Carat Size: How Big Is Too Big?

Large engagement ring

When it comes to engagement ring gemstone size, how big is too big—or is there even such a thing? Some celebrities sport 15 carats of pure diamond, but while you’re probably not a celebrity, you may still be wondering if the large rock look is appropriate for you. We can all agree that a ring as big as your head would be pretty impractical, but other than the obvious, what sizes are taboo? Read below for some guidelines on determining what rock size is a perfect fit.

Don’t Break the Bank

Empty wallet

Don’t forget you have a wedding to pay for. Check your budget to make sure the ring you’re going to purchase is within your means; when we say within your means, we don’t mean you’ll be fine if you eat nothing but microwave noodles for the next six months. Really think about what matters to you. My cousin had an extremely extravagant wedding and honeymoon. It was all very beautiful, but later on when she had two kids she wished she had toned it down on the budget a bit. Why? Because, priorities change. Try to think ahead. Does the ring’s size really matter that much? Are you going to want the thousands you would’ve spent on the ring for something else, like a house? If money is no issue then that’s great, but make sure to always plan carefully.

Consider Your Hands

Every woman’s body is different, including her hands. Some of us have small hands with slender fingers; some of use have larger hands with short, thicker fingers. The size of your stone isn’t always about cost—it should be about what looks good too!

Large stones will dwarf slender fingers, depending on the cut, can look almost like the candy rings you sported as a child. They can also make short fingers look even shorter. The best way to know what will look best on you is to try on multiple carat sizes in the general style you want. A 2.5 carat stunner might look impressive in the case, but not always on your hand.

Consider Hand Activity

Throwing pots

Have you ever tried wearing a ring all the time? Some people can’t stand them; I get annoyed with the feeling after 20 minutes. However, most women say that you do get used to it. Now consider a huge ring. Think about the weight and general bulkiness. Prettiness aside, if the thought of your left hand being weighed down makes you anxious, a large gem is probably not for you.

Also think about your job and hobbies. Will you be held back by a larger ring or be afraid of it getting damaged? If so, you’ll probably end up taking it off and putting it back on a lot. If this thought doesn’t bother you, then that’s cool, but if it does you might want to stick to a smaller style.

What about your everyday life? It can be annoying when a piece of jewelry gets caught on everything. You want your engagement ring to bring you nothing but joy. Will a bulky ring that gets caught on things sometimes and drive you nuts?

Is Flashy Classy or Trashy?

Consider the actual style and look of the ring you’re thinking about. How do you want to present yourself? This is a piece you will be presumably wearing forever, so you’ll want to think this through. The biggest factor in choosing your gem size is personal taste. It’s just a fact of life; some people think a huge ring is gorgeous and impressive and some think it’s just super gaudy.

So what kind of person are you? Do you love to stand out with tons of bling or does the thought of an eye-catching rock make you squirm? If you’re not sure, think about your personal style. Are you the kind of person who’s always dressed up and who always gets a manicure? You might be more inclined for a large ring. Then again, if you’re the kind of person who isn’t too fussy about their looks and loves to rock a more casual t-shirt ensemble, you might be better off with a modest, beautiful ring.

It’s an Accessory

Couple holding hands

Speaking of outfits, you’ll want to think about your ring in tandem with your style of clothing. Your ring will act as an accessory to every outfit you wear. Let’s say you pick a huge emerald for your ring instead of a diamond. It’s a beautiful ring, but you’ll want to keep in mind that since it’s so big, that green will really pop. This might clash with certain outfit color choices. You may not care, but if you do and you’re committed to your unique ring, you might want to go a bit smaller. That way your ring fits in with your look seamlessly.

Since it’s something you’ll be wearing every day, it is a big decision. Make sure to think about not just who you are now, but who you think you’ll be in the future. Leave yourself some room to love the ring forever. You don’t want to have regrets later you chose the biggest thing in the jeweler’s case. You may leave yourself thinking, “yeah, it’s impressive, but it drives me nuts!” But, on the other hand, downside to a small ring is just that: it’s small. Be honest with yourself if that will bother you, too, and discuss this with your fiance.

Regardless of size, your engagement ring should be all about the love you share. It should be special for the both of you, but you have to wear it forever so it’s important that you love what you’re putting on!

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