Choosing the size of your ring’s center stone – is bigger always better?
It is interesting to note that some people who buy cubic zirconia engagement rings consider their own income and social status when deciding on the size of the stone.
This may sound counter-intuitive since one of the more probable reasons they're going for cubic zirconia is because of budgetary concerns - a genuine diamond ring is decidedly tens of thousands more expensive than a Cubic Zirconia ring.
But think about it; if you're only making $60,000 annually, you drive an ordinary car, live an average income life and everyone you know knows it, wouldn't it be surprising (bordering on suspicious) if you suddenly pop the question and brandish a 5-carat engagement ring?
Either you just hit the lottery jackpot and are doing a good job hiding it, you just sold your soul to the devil (or at least to the bank or your credit card company, which is pretty much the same thing) and tied yourself to a lifetime of debt, you just completely lost your mind and decided to go for broke - literally...
...Or it's not a real diamond.
I'm willing to bet most people will think the last one.
If you're the recipient, unless you already know you're getting a CZ engagement ring, won't you be thinking the same thing?
And even if you knew you were getting a CZ ring, won't your friends think the same considering they probably know your fiancée isn’t really an Arab prince?
However, if you only propose with a conservatively sized ring - say 1.0 carat or even 2.0 carats at the most - it will be more believable considering your status in life.
...And as the receiver, whether or not you know it's not a real diamond, you'll probably be more focused on the moment rather than the ring, and what people will think about it.
And even if there will be people who'll doubt it, they won't really be stupid enough to ask, would they?
This is not just true with engagement rings. Whether it be a ring, an earrings set, a pendant, cufflinks or a bracelet, if you want to keep appearances, bigger won’t always be better.
Let’s face it, even if more and more people are switching over to Team Cubic Zirconia and saying an emphatic “NO” to overpriced and overly hyped genuine diamonds, there are still those who think getting something less is something to be embarrassed about.
However, if you’re really the practical couple and you just don’t care what people think, because you both have your eyes fixed on what’s ahead of you (you may enjoy this other article we have who talks about a couple with the same values, “It's not being cheap - it's being practical (a story)”) then perhaps none of the foregoing matters.
What remains is deciding what size of a center stone will look good on you/her.
But before we dive head on, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with our carat weight to millimeter conversion chart.
It’s time to talk about aesthetics.
Some center stones look larger than they actually are. Examples of these are the emerald cut, the oval cut, the radiant cut or even the pear cut. Even 1.0 carat (7mm x 5mm) or 2.0 carat stones (8.5mm x 6.5mm) of these shapes will appear larger than they actually are. Combined with a thin or narrow shank, these center stones really pop out. And when set north-south (along the length of the finger), these stone shapes can even make your finger appear longer or more slender.
You can find out more about how to choose the right center stone shape with our article, Which Center Stone Shape Is Best For Me/Her?
Large sized stones 3.0 carats and up will look good on larger hands, but would look awkward on smaller hands. There are certain stone shapes that would look better with bigger sizes, such as the asscher cut or even the cushion cut. Ultimately, the way a large stone is set, as well as the overall design of the ring will dictate whether the ring looks good or not.
Another thing to consider when choosing a large center stone is a halo setting. Depending on how it is designed, the ring may start looking overwhelming, or even atrocious. Furthermore, a large center stone may not really look flattering with a bridge setting.
On the other hand, smaller sized stones, may look conservative, but when combined with a good setting – a cathedral setting, or accented with side stones – rings with smaller sized stones may appear elegant and would really flatter the hand that wears them.
Smaller stones combined with a split band or a bypass band also tends to look sophisticated especially when worn on slender fingers. Just don’t go for something that would require a microscope for someone to admire your ring.
Speaking of accent stones and settings, a small sized center stone may be made to appear larger when combined with a halo setting. A cluster setting (several small stones set close together usually with shared prongs) will also give the impression of a larger sized center stone. Moreover, combining a small center stone with side stones that are just slightly smaller than it, may also give the illusion that you have a larger center stone.
Here at CubicZirconia.com, we strive to make your shopping experience for your engagement ring (or anniversary rings, or earrings, or pendants) as enjoyable and as stress free as possible. If you’re unsure about the size of the center stone for your jewelry piece, we are willing to send you a sample pack of stones in exchange of a small deposit that will count towards your final purchase cost.
Ultimately, choosing the size of your center stone lies on your personal preference. Know, though, that if you ever need help deciding, whether it's the size, shape, setting or design for your perfect engagement ring, we’ll always be ready, willing and able to help as best as we can.
For what it's worth, as of October 2021 the most popular carat size center stones chosen by customers from engagement ring sales sold worldwide over the last seven (7) years CubicZirconia.com has been tracking this choice is 1.50 carats.