Some people like their diamonds to be as brilliant as possible, and others prefer their stones to be large. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your gem to be as big as possible; it’s a personal preference.
And among all these different diamond shapes, some look big, and others are smaller. So, this begs the question: What diamond shape looks the biggest?
As the quality of the cut significantly affects the diamond’s size, it’s hard to tell what shape looks the biggest. However, there are several gem shapes that stand out when it comes to their more prominent looks.
In this article, we’ve covered these larger diamond shapes – and discussed some smaller ones that you should probably avoid if you’re searching for a big stone. On top of that, we also shared some ways to make your diamond look bigger.
So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Don’t Confuse A Diamond’s Shape With A Diamond’s Cut
Even though the shape and cut of a diamond are often used interchangeably, they’re different terms.
- The diamond’s shape indicates the outline or external figure of the stone. For instance, round brilliant, heart-shaped, pear-shaped, and cushion all refer to the shape and appearance of the diamond.
- The diamond’s cut refers to the actual symmetry, dimensions, faceting, and a diamond’s light performance. For example, a heart-shaped diamond might be cut too deep or too shallow and can be brilliant or dull.
These aspects don’t impact the outline of the gemstone, though; it’s still heart-shaped.
When it comes to choosing a shape of a diamond, it all comes down to personal preference and your style. But it’s worth noting that the finer the cut, the greater the level of brilliance a diamond will exhibit.
That said, if you’re searching for the biggest looking diamond, continue reading!
What Diamond Shape Looks The Biggest?
Despite having the same carat weight, some shapes can appear more prominent than others. Great news, right?
So, let’s look at some of these biggest-looking diamond shapes in detail.
The signature emerald-cut – first developed for emeralds, as the name implies – was invented to protect the gemstones from chipping off, given their brittle nature.
Later on, this cutting technique started to be used on diamonds.
Long and elongated facets and the flattened window-like table were created, resulting in a more step-like cut. Also, the corners were shortened to give rise to an octahedral structure.
Elongated and elegant emerald-cut diamonds were one of the most popular diamond shapes during the 19th century. If you’re into old-world fashion, emerald-cut is an excellent choice for you.
Apart from looking classic and timeless, they’re, of course, big!
On the flip side, emerald-cut diamonds might not exhibit the same degree of shine and sparkle as brilliant-cut diamonds.
If you choose an emerald-cut diamond, aim for VS2 clarity and an H color; it will provide you the most bang for your buck. Oh, and here’s another tip:
Look for shallower stones; they tend to appear larger while retaining the same carat weight. The angles in an emerald-cut diamond aren’t that important for its overall beauty – so even a shallow diamond can still look amazing.
Related Read: Radiant Cut Vs. Emerald Cut
If you want an attention-grabbing ring even without wearing a high-carat stone, the pear shape is just what you’re looking for here. Pear-shaped diamonds, also known as teardrop cuts, have a larger top surface and look pretty big for their weight.
Not only do pear-shaped diamonds have a beautiful and unique style, but their prices are also pretty attractive: They face-up 8% larger than round brilliant cuts and cost about 20-30% less.
Their elongated shape makes them an excellent option for trendy east-west engagement rings.
However, pear-shaped diamonds might be somewhat fragile to handle due to their pointy tips. Another thing worth noting here is that finding a well-cut pear shape can be pretty challenging.
Pear-shaped diamonds exhibit a bowtie, so be sure that you thoroughly examine the gem and find one with a minimal bowtie before making a purchase.
Like other brilliant cuts, aim for a pear-shaped diamond with an H color and SI1 clarity grade if you want the best value.
Fancy cuts – such as emerald and pear – tend to look relatively big for their weight. But if you want something more “basic,” an oval-shaped diamond is an excellent alternative for you.
Oval diamonds exhibit equally extraordinary brilliance and sparkle.
Due to their large elongated table surface, this subtle design appears bigger – all while making your fingers seem slimmer. So far, so good, right?
Ovals are also a popular choice for east-west ring settings. Better yet, they’re usually 10 to 30% less expensive than round brilliants.
However, any oval diamond will exhibit a bowtie within; some are more prominent than others. If you’re hoping to find an oval diamond without a noticeable bowtie, you might need to do some searching.
Here’s the good news: Oval diamonds hide inclusions quite well. So, SI1 will most likely appear eye-clean.
That said, ovals tend to show color. We recommend going for color grade H if you want to avoid excess color in your oval-shaped diamond.
Because of their pointy elongated ends, the Marquise-cut diamonds look more prominent and longer while also making your finger look slender.
Although not the most popular or sought-after design compared to other diamond shapes, a Marquise diamond is a perfect choice if you prefer the modern style.
However, these pointy ends might need extra attention to avoid chipping them.
Setting a marquise-cut diamond in a halo ring style might be a perfect way to hit two birds with one stone: It’ll make the diamond appear larger while protecting its ends from chipping.
Even though symmetry is crucial in marquise-cut diamonds, it can be difficult to judge. Be sure to examine the stone closely and ensure that it appears symmetrical.
Since marquise-cut diamonds do an excellent job hiding inclusions, an SI1 or SI2 clarity grade will provide you with an eye-clean stone on a budget. What about color?
An H color diamond will appear white when set in white gold, and an I or even J color can look amazing in rose or yellow gold.
Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds
If you want to go for a timeless design and the most popular diamond cut, the round brilliant cut is the perfect choice for you.
Due to their intense brilliance, they can look pretty big. However, round diamonds don’t look as big as some diamond shapes we’ve covered above.
That being said, round diamonds still look more prominent than the shapes we’ll be discussing below – given the same carat weight, that is. So, if you love round brilliant cut diamonds, go for it; they look absolutely stunning.
A well-cut round diamond – and its brilliance and sparkle – will impress anyone.
Even though this shape doesn’t have the largest face-up surface, its intense sparkle will make the stone appear more prominent.
However, since round brilliants are the most sought-after diamond shapes, they’re also the most expensive.
If the carat weight isn’t crucial to you, here’s a tip: Try searching for a stone that’s just under a popular weight. A 0.95-carat diamond will be less expensive than a 1-carat stone while appearing nearly the same size.
Due to their brilliance, you can usually compromise on clarity and color when buying a round brilliant diamond.
SI1 will look great clarity-wise, but color depends on the precious metal used in the ring setting. Generally, I or J colors will look good in white gold, and K color is excellent for yellow and rose gold.
What Diamond Shape Looks The Smallest?
Some shapes hold a good portion of their carat weight in their bases. Therefore, they don’t have too much face-up surface area. So, while looking for a diamond shape that appears bigger, you might as well avoid these bottom-heavy cuts.
Here are several examples of diamond shapes you might want to avoid:
The luxurious appeal of cushion-cut diamonds is known to attract the attention of many. Cushion cuts look casual and minimal yet modern at the same time.
On the downside, most of the cushion diamond’s carat weight is deep-set.
So, to buy a cushion cut that looks as big as some other shapes, such as oval or emerald, you’d have to spend a lot of money for the additional carat weight.
Princess cut is another classic diamond shape that’s not the ideal choice if you’re looking for a stone that appears more prominent.
Although it offers the same brilliance as the round diamond, princess cuts are bottom-heavy – and, therefore, don’t have a vast face-up surface area.
Read Also: Princess Cut Vs. Cushion Cut: A Comparison Guide
Asscher Cut Diamonds
Even though they belong in the step-cut family, like emerald cuts, Asscher-cut diamonds don’t look as large as their cousins.
So, Asscher cut should also be avoided if you’re looking for a more prominent-looking diamond.
How To Make Your Diamond Ring Look Bigger?
If you’re concerned about your diamond ring not looking big enough, we’ll share ways to make your diamond ring look more prominent.
Let’s discuss them one at a time, shall we?
Get The Best Cut You Can
The cut dictates how well the gem will reflect light based on how its facets and angles were cut.
The GIA grades a diamond’s cut as “Excellent,” “Very Good,” “Good,” and “Fair.” The better the cut, the better the light performance of the diamond, which results in a larger appearance of the stone, too.
So, ensure that your diamond is well-cut. A well-cut stone with proper facets and angles will not only look gorgeous and brilliant, but it will look larger, as well.
Choose Slender Prongs
One smart way to maximize the looks of your center stone is to minimize the appearance of the other aspects of your ring.
With that said, look for a ring setting that has more discreet prongs. You’re going to see more of your diamond’s surface area rather than having it covered by the prongs.
Opt For Fewer Prongs
In addition to selecting slimmer prongs, you should also consider rings with fewer prongs.
For example, round brilliant diamonds are usually set with four or six prongs. If you’re looking to maximize the appearance of your gem, choose fewer prongs. That won’t distract the eyes from the bling – making it look bigger.
Choose A Thin Band
A thin and delicate band will make your diamond appear hefty in comparison.
In addition to opting for a narrower band, search for one that tapers in as it nears the middle. This type of band is called a pinched shank – and it can emphasize the centerpiece pretty well.
Choose A Bright White Metal Band
The white metal of a ring setting will act as a mirror that reflects the diamond’s colorlessness for best brilliance and shine. That creates the optical illusion of a larger stone.
That’s the same reason why interior designers add mirrors into smaller spaces – to make them look more open and, in turn, bigger.
Look For The Right Setting
We recommend selecting your ring setting strategically.
For instance, halo settings feature a center stone surrounded by a halo of tiny stones. By using a halo setting, you’ll maximize your diamond’s appearance – without increasing the price tag.
Additionally, cluster settings that feature a mix of stones grouped together can also provide you with a larger size at a lower price point.
Moreover, you could opt for a three-stone ring setting. If you choose a three-stone setting, we recommend keeping the side stones on the smaller side as they won’t compete for attention with the center stone.
Be Flexible With Color And Clarity
Every diamond is graded for color and clarity. If the size is what you desire, you can maximize your budget for your ring by selecting a larger carat stone with lower color and clarity grades.
The diamond will still look fantastic – and you’ll get a big gem you always wanted.
Get Your Diamond Ring Cleaned Regularly
Keeping your diamond debris-free will maximize its sparkle. And the sparklier and shinier your diamond is, the more magnificent it will appear.
But if your stone is dirty, it’s going to look dull and small.
We recommend getting your diamond cleaned professionally every six months or so. And in the meantime, you can clean it yourself at home whenever you notice some build-up dirt and grime.
As much as we’d like to wear a big shiny diamond, sometimes, we have to realize that the size of the diamond doesn’t define our worth.
But that shouldn’t stop you from getting a bigger diamond; we’ve got your back!
So, to answer the question “What diamond shape looks the biggest?” we’d have to say that there are several diamond shapes that are bigger-looking than the rest. It’s the quality of the cut impacts the size quite a bit:
Diamond shapes such as emerald, pear, and oval tend to look more prominent than others.
Additionally, if you want to make your diamond ring look bigger, you can do so by following the recommendations we covered in this article. A thinner band with fewer prongs, for example, can do wonders for the gem’s appearance size-wise.