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What Actually Makes Your Stone Look Big Or Small

Size matters…for some women…many women…depending on who you ask. I want to recognize that size is really not that important for many people (and for those of you this article may not be that interesting). If it is…then read on.

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

Here’s the thing regarding size….the PERCEPTION of size is what actually makes a stone look big or small…not necessarily that actual size. Perception is greatly impacted by design.

Our brain does not perceive size the way we think

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. If I took a picture of myself (…generous at 5’7) besides, then I’d be thinking, ‘Holy crap…these guys are huge!’

Our brain perceives size by relation/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 my optical illusions.

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

Here are 2 simple ways to do that.

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

A tapered band is even better as too. Take a look at this comparison…which one looks bigger?

…the stones are actually the same size…6.5mm aquare each acutally. 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 vs the second. Our brain sees this like ‘hey..that stone is a lot bigger than the band (reference point)’

#3:Go with a round ring with no cathedral

Cathedral X Round

Stone’s View



This does 2 things. First it makes the center stone stand out more from the rest of the ring when looking at the ring top-down on your finger which tends to make it look bigger. (Think of a basketball right in front of your face vs. 3 feet away…it’ll look bigger the closer it is to your face.)

Secondly, it tends to make the stone feel like it’s sitting higher, thereby increasing contrast.

Cathedral 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!