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You don’t need the deep pockets of an A-list celebrity like #JenniferLopez, #Beyonce or a #Kardashian to create a little more sparkle in your ring.
Here are some affordable ways tips to make your diamond look larger than life.
If you look at the photo above, you can see how diamonds with Excellent, Good and Poor cut grades, from left to right, compare to each other.
Don’t worry about how many carats the diamond or gem is. Carat refers to weight, not size. It’s better to focus on the cut. Get the best cut you can. The cut determines how the stone reflects the light. When the diamond has a better quality cut, the stone is more brilliant, will sparkle more and therefore gives the impression of being larger than it actually is. Cut is so important that while a higher carat weight will lead to a diamond that’s theoretically larger, a very low grade cut can negate all that pricy extra carat weight.
Consider buying elongated shapes instead of round diamonds or gems. The four shapes that look the largest per carat are (in order of which looks the largest): marquise, pear, oval, and emerald diamonds. The surface area (top) in these shapes are a little bigger than round stones – roughly 10% larger depending on the cut and shape.
In addition, these shapes give you MORE BLING FOR THE BUCK. Not only do they appear bigger per carat than round diamonds, but they should either cost the same or cost less than a round stone of the same stats. An oval should never cost more than a round or princess cut diamond. Even if it’s a “bigger-looking” stone, an these shapes lose less “rough” diamond in the cutting process than a round or princess, which makes it cost less. The best part? These shapes with less carat weight can actually look larger than a round diamond that’s a larger carat size. Meaning you can spend less money on “carats” and still get a stone that looks it’s weight!
Just as some diamond shapes look larger per carat, others look smaller per carat. If you want the largest-looking diamond you can fit into your budget, you may want to avoid asscher, cushion and princess diamonds as much of their carat weight is below the surface where it can’t be seen. Round diamonds are another shape you may want to avoid if you’re trying to get a larger-looking diamond while maximizing your budget. Round diamonds (along with cushion) also tend to be the most expensive shapes to choose.
Halo designs continue to rise in popularity. Halos consist of tiny, shimmering diamonds surrounding the larger, center stone, creating the optical illusion of one very big diamond. Since the small diamonds are reflective and “packed” closely together, it creates a fused appearance. This makes it extremely hard to figure out where the smaller individual stones are unless the setting is examined closely. Halo settings are an excellent option if you want your engagement ring to look as glamorous and sizable as possible. Single halos, double halos, even triple halos – combine them with colored metals to compliment your center stone and you can make a statement with a beautiful, sizeable illusion. Also keep in mind, 20 melees (tiny diamonds) with a carat weight totaling 1 ct. will generally cost less than a single 1 ct diamond as there is much more flexibility in sacrificing color and clarity in the tiny diamonds. Implementing halo setting is a fantastic way to include colored diamonds into your design if your budget does not allow for a larger stone.
Adding smaller side stones to either side of the larger center diamond will bring out the center stone, and enhance the ring’s beauty as a whole. Think of the side-stones as the performers who open before the big show! They’ll create a grand, luminous effect for the main act – the center diamond. Having side diamonds can create a leading edge that draws attention from the hand towards the center of the ring. This also helps make the ring look more extravagant and adds multiple dimensions of sparkle to the main diamond.
Be open to colored gems. This doesn’t have to just be diamonds. Colored gems pop and appear larger than a traditional diamond. Opt for pale hues of pink, yellow, green, or blue that will trick the eye and appear bigger.
Choose a white metal like platinum or white gold. White metals act as a mirror. The stone will reflect off of white gold (especially 18K white gold) or platinum bands, creating more shine than yellow or rose gold bands. This creates the optical illusion of a bigger stone. 18k white gold is particularly good at reflection, as it’s plated in rhodium, which is extraordinarily shiny. You can still incorporate the other colored metals in the accents.
I don’t generally recommend deeply sacrificing the cut, color and clarity of the diamond in order to get a bigger stone. There is no set rule that your ring must have a traditional diamond center stone. Fear not: There are plenty of romantic, classy alternatives to the “traditional” diamond engagement ring, many of which offer greater value and far less cause for guilt.
First of all, consider lab grown if you are dead set on a diamond. Yes, lab grown diamonds are real diamonds. See my recent blog ABOUT LAB GROWN DIAMONDS
There are many other gems that are rarer than diamonds, including rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Even vivid well-cut a one-carat blue sapphire need not set you back more than a couple thousand dollars.
If you’d prefer a colorless stone (for that “traditional” engagement ring look), a white sapphire is actually be more affordable than a blue one, despite being rarer.
Even though tanzanite is one of the rarest gems on earth (1,000 times rarer than diamonds) a tanzanite stone can cost nearly 10 times less than a comparable diamond.
Give us a shout at Robert Palma Designs. Located in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii at the edge of Waikiki. Over 40 years as Hawaii’s premier GIA certified custom jeweler. Everything we do is built for you.