What’s the ideal size of a Nexus Diamond Alternative? We have been answering that question with our Carat Comparison looking at Round Brilliant, Princess and Oval shapes, then Cushion, Emerald and Pear cuts and Radiant, Marquise and Trillion stones.
The East-West style stone setting has the most impact on how large the stone appears. This style takes oblong shapes that are traditionally placed vertically along the finger and flips them horizontally.
The comparisons below show just how much different an East-West stone can look.
The rectangular shape of the Radiant cut maximizes the carat weight at any size, but larger stones are going to look even more substantial with an East-West setting. It takes up a lot of room on the finger. The way the facets are cut gives the Radiant cut lots of fire and brilliance at any size, so it always makes a bold impact.
Pictured (top to bottom): 0.60 carat East-West Classic Radiant in white gold; 1.14 carat East-West Classic Radiant in white gold; 2.25 carat East-West Classic Radiant in rose gold.
This cut often feels vintage in traditional North-South settings, so turning it on its side gives it a modern twist that we love. Because it is such a long stone, it takes up much of the width of the finger and almost any size will look much larger than its carat weight suggests. This is a great choice if you want to look of a larger stone but want to keep your budget in mind.
Pictured (top to bottom): 1.25 carat East-West Classic Marquise in rose gold; 2.11 carat East-West Classic Marquise in white gold.
The East-West Oval is another great choice for maximizing the look of your stone. The look is almost like a traditional round solitaire but with an element of surprise and whimsy. The Oval shape won’t cover as much of your finger as the Radiant or Marquise, but it is a classic choice with a lovely contemporary spin.
Pictured (top to bottom): 0.76 carat East-West Classic Oval in white gold; 1.21 carat East-West Classic Oval in white gold; 1.86 carat East-West Classic Oval in rose gold.
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice the look you truly want. With these guidelines—and those from our previous pieces in this series—you can find the engagement ring that matches both your taste and your budget.
Compare our most common carat weights: Round, Princess and Oval.
Compare some of our more uncommon cuts: Cushion, Emerald and Pear.
Compare our fancy cuts: Radiant, Marquise and Trillion
See more on how to choose a carat size with our infographic comparing carats to common household items.