Diamond Engagement Rings – Does Size Really Matter?

Getting engaged is a momentous moment and a significant milestone in a couple’s journey. If you are planning on getting engaged soon, congratulations! We understand how important this special moment is. Of course, an unforgettable proposal needs a spectacular engagement ring, one that complements the bride’s beauty, personality and style. When it comes to engagement ring shopping, the question of diamond size often comes up. Does the size of an engagement ring diamond really matter? And, what is considered a good diamond size for an engagement ring? We have the answers and some helpful tips – from choosing a good size engagement ring and how to get the best value, to advice on how to make a diamond appear larger.

Whether you are in search of the perfect diamond engagement ring or simply need advice on the engagement ring shopping process, we invite you to book an appointment at one of our showrooms.

Does engagement ring diamond size really matter | Shimansky

What is a Good Diamond Size For an Engagement Ring?

We frequently get asked about the best carat sizes to buy or whether a diamond is too small or too large for a certain type of hands. One of the most important considerations when selecting a diamond engagement ring is the size of the stone. For most people, the larger, the better! Since large diamonds are rare, they are exponentially more valuable than smaller diamonds of the same colour and clarity. To illustrate this point, the cost of a 2.0ct diamond, for example, will be significantly higher than the combined prices of two 1.0ct stones, even if they have the same cut, colour and clarity grading. Couples with a modest engagement ring budget will be happy to know that carat size is not the only factor that contributes to the wow-factor of a diamond.

So, how does one select a perfect size for the diamond? And what is the perfect size

While this might sound like a fairly simple question, it really depends on the couple. The size of the diamond is subjective to personal taste, the expectations of the bride and, of course, what you are prepared to spend on an engagement ring.

To determine the best diamond size for an engagement ring it is advisable to start with what you are prepared to spend. If you have a pre-determined budget in mind, it is easy to get an idea of what size range is available for that particular price point

The size of the bride’s fingers and hands is another important consideration in selecting a diamond size. Typically, a smaller diamond will present proportionately better on a smaller sized hand, while a small carat diamond on a larger size hand may appear even smaller.

The size of the bride’s fingers and hands is another important consideration in selecting a diamond size. Typically, a smaller diamond will present proportionately better on a smaller sized hand, while a small carat diamond on a larger size hand may appear even smaller.

To get the best value – the biggest size diamond for what you are spending – a good tactic is to “buy shy”. Diamond prices at the half and one-carat marks increase significantly. The idea of “buying shy” is to buy a diamond just below these carat weights in order to stay within the lower price bracket. For example, instead of buying a 1.0ct diamond, you might want to consider one that lies in the 0.90-0.98ct range. Most people can’t tell size differences this small with the naked eye, and the price difference will be well worth the sacrifice in size.

Does engagement ring diamond size really matter | Shimansky

How Many Carats is the Average Engagement Ring?

Statistics show that not every woman opt for a large diamond. According to BusinessTech, most South Africans spend between R30,000 and R40,000 on an engagement ring. This roughly equates to a 0.5ct diamond ring, depending on the diamond cut, clarity and colour grading, as well as the metal used in the setting, of course.

Statistics also indicate that the average diamond sizes vary from region to region. In the United States, the average size for a diamond ring is 1.0ct, with most people spending approximately $6000 (roughly R83,000) on the ring. However, when it comes to engagement ring diamond size, you will find people on either end of the pendulum – those who buy diamonds as small as 0.25ct and others who go well over the 2.0ct mark.

Does engagement ring diamond size really matter | Shimansky

How to Make an Engagement Ring Look Bigger

There are optical illusions that can enhance the appearance of a smaller diamond. To make a diamond look larger, we recommend the following:

Always get the best cut possible.

This may come as a surprise, but the carat weight of a diamond is not necessarily linked to how large it will appear. The stone’s physical appearance will greatly depend on the cut, including how deep it is cut. For example, a shallow stone will appear larger than a stone with a great depth. A diamond with a shallow cut has a larger table (top surface), which makes the diamond appear larger, whereas a diamond with a deep cut appears smaller since a large portion of the weight is hidden in the body.

However, it is important to know that carat weight and cut should always be considered hand-in-hand. A diamond that looks too big or too small for its carat weight, is a sign of a poor cut, which means the brilliance of the stone will be sacrificed. A diamond with more sparkle will inevitably appear larger, so it is advisable to opt for a stone with an excellent cut.

Select a delicate band.

Balancing a smaller diamond with a thin band will enhance the appearance of its size. This effect can be maximised with the use of a band that tapers towards the stone.

Enhance a smaller centre stone with a halo.

The use of a shimmering halo of smaller diamonds around the centre stone can create a grandiose appearance in the ring.

Choose slim prongs.

If you are opting for a solitaire setting, look for a setting with slimmer prongs, which cover less of the stone. This will allow you to see more of the diamond, making it appear larger.

Does engagement ring diamond size really matter | Shimansky

Which Cut of Diamond Has The Most Sparkle?

Although most people are focussed on getting the largest diamond possible, we highly recommend that you never sacrifice cut for size. Of the 5C’s that influence a diamond’s beauty, the most important is arguably the way in which the diamond is cut. This is because the diamond’s various facets and proportions determine how well the stone reflects light. To achieve true beauty, a diamond must return the maximum amount of light. Even the highest quality diamond will appear dull if the cut is poor, while a diamond with an intense sparkle can help mask a lower colour grading and hide inclusions.

Each diamond cut has different facet patterns, giving each shape a unique brilliance. Which brings us to the all-important question: which cut of diamond has the most sparkle? Diamond shapes are ranked according to their brilliance as follows:

  • Most brilliant – the round brilliant cut
  • Extremely brilliant – the oval, marquise and pear cut
  • Very brilliant – the heart and princess cut
  • Brilliant – the cushion, emerald, asscher and radiant cut
  • Less brilliant – the baguette cut

It's important to know that although each diamond shape has a unique brilliance rating, each individual stone’s sparkle is ultimately determined by the quality of the cut. Shimansky’s patented eight-sided square My Girl diamond cut is renowned both for its high sparkle, and for the originality of its cut and design. It is a perfectly balanced diamond with the ultimate combination of fire, brilliance and scintillation, reflecting light with every move. It is without a doubt the diamond with the most sparkle in the Shimansky collection.

Does engagement ring diamond size really matter | Shimansky

Find the Perfect Diamond Engagement Ring at Shimansky

Shimansky understands the importance of finding the perfect diamond engagement ring. That’s why every diamond creation in our range of classic, timeless and contemporary designs is crafted with attention to detail to celebrate the special moments in your life in style.

Whether you prefer a mesmerising pear-shaped diamond cut or the classic My Girl Shimansky signature diamond cut, you are guaranteed to find a diamond with design excellence when choosing a Shimansky creation. We invite you to book an appointment at one of our showrooms. We have the expertise and skill to guide you through this important occasion.