When people think of a big engagement ring, their first thought is usually of a massive, expensive center diamond. But if you’re shopping on a budget, you should know that there are actually many different ways you can make your engagement ring look bigger— without having to shell out tons of money on a huge center stone. In this post we’ll cover seven different ways you can make your engagement ring appear bigger. We’ll include tips on how to make your engagement ring look larger when initially shopping, as well as some tips on how to make an existing engagement ring look bigger. 

 

PRIORITIZE CUT

 

While it may seem like a diamond with a higher carat would, by default, look larger, this isn’t true if you’re sacrificing on cut. A diamond’s cut is a measurement of how well it was cut, which means a diamond with a better cut will have far more sparkle than a poorly cut diamond. This is important for the appearance of a diamond’s size because dull, less sparkly diamonds will actually appear smaller to the eye. So, if size is your main concern when picking out your center diamond, remember that carat isn’t everything— cut is very important too.

 

SHAPE CAN GET YOU MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

 

Certain diamond shapes will look larger just because of how much of their surface area is on their table (the top of a diamond). Round diamonds are a classic option, but they have less of their surface on their table. On top of that, round diamonds are generally the most expensive shape per carat. So, if you want a larger looking diamond but want to save some cash, consider some fancy diamond shapes.

Diamond shapes that look larger include oval, emerald, pear, and marquise.

 

KEEP YOUR SETTING SLIM

 

Another way to make your center diamond look larger is to choose a slim setting. This is a simple matter of proportion. If you choose a bulky setting, your diamond may look smaller in comparison. But if you choose a slim band (especially one that also has slim prongs), your diamond will look larger.

 

CHOOSE A HIGHLY REFLECTIVE PRECIOUS METAL

 

A highly reflective precious metal can add to the overall brilliance of your ring, which will make it look bigger in the same way a good cut would. The most reflective precious metal is 18k white gold, so if you want to add in some extra brilliance to your engagement ring, consider going with white gold for your ring’s setting.

 

HALO SETTINGS ADD IMPACT

 

Choosing a halo setting, or having your existing engagement ring’s diamond put into a halo setting, is one of the easiest ways to make your engagement ring look bigger. Halo settings are settings that include a ring of diamonds that encircles the center stone. For even more impact, there are double halo settings, which have two rings of diamonds.

A Halo settings gives the illusion that your center diamond is much larger than it actually is, for a mere fraction of the cost of buying a bigger diamond.

 

SIDE DIAMONDS ADD BRILLIANCE

 

Another way to add visual impact to your engagement ring is to select a setting that includes side stones. Not only will they add brilliance to your ring, which will make it look larger overall, they can also make your center diamond look larger in comparison. To maximize this, select a ring setting with small, delicate diamond side stones, which will make your center diamond look the largest.

If you already have an engagement ring with a center diamond you love, you could consider just switching out your setting for one with delicate side diamonds. Switching out your ring setting is an easy and affordable way to get your existing center diamond to look much larger.

 

KEEP YOUR RING CLEAN

 

Finally, here’s a simple tip that will make your engagement ring look as big as possible for years to come: keep your engagement ring clean. With regular wear, both your engagement ring’s diamond and setting can get dirty, which will make your ring look dull. But if you clean your ring regularly, your ring can sparkle to its full extent, which will make it look much larger than it would if it were dirty.