Choosing the Right Diamond Ring For Her Hand Shape

Getting engaged is a monumental step in a relationship. Planning the details of how you will propose, picking the ring, and hoping for the right answer…all parts of the engagement demand equal attention. However, while the moment of engagement is important, it is fleeting compared to the idea that the ring will last for the rest of your relationship—so a good deal of thought should be put into choosing the right ring.

When it comes time to pick the ring, you may already have a sense of what your soon-to-be fiancée wants. If you don’t quite have a sense of her jewelry style, look at her existing pieces to get a sense of her preferences. While her personal taste should be the most important factor, you should take the shape and size of her hands and fingers into consideration when buying a ring. What looks lovely in the velvet case or on the sales woman’s hands may end up overwhelming or disappearing on your beloved’s finger.

Here are some common hand shape and finger pairing, matched with the type of stone and setting that would suit each one best.

Left image courtesy of
Right image courtesy of Paulvermillion / Wiki Commons 

Broad, square palms and short fingers

If your intended fiancée has short, wide hands with short fingers, you should look for stones and settings that will offset the appearance of stubbiness. The classic round, or brilliant, cut can make short fingers look even shorter. Large rectangular shapes—like emerald or princess—will be the least flattering for this type of hand and can overwhelm the short fingers while playing up the overall square shape of the hand.

Try a marquise shape, which adds the illusion of length. Pear shapes can also help keep the eye moving down the finger. If your future fiancée is a fan of the brilliant, try the timeless oval cut. Cut with the same number of facets as the round, the oval is flattering to most wearers. The slightly elongated shape creates the illusion of a longer, more slender finger.

In terms of settings, simple or paved bands will work for this hand shape. Try to avoid thick bands, as thicker bands will make the finger appear even shorter. A split shank is a good option for broad hands with short fingers; the thin interlocking or interwoven rings avoids the issues that come with a solid wide band.

Left image courtesy of
Right image courtesy of Paulvermillion / Wiki Commons

Square or rectangular palm and long fingers

Ladies with long fingers can usually wear almost any shape stone and make it look elegant. In general, stones that work best for short fingers may not suit long fingers as well. Therefore, marquise and pear cut diamonds, as well as emeralds, would not be the top choices. The usually flattering oval stone may or may not work on this type of hand, depending on the narrowness of the palm.

The timeless and classic round fits this hand type well. As this hand type is usually fairly well proportioned, you can experiment with different types of cuts like Asscher or princess or heart, which may not fit many other hands.

Try to avoid a solid thick band, which may overwhelm long, thin fingers. Otherwise, long, slender fingers can pull off almost any other kind of band.

Left image courtesy of
Right image courtesy of Paulvermillion / Wiki Commons

Short oval palms and thin fingers

If your fiancée-to-be has very narrow fingers and smaller palms, smaller stones may be the most flattering. Heart-shaped or round stones are not the most flattering options. Emerald shapes, especially set on the horizontalflatter long, slender fingers and delicate hands. Marquise and oval cuts set on the horizontal can help make the finger appear more proportional.

Thicker band styles of rings may help add horizontal lines to narrow fingers to help them look wider.

Left image courtesy of
Right image courtesy of Paulvermillion / Wiki Commons

Short rectangle or square palms and wide fingers

Rings that reduce the amount of skin showing on either side of the ring help make wide fingers appear narrower. Pear shapes, marquise cut, emerald cuts, set on the horizontal help take up more space. Round stones set with flanking stones can work for wide fingers and shorter palms but set as a solitaire, a round cut stone is not the most flattering option. Cluster-styles may be the most flattering on hands with wide fingers.

Wider shanks are most flattering on wide fingers compared to a simple thin band. A split shank is also another great option to help flatter this type of hand.

Small hands vs. big hands

Keep in mind the size of your future fiancée’s hand. A traditional solitaire, depending on carat weight, may get lost on a very large hand. Conversely, a complicated pave ring with a solitaire and side stones may overwhelm a small hand. Proportion is important to consider when picking out the ring.

Remember that these are online guidelines on how to pick a ring for your soon-to-be betrothed. If she has a particular style, a desired cut or has clearly picked out settings she’s liked in the past, by all means, buy a ring that she wants. After all, you want her to love the ring you pick.

This article was contributed by Marcela De Vino.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer, mother of three and business owner in Southern California. When buying jewelry for a close friend or family member, she always keeps the person and occasion in mind. Find more tips like these by following her on Pinterest!

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learn everything you need to know before you buy a diamond in this detailed book!

learn everything you need to know before you buy a diamond in this detailed book!