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How to make a diamond

look larger than

its true carat weight

With the size of carat weight informing the media agenda on engagement rings, it’s difficult to know how to choose a high quality diamond which is also affordable and aesthetically pleasing.

We all know that the size, or more weight, of the stone is not the most important thing about your diamond engagement ring but when we see the latest huge celebrity rock, it’s difficult not to feel a little wistful, yearning for a piece of that bright, white sparkle on our fingers.

Diamonds have fascinated people for thousands of years; for most of that time the skill of the cutter was measured by the size of the cut stone that he could make out of a rough diamond.

The terms ‘brilliance’ or ‘fire’ in a diamond essentially describe the amount of light reflected into the eye of the viewer. Enhancing brilliance was a secondary consideration in historical diamond cutting. Today, we emphasise brilliance over dimensions and weight alone.

A smaller, excellently cut stone offering more brilliance can be worth more than a larger, dull diamond. This is not the case today when we emphasise brilliance over sheer size.

Globally, the most popular cut of diamond is almost certainly the Round Brilliant. Modern Round Brilliants are cut with 58 facets, mathematically designed to maximise the reflection of light. Size and the relative proportions of the cut is still extremely important to the look, cost and relative value of a diamond.

Here is our guide to making sure your diamond engagement ring is a showstopper, no matter what size it is.

Choose your band size wisely

A slim band can be a nifty way to overcome more than one common engagement ring pain point. Think you have fat fingers? Choose a slim band. Think you have large hands? Choose a slim band. Want to make your central diamond look larger? Yep, you guessed it – choose a slim band. A slim band will focus the eye on the diamond and if diamond set will increase the overall amount of light reflecting into the eye of the viewer, boosting the appearance of the centre stone.

Cathedral setting

When a diamond is cathedral set, the central stone sits proudly above the band of the ring, This added height, combined with the metal of the ring itself makes the diamond appear larger.

Pave setting

In a pave set ring, we have not one diamond but a cluster of small diamonds, closely set. In this setting it is difficult to distinguish individual stones and the overall ‘boosting’ effect can be remarkable. The more intricate the pave setting, the greater demand for skill so large areas of pave set diamonds can become expensive.

Halo setting

Much like a combination of pave and cathedral settings, the Halo setting  encircles the centre stone with smaller diamonds, the overall effect is that of a much larger ring and is much favoured. Halo rings are the most popular choice of engagement rings today.

Choose a ‘fancy’ shape

Any diamond not cut as a Round is referred to as a ‘fancy’ shape. An elongated Marquise, oval or pear shaped stone often looks bigger than the equivalent carats in round or square form. This is possibly the most reliable way of boosting your gem size. Fancy shaped stones also tend to be less expensive due to lower demand in the market as a whole.

Making the cut

A traditional way of solving the carat versus cost problem has been to use a stone with a shallow cut, giving the stone a larger ‘face’. Here the surface of the stone is larger than expected but the cut causes some of the light to be reflected out of the back of the stone rather than the front. The effect for the viewer is that some of the brilliance is lost and means that this last option must be treated with some caution.

As ever the most important things are to choose a stone and ring that you really fall in love with and, of course, to remember that size isn’t everything. Your engagement ring is a symbol of your love and commitment, but there are plenty of ways to make your diamond seem at least a teeny bit bigger with our tips.

If you are looking for more advice on how to maximise the appearance or size of your diamond, please contact our Diamond and Engagement ring experts by phone on 0800 5300541 or by e-mail at service@vashi.com