The Case Against Cluster Diamond Engagement Rings

Americans spend an average of $7,750 on engagement rings. Online diamond retailer Ritani, which specializes in engagement rings, confirms this.

Transparency Market Research reports that almost 20% of couples shop for engagement rings together before the proposal. But social media is a double-edged sword.

Recently, a specific type of diamond ring faced intense criticism on social media.

Cluster Ring Criticism

Diamond Rings

In a viral TikTok video from March, user Melissa Watkins, with the TikTok handle: @fabglance, gave her unsolicited two cents on cluster diamond rings, resulting in a “battle of the bling.” She proclaimed that men should stop proposing with them.

According to Watkins, women need to stop accepting cluster diamond rings and opt for solitaire diamond rings instead. She argued that men would keep buying them as long as women continued to say yes to cluster diamond rings. While some agreed with Watkins, others professed love for their cluster diamond rings.

Solitaire Diamond Is Better

Refuse, rejection, no
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Many individuals rallied behind Watkins' opinion regarding the types of diamond rings men should not propose with. Among the voices in agreement, a commenter went as far as insinuating that receiving a cluster diamond ring is a sign of inadequate affection, stating, “If someone is giving you a cluster diamond, they don't love you.”

Another commenter added that “No woman wants it.”

At the same time, another suggested that “It's the ring that appeals to the male brain.”

One individual even likened the cluster diamond ring to a “Superbowl ring.”

Cluster Rings Are Deceiving

diamond cluster ring
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The main criticism leveled at cluster diamond rings has always been that they give the impression of a larger center stone than they contain.

Some call them “illusion pieces,” suggesting their deceptiveness. Detractors argue that a cluster of smaller diamonds isn't the same as a large diamond. In contrast, the style's proponents say it is a matter of personal preference.

Cluster Diamond Rings Don't Deserve The Hate

Thumbs up, approve, yes, happy
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Jewelry expert Nicky Dutta doesn't think it's fitting that people who wear cluster diamond rings have to hide them because of the criticism they have gotten. As Duttaa puts it, “it's not that easy when you want to wear your cluster diamond but feel uncomfortable thinking people could be judging you for simply wearing a ring!” She feels the criticism of cluster diamond rings is unwarranted.

She defends cluster diamond rings, arguing that they are just as beautiful and elegant as large solitaire diamond rings but cost much less. Cluster diamond rings allow you to have several small diamonds in a ring without being too obnoxious.

After all, Dutta notes, a solitaire with a tiny stone will be unnoticeable. If the stone is huge, it may be less appealing. Cluster diamond rings can still be simple and elegant, even with numerous stones.

Cluster Ring Style Versatility

diamond engagement rings
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Additionally, they are available in various designs, giving you a wide range of possibilities. What counts, according to experts, is selecting the appropriate style. Cluster diamond rings should have the right amount of diamonds to stand out. You should also choose a design and setting that you love.

Suppose you still have doubts about cluster diamond rings. In that case, solitaire rings are also a great choice and are considered traditional engagement rings. If you're willing to shell out more for a larger diamond than you would for a cluster of smaller stones, a solitaire ring could be right up your alley.

They don't collect dust and dirt as much, thus cleaning them is simpler.

Does a Ring Tell How Much You Are Loved?

Couple Jewelry Shopping
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According to Lisa Lawless, Ph.D., CEO of, the widespread belief that an engagement ring is a symbol of one's commitment has been largely perpetuated by clever marketing tactics.

This perspective, however, is untrue and does not necessarily align with reality. In fact, Dr. Lawless argues that this notion can place undue financial stress on young couples who should be prioritizing their long-term savings goals.

By re-examining the cultural and social pressures associated with engagement rings, couples can make more informed decisions about how they wish to express their commitment to one another. She advises discussing costs and aesthetics before making plans to prevent undesired situations.

When You Don't Like Your Engagement Ring

Affectionate Couple
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If you receive an engagement ring that is not your style, Dr. Lawless suggests the following:

  • Let your partner know that while you appreciate their efforts, the ring differs from your preferred style.
  • Communicate your needs and that you would like something different and comparably priced.
  • Make sure that you are not critical of their efforts and be respectful of financial concerns.
  • Suggest that you find a ring together and make it a bonding experience.
  • Be willing to listen to your partner's thoughts and work together to find the best solution for both of you.

The ability to communicate about this sets the tone for a couple working through the various challenges that come with marriage, Lawless emphasized. If you find it difficult to have a productive conversation about this matter, consider reflecting on the overall health of their relationship and reexamining why you believe your relationship will endure.

Amaka Chukwuma is a freelance content writer with a BA in linguistics. As a result of her insatiable curiosity, she writes in various B2C and B2B niches. Her favorite subject matter, however, is in the financial, health, and technological niches. She has contributed to publications like Buttonwood Tree and FinanceBuzz in the past and currently writes for Wealth of Geeks.