The thing about a diamond is that because of its white colour and extremely high luster, it usually gives the impression that it's a lot bigger than it really is. Based on my own anecdotal observations of people's reactions, a 1.0ct usually results in the same bling effect as a 3.0ct blue sapphire (the next in line for the well-known luxe gemstones). Thus, because of this, as well as the extremely high price of white diamond solitaires, most of my peers and clients tend to cap their diamond purchases between 1-2cts.
However, 1-2 cts in the gemstone world is pretty small in the objective scheme of things and D and I were cognisant of this when we were designing the ring-setting for her engagement diamond - a 1.17 ct radiant-cut diamond. On one hand, both of us were adamant that we didn't want one of those looks remininscent of pre-cast rings whereby the diamond was simply plopped into a four to six prong claw setting that's ubiquitous today. On the other hand, we also wanted to stay clear away from cluttering the diamond such that it was "over-flowered".
Thus, we had to get creative. Because D and I were huge fans of the organic and asymmetical aesthetic, we deliberately chose a matte, sandblasted irregular shank that was meant to mimic a wooden branch. The craftsman was an absolute genius - he even went as far to include the tiny little "scars" that we see in real branches, infusing a much more authentic look to it.
Separately, we kept the claw setting clean - no side diamonds that people choose to do to make the stone look bigger. Instead, we opted for a vintage look that we achieved with diamond prongs with milgrain etchings. And finally, for added design effect, we added two more diamonds on the side, again set in a bezel with milgrain bordering. :)
I e-mailed M, her fiance, to ask what he wanted to engrave on the inside of the shank. A personal inside joke of a phrase was chosen - "I'm sorry please thank you very many". The context to this, shared with me by D, was that M's mother tongue doesn't really have an equivalent of "please". Thus, there was a tendency to say things like "pass the salt" to which D would ask "and what is the magic word?". M's cheeky reply would then be "I'm sorry please thank you very many." I have to say that I loved the message, especially after hearing the context to it. It was clearly saying "I love you" but in the form of an inside joke.