engagement ring that accentuates the center stone.

The bezel setting is a ring design whereby a metal rim circles the main diamond to enhance its outline. The great thing about this design is that it offers additional protection and helps prevent chipping during normal wear.

Tip #6: “Cheat” With a Shallow Cut Diamond

Shallow cut diamonds have face up sizes which are physically bigger than ideally cut diamonds. When a diamond is cut with a shallow depth, the weight emphasis is placed on the crown and pavilion areas of the stone.

Note that this is very much a trade off between sparkle and size. While a shallow cut diamond looks physically bigger, it loses its brilliance due to decreased light performance. I know this may seem like a viable option for people with shoestring budgets. However, I always advise against using methods that compromises cut.

If you are interested in getting more ideas or want to find out what the latest trends in engagement ring designs are, visit our gallery for more information…

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  1. Terry-
    May 14, 2017 at 3:11 am

    Why did my 1.23 carat marquis diamond look bigger than my 1.73 carat cushion modified brilliant diamond ring? Am I crazy or being superficial? Are there any disadvantages of using a halo instead of a pave setting?

  2. Paul Gian-
    May 15, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Assuming that both diamonds are cut for performance, it’s likely the length to width ratio that makes it appear larger. Combine this with factors like finger length and thickness, it could trick the brain into thinking one is significantly larger than the other.

    To answer your next question, it is largely a matter of personal tastes. Compared to a pave setting, the drawback of a cluster/halo setting is that it can be relatively costly due to additional workmanship and material costs.

  3. Julius Wither Amberfield-
    December 28, 2017 at 12:01 am

    It was really nice how you said that one of the good ways to make the diamond look bigger was to add a few side stones that will accentuate the center stone and draw the attention of people to it. I will definitely do that because the reason why I was looking at this article was that I was planning to propose to my girlfriend, and a diamond is a stone that I know suits her the most. It might be a good idea to just buy the diamond and then ask someone to create a personalized ring so as to make it even more special. Thank you for sharing.

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