written by Brooklyn
written by Brooklyn

What Actually Makes Your Stone Look Big Or Small

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Let’s get real here.
Size matters for some women all women.

size matters

Bigger isn’t always better…but then again, for some it is. It all depends on your preference and perception.

The discussion around size typically revolves around getting a big rock…and this usually focuses on a stone’s carat. We discuss the problem with carat so check that out first and come back so we are all on the same page.

Now that we are all on the same page, here is the thing regarding size – the PERCEPTION of size is what actually makes a stone look big or small…not necessarily the actual size. Perception is greatly impacted by design.

What makes a diamond look bigger is not what you think it is. Our brain does not see size. We perceive size.

Imagine a large room full of NBA basketball players (…let’s stay those close to 7 ft tall) and you snap a picture.

You might not be that impressed. But if we look at a picture of Kevin Hart beside NBA basketball players we would naturally think ‘OMG…these guys are huge!’

NBA Star celebrity game Kevin Hart

Our brain perceives size by relation and contrast to establish scale…we need a reference point to compare. We do not scan a horizon with Ironman helmet-like metrics flashing across our screen with measurements and such. Our brain is often fooled by optical illusions.

So again, bigger isn’t ALWAYS better but if it is better to you, we have some tips for you below.

To increase your stone size, increase contrast in your design.

Go with a thinner band (2.0mm in width or thinner)

Solitaire round engagement ring thin and thick band comparison

Go with a tapered band.

Solitaire engagement ring tapered vs straight comparison

Take a look at this comparison…which one looks bigger?

The stones are actually the same size…6.5mm round each actually. I’d wager that the first one looks bigger. It’s because the contrast between the width of the band and the size (diameter) of the stone is greater in the first versus the second. Our brain sees this like “hey…that stone is a lot bigger than the band” (reference point).

Go with NO shoulders

solitaire engagement ring shoulder vs no shoulder comparison

This does two things.


It makes the center stone stand out more from the rest of the ring when looking at the ring top-down on your finger. (Think of a basketball right in front of your face versus 3 feet away…it’ll look bigger the closer it is to your face.)


It tends to make the stone feel like it’s sitting higher, therefore, increasing contrast.
Cathedral (shoulders) settings tend to make a stone blend in with the rest of the ring visually. It’s more of a feel than an objective look but I think you get the idea.

Design often has a much bigger impact on the visual appearance of size than the actual size of a stone…and can save you a ton of money too! 

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