Designing your own custom engagement ring throws up all kinds of questions. But there’s one consideration above all others that causes the most anxiety: the choice of centre stone. Despite the fact that there are numerous other gorgeous gemstones available – sapphires, rubies, moissanite, tourmaline – the white diamond remains the number one choice for engagement rings. But it also remains the most expensive precious stone around. And although you want to buy the best you can possibly afford for the occasion, it’s really not sensible to blow your budget just for the sake of a bit more sparkle.

So, what are your options? You can choose a different stone and accent it with smaller diamonds. Or you can use some clever trade tricks within your design to make it look like you’ve got more bling for your buck.

5 Design Tips to Make the Diamond of Your Custom Engagement Ring Look Bigger

1. Consider the cut

More than anything else, it’s the cut of your diamond that determines its sparkle. So, if you’re looking to make a smaller stone appear spectacular, it’s really important to keep the cut in mind when working on your design. And if you’re looking for the sparkliest diamond of them all, the round brilliant cut will win every time. But it’s also the most expensive, and the princess, cushion and radiant cuts are all extremely shiny alternatives.

2. Experiment with shapes

While the round brilliant diamond does deliver the most sparkle, there’s more to diamonds than how they twinkle. So, if you’re looking to make your money go further, check out the other potential stone shapes before you get a fixed design idea in mind. Marquise, oval and pear cut diamonds all bring a slightly different dimension to a ring. They still sparkle, but their charm lies in their larger surface area, which creates the opportunity for more playful designs. They’re also a slightly more cost-effective option. While the emerald cut diamond can be as much as 42% cheaper than round brilliants of the same carat. They’re still utterly beguiling, just in a different way.

3. Bandwidth

A really simple way to make any ring look like it’s rocking a large centre stone is to go for a slimmer band. You can select the classic look of a simple gold band with a stunning solitaire diamond. Or try a delicate pave cut diamond band to enhance the sparkle. Either way, the wider the band, the larger the stone needs to be to create the wow you’re looking for.

4. Halo, halo

The halo engagement ring, whereby a centre stone is embraced by a halo of smaller gems, became popular in the 1920s and is yet to fall out of fashion. It’s a look that is both timeless and entrancing. And it’s also really versatile, allowing you to mix and match stones according to your budget and tastes. The halo enhances any stone, helping to make even the smallest gem look more impressive.

5. Discover detailing

There are various ways that you can add to the detailing of your custom engagement ring to enhance the look of your diamond. We’ve already mentioned pave set stones, but engravings and milgrain detailing can also work, as well as bespoke motifs and metal embellishment. The white metals – palladium, platinum, white gold – usually produce the best results if your primary aim is to increase the appearance of your diamond, but accents of other metals can work well too.

Contrary to popular belief, size really isn’t everything when it comes to selecting a diamond for your custom engagement ring. As the old adage goes, it’s not what you’ve got but what you with it that matters. If your heart is completely set on a large round brilliant diamond, but your budget just can’t stretch, consider looking at lab-grown diamonds – they’re just as stunning, but can be as much as 40% cheaper than their mined counterparts, and they’re more sustainable too. But before you use your last available penny, take some time to go through the other options.  And you’ll soon see that a big piece of ice is just the beginning of your choices.

Need some advice on designing a custom engagement ring of your own? Book a consultation with Durham Rose today.