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5 Ways to Make a Diamond Look Larger

Engagement Ring Advice


Young woman wearing engagement ring, close up of hand (focus on ring)
Jeffrey Coolidge/The Image Bank/Getty Images
When you shop for an engagement ring or other diamond jewelry you'll find there are many ways to make a diamond appear larger than its actually weight. The diamond's cut, shape, and setting all have an impact on its appearance.

Put these five techniques to work for you if you want to buy a diamond, set into an engagement ring or other jewelry, that looks larger than its true carat weight.

Browse Fancy Diamond Shapes

Fancy shaped diamonds usually look larger than round diamonds of equal weight, especially diamonds with elongated shapes, such as marquise, oval and pear shaped diamonds.

Choose a Pave-Set Diamond Ring

A pavé setting looks like a continuous surface of diamonds, but is actually made up of small diamonds set side by side into little holes, their surfaces nearly level with the setting. Tiny beads are crafted from the surrounding metal to hold the diamonds in place.

It's difficult to distinguish individual stones, so a pavé setting makes you think the jewelry has more--and larger--diamonds than it truly does. Keep in mind that diamond rings with intricate pavé settings can be expensive, so sometimes it's less costly to buy a larger diamond.

Explore the Illusion Setting

The diamond in an illusion setting is mounted to a mirror-like plate before being set into the band, making it look larger, with more brilliance.

There's a downside to the illusion setting--it's more difficult to repair.

Choose an Engagement Ring with Side Stones

Small diamonds set into the band on either side of a center stone won't necessarily make the focal diamond look larger, but can give an engagement ring more overall pizzazz. (Top Picks Engagement Rings with Side Stones)

Select a Bezel Set Diamond

Choose a diamond in a bezel setting, where a rim totally encircles the stone. White gold or platinum will blend with and enhance a white diamond, making it appear larger. A yellow gold bezel setting can throw a yellowish tint back onto the diamond.

Shallow cut diamonds look larger, but with a penalty.

You might be tempted to buy an engagement ring set with diamonds that are cut shallow--not as deep as they ideally should be. Shallow cut diamonds do appear larger than the same size stones with a more proportional cut, but what you gain in size you lose in brilliance. Light traveling through a shallow cut tends to go out the back instead of bouncing off of the sides of the stone and back into your vision.

Read about diamond cuts before you buy a diamond engagement ring or other diamond jewelry.

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