How to Make Your Engagement Ring Look Bigger (and Other Little-Known Jewelry Secrets)

Want your diamond to appear larger? Want to spend less and get more sparkle? Hear a jeweler’s advice on whether it’s worth it to go big, what metal is ideal and how to guarantee you’re getting the most out of your engagement ring.

Ritani diamond engagement rings

It’s a big investment, monetarily and emotionally. Finding the best engagement ring can be harder than popping the question itself.

We’ve consulted, polled and quizzed our expert jeweler to give you real advice on how to get the most out of your engagement ring purchase. From diamond size and shape to choosing the right metal, our advice will help you guarantee an emotional “I do!” Here’s what we asked and more importantly, our jeweler’s answers:

Q: How can I make the center diamond in my engagement ring look bigger?
A: If you want a diamond to look big, go for a princess cut or another fancy-shaped stone.

When you place a princess cut diamond next to a round cut stone of the same carat weight, the princess diamond is going to look bigger because the table (or top of the diamond) is much bigger than that of a round cut diamond.

Whenever you consider a larger stone, make sure to keep diamond clarity in mind. The bigger the diamond, the more likely you will see inclusions — natural imperfections within the stone. Inclusions that are obvious to the naked eye can be distracting and decrease the value of the diamond and the engagement ring itself.

If you’re buying a diamond that is one carat or greater with a SI2 clarity, you want to make sure it is “eye-clean,” meaning that when you look at it from the top down you don’t see any inclusions.

Q: Is there a setting that makes the diamond appear larger?
A: Absolutely. The way the diamond is set in the ring can influence the visual size of the stone. But the number one way to amplify the center stone is to have a halo setting.

A halo setting, which is a row of diamonds around the center diamond, makes a smaller center stone seem bigger visually. You can also make a stone look bigger by placing diamond baguettes on both sides of the center diamond.

Q: Does diamond color really matter?
A: It depends on the ring metal. If you want an engagement ring in platinum or white gold, you will want the diamond to be at least a G on the color scale. This is because the metal of the ring is white, so the diamond should be as colorless as possible. If you have a poorly colored diamond, the yellow color of the diamond will be more obvious up against the whiter metal.

However, if you’re doing a yellow gold or rose gold engagement ring, you can put less of an emphasis on the stone being colorless and go with a J colored stone. The natural light yellow hue of a J rated stone will blend with the yellow gold engagement ring so the diamond color won’t be as prominent.

Overall, it is not recommended anyone buy a diamond with a color grading less than M.

Diamond Color Scale:

diamond color scale

Q: What’s fluorescence and what does it have to do with diamonds?
A: Fluorescence is natural occurring phenomenon within a diamond that can make the stone look white or blue.

Diamonds with strong fluorescence — or blue-ish tone — are cheaper. If you live in a region that has mostly overcast weather, you can choose a diamond with more fluorescence and it doesn’t have much of an impact. The blue hues of the stone won’t be visible in places where there is not a lot of sun or natural light.

But if you live in a sunny place, you should go with a diamond that has less fluorescence. The bright sunlight will amplify any blue tones. You want to your diamond to look white, or as colorless as possible, in natural sunlight.

The level of fluorescence in a diamond can have a large impact on cost. If you’re OK with a blue tone to your diamond, you can potentially save thousands of dollars and allocate those funds towards a larger diamond or a diamond with a better cut.

Q: Is there a certain diamond that has the most sparkle?
A: Yes. The cut of a diamond is the single most important thing to maximize sparkle — the better the cut grade, the greater the sparkle. When you choose a diamond make sure you pay attention to the quality of its cut.

Another way to “up” the sparkle is to get an engagement ring with secondary stones or “surprise” diamonds. Surprise diamonds are placed in the setting of a ring and often viewed from the side. These diamonds add interest to the design and obvious sparkle.

2016 wedding ring trends
For the best engagement ring of all shapes and sizes, visit Choose from our most popular engagement ring styles or create your own. To learn more about diamonds and how to buy the best diamond, visit our Education section or chat online with an expert Gemologist.