Engagement Ring Guide Part II: Maximizing Impact

Regardless of budget, every girl wants a ring she WANTS to show off to the world.  While not everyone is a Kardashian with a 17 carat paperweight on their hand, I’ve learned a few simple tips to keep in mind that will maximize the ring’s wow factor.

1. Round Diamonds Look Bigger than All Other Sizes

    • It’s true – in terms of surface area per carat, the round / brilliant diamonds give you more bang for your buck.  Compare a 1.0 carat round diamond to a 1.0 carat diamond of any other shape.  The average length to width ratio in millimeters for a round diamond would be 6.3 x 6.3mm.  For a 1.0 carat cushion cut diamond, the average length to width ratio is in the 5.5 x 5.5mm range.  That is a significant difference!

2. A Sparkly Diamond Always Looks Bigger than a Dull one

    • Look for a diamond shape that naturally reflects the most light.  Round will top the list every time, because of the way that the facets are cut, but close behind the round diamond for “sparkliness” is the marquise (I was shocked by that one), oval, pear, heart, and then Princess.  From there, sparkle tapers off rapidly, but if you are like me, and kind of hate the fancy shapes (marquis, pear, heart, etc) then stick with the round, oval, and princess – all safe bets.  
    • Do not sacrifice cut for carat – the result will be a dull, cloudy, or dark diamond.  In the first post, I talked a lot about the importance of a quality cut – going for an ideal or excellent cut will give you the most sparkle – substituting a good or fair cut for a slight increase in carat size is a very bad idea.

3.  Elongated Diamonds can Appear Larger

    • A non-symmetrical cushion cut that is rectangular can fake people out for a larger carat.  Especially if you have thin fingers, the length can create the illusion of a larger diamond. Also on this list of elongated shapes are the emerald cut (not a personal favorite of mine), radiant cut, and oval diamonds.  I’m not fully sold on this idea, but if you love this look, go for it!

4.  Settings with Additional Diamonds Enhance the Size of a Diamond

    • Extra embellishments on a ring do exactly what they promise – they enhance a center stone, so whether it’s opting for a three stone ring, (with two sizable diamonds on either side of the center stone), or if it’s having a micropave band that adds just a bit of extra pizzazz to your ring while still leaving the center stone as the main focus, or whether it’s going all out for a micro-pave halo setting (having even more diamonds encircling the center stone and band), these are all great ways to enhance an already beautiful engagement ring.

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