Melee diamonds are small gemstones that accent the centerpiece gemstone of an engagement ring and make it pop. Setting these gems on a ring is one of the popular ways to add more sparkle to the jewelry piece.
The Definition of Melee Diamonds
They are defined as small gems, either single or full cut, which weigh less than 1/5 carat. However, their precise size range differs from one nation to the other and from one trade segment to the other. These diamonds can actually be as small as 0.001 carat. Often, they are cut into small round gemstones and are set around a centerpiece gem or on an engagement ring’s band.
How Do Gemstone Cutters Shape Melee Diamonds?
These small diamonds are made in big quantities using the latest gemstone cutting tools. High tech equipment units have reduced the labor necessitated here and have improved the finish product’s quality, but cutting as well as sorting them is still a labor-intensive work. India’s Surat city is a known producing hub for small diamonds, faceted, sorted, as well as sold in parcels of hundred carats or more to jewelry makers, who then place them in an array of settings.
Usual faceting styles for melee diamonds comprise:
- Single Gem Cut: A style of cutting with 17 or 18 facets and round girdle outline. The facets depend on whether its culet is there, comprising a table, 8 crown facets, 8 pavilion facets, and extremely rarely a culet.
- Full Gem Cut: It is the round brilliant cut with 57 or 58 facets, depending upon whether culet is there, comprising 32 crown facets, 24 pavilion facets, one table, and typically a culet.
Popular Settings for Melee Diamonds
The more gemstones in an engagement ring, the more its overall brilliance would be. Owing to their tiny size, melee diamonds are affordable as opposed to bigger diamond centerpieces. Hence, they are often generously used to add more sparkle in engagement rings. Besides, you will find them as stunning accents in earrings, watch faces, and pendants too, basically in any jewelry piece that calls for more brilliance and sparkle.
Halo Setting: These small gems are this setting’s building blocks of sort, where they surround the centerpiece gem. This style can give an engagement ring more sparkle, drawing the attention to its center stone, and making it appear bigger.
Pave Setting: This is a style of setting, wherein several small gemstones are set closely together in order to create an interlocking pattern similar to the honeycomb. It makes for a sparkling and dramatic look while being a style used often to create intricate engagement ring designs.
Setting melee diamonds also allows for more affordable rings creation, since the tiny gems are usually affordable than bigger diamonds of comparable quality. Thus, an engagement ring featuring pave set melee stones may be a fine alternative to people who are on a relatively tight budget.
Small Diamonds and Engagement Rings
While you will have to make up your mind about diamond center stone’s color, cut, clarity, and carat weight, it is unlikely you will need to choose melees based on that. They are sorted by clarity and color before being put into parcels, and sold to jewelry makers who will then match them to the rings’ center stones.
An independent grading report of diamonds is a must-have for the center stone, given its price, and any reputed jeweler will surely give you one. It informs you that the gemstone is natural and reveals any known treatments, used to alter its clarity or color. However, do not expect to get a grading report for melee diamonds. There are many reasons for that, one being their tiny size, but the main reason is purely economic – the cost of grading them is extremely high in relation to the value. They are being sold in big parcels that often contain hundreds of gemstones, so it is not practical to grade each one of them.
Carat Weight versus Total Carat Weight
When purchasing an engagement ring that features melee diamonds¸ it is important to clearly understand the distinction between carat weight and total carat weight, since the gemstones’ weight is a factor that determines their prices. Total carat weight is the sum of the weight of all diamonds set in a jewelry piece. The carat weight, on the other hand, applies to only one diamond at a time, such as the center stone, be it set in an engagement ring or loose.
Still, an engagement ring featuring several small diamonds with a total carat weight of 2.50 carats can cost you significantly less than one with a solitaire diamond of the same carat weight. That is because bigger gemstones are rarer when compared to smaller gems, and they need to be of high quality and eye-clean to be set as a centerpiece. Hence, costing more.