Sometimes small things make a big difference, and that is certainly true in the case of all kinds of diamond jewelry pieces, including diamond engagement rings. But while you may have heard the term melee diamond, you may not know what they are, how they are used and why they can be so important to a finished piece of fine jewelry.

In the interests of furthering your knowledge about diamond jewelry (as an informed consumer is always a smarter consumer, especially when making a larger purchase like an emerald cut diamond ring for example) that's what we are going to take a closer look at here.

The majority of diamond jewelry, including pave and halo settings, is made up of numerous diamonds. Because the center stone is the largest diamond in the setting, it usually receives the most attention. However, it is the tiny diamonds, known as melee diamonds, that distinguish each design. Here's what you should know about these one-of-a-kind diamonds:

What Are Melee Diamonds and How Do You Get Them?

Melee diamonds, according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), are tiny diamonds weighing less than 0.2 carats. Many melee diamonds are much smaller than this weight limit—in fact, melee diamonds as small as 1/1000 of a carat are typical.

Melee diamonds are used to make diamond jewelry dazzle and glitter even more. In a halo setting, melee diamonds, for example, are utilized to surround the central stone. To give the appearance of larger diamonds, clusters of melee diamonds are used on rings, earrings, and necklaces. Because most settings involve the use of melee diamonds, they are in high demand.

Melee diamonds are named after the French word 'meler,' which means 'mixed.' While melee diamonds come from all over the world, India, as one of the world's largest diamond producers, accounts for more than 90% of the production market.

Diamond necklace

Diamond necklace

What Are the Values of Melee Diamonds?

A diamond's worth is influenced by a variety of characteristics, including its size. The value of a diamond rises in proportion to its size. Melee diamonds are very small, so they aren't particularly valuable. Diamonds weighing about 0.20 carats are expected to cost $800 per carat, which implies a single 0.20-carat melee diamond would cost around $160. As the size of the diamond diminishes, the price per carat decreases, therefore tiny melee diamonds will cost a fraction of this sum.

How Do Melee Diamonds Get Their Shape?

These 'accent' diamonds are cut in factories employing high-tech machinery capable of mass-producing high-quality melee diamonds in vast quantities. There are two types of melee diamonds: single cut and full cut.

A single cut melee diamond has 17-18 facets, giving it the appearance of a classic round diamond. A full cut melee diamond has 57-58 facets, similar to a modern brilliant round cut diamond. Jewelers favor melee diamonds with this cut because the full cut generates an intense shine. Single cut melee diamonds are rarely used in jewelry settings, although they continue to be popular in the watch business.

Stunning diamond earrings

Stunning diamond earrings

Where Do Jewelers Find Melee Diamonds?

Wholesalers are the most common source of melee diamonds for jewelers. A jeweler would never buy a single melee diamond, preferring to buy a package with a considerable lot of melee diamonds.

A high number of melee diamonds of similar color, clarity, and size are contained in each parcel. Because the expense of obtaining a GIA report is greater than the value of each diamond, melee gems are sold without them. Because you can't rely on this documentation, it's crucial to inspect each diamond in the package to ensure it's the proper color, clarity, and size.

Melee diamonds are essential for the glistening and sparkling of many pieces of diamond jewelry that those who wear them prize so much.

Melee Diamonds and Gemstone Rings

Gemstone rings - emerald rings, sapphire rings, ruby rings and more - and other pieces of gemstone jewelry are also commonly accented with melee diamonds, and for good reason. Not only do they add to the allure of the overall design of these pieces, but in the case of gemstones that do not really sparkle, like emeralds, they add some of that twinkle that so many people love without detracting from the beauty of the gemstone itself.

Stunning diamond set

Stunning diamond set

Tips for Buying a Diamond Ring With Melee Diamonds

When purchasing a ring, you will most likely have limited options for customizing the melee diamonds utilized in your ring. However, you should make sure that the melee diamonds in your ring are of sufficient quality, or they may detract from the central stone.

The central stone has a grading report, but the lesser diamonds that surround it do not. As a result, some jewelers may make misleading claims regarding the melee diamonds used in their creations, or utilize low-quality diamonds to save money. Shopping with reliable merchants like Asteria Diamonds is the best way to avoid this.

Generally speaking, the melee diamonds should not dominate the focal stone. While a ring with a collection of dazzling melee diamonds might shine beautifully, you normally want the eye to be drawn to the bigger diamond or gemstone in the center.

Also keep in mind that melee diamonds are more likely to get dislodged. There's no greater way for a diamond ring to lose its charm than an empty hole where a melee once was. Over time, a ring with a lot of melee diamonds may require regular maintenance to prevent this.

Diamond Chips

Diamond chips are little diamonds that are not fully faceted and can be used in the same settings as melee diamonds. This means they haven't been cut and polished in the same manner that standard or melee diamonds are. When compared to a well cut melee diamond, this results in uneven, jagged forms.

Diamond chips are often produced when small parts of a larger stone break off during the cutting process. It's also possible that they're just very little diamonds that haven't been cut.

Professionally cut diamonds contain more than 50 facets, which gives them their attractive gleam and glimmer. Diamond chips don't have the same impact without these facets. Light bouncing off the surface, which can come at strange and unequal angles, is the only source of gleam.

Prices of Diamond Chips

Nowadays, diamond chips are rarely used. If they are, it is usually as a low-cost replacement for melee diamonds or other accent diamonds. They are significantly less expensive than other diamonds since they have not been cut and processed like other diamonds.

Diamond chips will be far less expensive than cut melee diamonds, which can cost up to $300 per carat. If you're having a ring fashioned with accent diamonds, though, saving money by incorporating diamond chips isn't worth it. They can easily detract from the central stone, and their jagged, sharp nature can be hazardous. Your ring will last longer if the melee diamonds it features are well-cut and of a higher quality.