You’ve likely heard about the four main factors defining a diamond’s quality – cut, clarity, color, and carats. Unfortunately, these factors often conflict. To get a higher clarity and color grade, you’d have to sacrifice the stone’s weight, unless you aren’t limited in terms of price at all. A lot of women prefer bigger stones to tiny, delicate stones – but which shape makes the diamond look the largest?
Every diamond cut has certain proportions that make the stones shine more intense. Two 1-carat stones of different shapes may appear different sizes, as they would have a different depth, and therefore, diameter. If you aren’t sure what ring you should choose yet, read on to find out which cut will make the piece look the most impressive.
Which Diamond Shape Looks Biggest?
Here’s a list of the diamond shapes that appear the largest from the top:
Emerald CutMarquise CutOval CutPear CutRose CutCushion CutEmerald-Cut Diamond
The emerald cut works well with stones of higher clarity grade, as it won’t mask inclusions. Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice quality to get a bigger stone – the emerald cut is among the champions of our selection. Diamonds of this shape are less sparkly, but appear bigger. The cut isn’t as deep as the traditional round cut; therefore, the stones are wider. The emerald cut features a large table and an endless mirror effect, adding to the illusion of a big stone.
If all things are equal, the Emerald Cut Diamond will give the largest illusion of size from the list.
Pointed edges and a larger appearance make the marquise cut the most extravagant diamond shape. The two sharp sides allow the stone to be longer, thus covering the biggest area on your finger.
Same as the pear cut (mentioned below), the marquise cut diamonds are in lower demand than most other cuts. This results in a more affordable price.
The shape of oval-cut diamonds creates an illusion that helps the stone appear larger due to elongated lines. Furthermore, an intense sparkle of this cut draws attention and intensifies the illusion effect.
Compared to a round-cut diamond, an oval-cut stone of the same weight will look bigger, while still being a timeless classic.
Just like the oval and emerald cuts, the pear cut has an elongated shape. The sharp tip allows the rounded end to be wider, and that’s what people will notice first.
Another advantage of the pear cut is that it’s less popular than most other shapes, therefore, less pricey.
In addition, you often get more carats for the same price. This shape is seriously underestimated, as it makes your fingers appear slender and can be worn two ways.
Plus, pear-shaped diamonds are a tough competition to round and oval cuts in terms of sparkle.
Halos Make the Diamond Look Bigger
Here’s a trick to make a diamond of any cut appear larger – choose a halo setting. Several tiny stones generally cost less than one big stone, but add a lot in terms of sparkle and size.
The halo setting also leaves room for creativity – you can choose to surround the center diamond with colored gemstones. However, if the colors of the main stone and halo are contrasting, the enlarging effect will be less impressive compared to stones of matching color.
Last but not least, a halo can protect the center stone from catching objects and scratching. This is especially important for marquise and pear-cut diamonds.
Proportions Can Make the Diamond Look Bigger
Another thing to bear in mind, depending on the cut you prefer, is proportions. A diamond which is cut flawlessly and features perfect symmetry reflects the light better.
A strong shine makes the stone appear larger and draws more attention. Therefore, paying more for a better cut is worth it. However, only round-cut diamonds have a GIA-issued cut grade – for the rest you will have to use your own judgment.
Choose a Narrow Band and Minimal Details
A narrow band will make any diamond appear bigger. Solitaire style rings accentuate the stone, while a lot of design elements can make even large diamonds look tiny – unless it’s a halo style ring.
In general, a high crown requires a deep stone cut, meaning that the diamond will appear smaller when looking from above. If you choose white gold or platinum setting, it will complement the clear diamond color and visually enlarge it.
A contrasting setting, on the other hand, will do the opposite. Unless you are choosing a yellow gold band to match a champagne-colored diamond, of course!
Which Diamond Shape Looks Smallest?
If you want a diamond in your engagement ring to look small, avoid the round and cushion cuts. Round-shaped stones have an exceptional shine, achieved by a deep cut, resulting in a smaller diameter.
The round cut is also the most popular. Therefore, due to high demand, a 1-carat round cut stone will cost more than a 1-carat marquise-cut stone. The sloped sides of a cushion-cut stone make diamonds appear smaller than they are, even compared to round cut stones – which can be considered the golden mean.
The cushion shape is also less forgiving to inclusions and cut imperfections. This means that it’s certainly not a choice for those who want a large, high-quality stone for a reasonable price. Cushion-cut diamonds have their advantages too, though.
Bigger Is Better
If you keep in mind the importance of shape, a perfect cut, and the surrounding details, choosing a ring should be much easier now. No matter what your preference, we hope that you won’t have to compromise the diamond’s quality and overall ring style for the carat number anymore.