4 Basic Mistakes People Make When Buying a "Big Engagement Ring"

Your engagement ring just might be the meaningful piece of jewelry you’ll ever own. It could also be the biggest investment piece you’ll acquire, so careful consideration should go into its purchase. While we’ve covered the pros and cons of every engagement ring style, today we thought we’d share a few more dos and don’ts.

In fact, after recently catching up with Stephanie Gottlieb, a private jeweler and designer in NYC, it became clear that many (but not all, of course) consider the size (often one carat or higher) to be of high importance in the narrowing-down process. And as a result, shoppers will sometimes make basic mistakes when trying to find The (Big) One.

While size really doesn’t matter, we’re taking a deeper dive into the matter below. Keep scrolling to learn more about the common misconceptions about buying a large engagement ring, courtesy of Gottlieb. Plus, shop a variety of rings at every size if you’re ready to bite the bullet and purchase that dream style. Or, you know, screenshot and send over as a hint to your S.O.

The Mistake: Focusing Too Much on the Carat Weight


(Image credit: @stephaniegottlieb)

"Often a client will focus too much on the actual carat weight of the stone instead of the measurements. If you find a stone with ‘spready’ measurements, you can get a bigger look and a better value with a smaller-carat-weight stone. On that note, cushion and asscher cuts tend to feel small than other shapes of the same carat weight because they don’t hold their weight as much across the top. The pear shape will give you the best bang for your buck.”

The Mistake: Picking a Setting That's Too Chunky


(Image credit: @stephaniegottlieb)

"Sometimes a client picks an elaborate or halo setting to give an overall bigger look, but this may end up hiding the beauty of the center stone.”

The Mistake: Opting for a Thin Band With a Wide Stone


(Image credit: @stephaniegottlieb)

"If you’re going for a big stone, it needs a good support system in a setting, so going with a band that’s too thin can leave the stone vulnerable to constantly turning on the finger, which also leaves it at risk for being damaged.”

The Mistake: Prioritizing Size Over Quality


(Image credit: @stephaniegottlieb)

"Overall, prioritizing size over all other qualities means a client could potentially overlook how they might feel about the quality when it’s on their finger every day. One should fully assess the quality before purchasing—will that inclusion bother me? Is the color noticeable enough that other people will see yellow when they look at it, rather than how big it is? Bigger is not always better. There is such a thing as compromising too much, so make sure you use a jeweler you trust to give you their honest recommendations.”

Now, shop more engagement rings:

Next, check out the seven things that make an engagement ring look cheap.

Bobby Schuessler
Market Director

Bobby Schuessler is a fashion editor with over a decade of editorial experience covering shopping, style, and beauty. He's spent over seven years at Who What Wear, currently leading the market team to deliver highly covetable and convertible content. He creates data-driven shopping guides featuring top retialers like Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Net-a-Porter and is at the forefront of Who What Wear's shopping tentpole strategies, including Amazon Prime Day. He also works on branded content initiatives and appears on camera in video and shopping livestream franchises. He has also worked across a variety of other media brands and fashion retailers like Refinery29, PureWow, Men's Health, and Gilt covering commerce, trend reporting, women's and men's fashion, home, and lifestyle.