What Are Melee Diamonds Used For?
In recent years, the melee has gained prominence in diamond jewelry. With a trend towards design and budget-conscious consumers, these tiny diamonds have made it possible to create striking designs at more affordable prices. Many beautiful engagement rings include small diamonds, called melee diamonds surrounding the large centerpiece diamond in a halo, pavé, or channel setting. These tiny diamonds are commonly used to add sparkle, fire, and shine to an engagement ring, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and many more types of jewelry.
But they don’t only add shine to an existing piece of jewelry— more often than not, they make up an entire piece of jewelry, such as a wedding ring, tennis bracelet, earrings, and many other models and designs.
What Are Melee Diamonds?
Melee diamonds are small and typically weigh between 0.001 ct and 0.20 ct. They have their own vocabulary to describe their size. Often referred to as sparkles by consumers, melee is an essential product of the diamond industry. The term melee designates a set of small diamonds.
The origin of the term comes from the French word melee, meaning mixed. They play an important role by making up entire jewelry pieces or adding brilliance and shine to any jewelry design. Melee diamonds are usually cut in the same way as larger diamonds and appear as a scaled-down version of the round brilliant diamond used as a center stone.
How Are Melee Cut?
Melee are either single cut or full cut and typically weigh between 0.001 ct and 0.20 ct.
Full Cut. The majority of melee diamonds fall into this category. They’re round brilliant-cut with 57 or 58 facets, 32 crown facets, 24 pavilion facets, a table and (typically) a culet.
How Are Melee Diamonds Priced?
Melee are typically sold by wholesalers to jewelers, who then use these small diamonds to design jewelry. Melee diamonds are bundled in parcels containing hundreds of small diamonds and are priced by total carat weight, often abbreviated “tcw” in the jewelry industry.
Though the price of a melee diamond depends on its shape, cut, size, color, and clarity (but not only) – individually they’re not as valuable as their larger counterparts. That’s because larger diamonds are significantly rarer than smaller ones of comparable quality and therefore cost more per carat.
For example, small diamonds with a combined total weight of 1.00 carat (20 x 0.05 ct. each) can cost $700, significantly less than a single diamond weighing 1.00 ct. valued at $4000.
What to Look for When Buying Melee Diamonds
Whether you’d like to buy a wedding ring, a tennis bracelet or to add them to a ring, bracelet, or earrings, melee diamonds are a stunning way to add some pizazz without dramatically increasing the total cost of your piece of jewelry.
When buying these tiny diamonds, it’s important to make sure the melee you buy for your engagement ring is of similar quality to the center stone or it may end up detracting from the center diamond.Unlike center stones, grading reports are not available for melee diamonds. So, make sure that you buy from a reputable diamond dealer.
If you’re looking to add some pizzazz to your solitaire diamond ring or want to create an entire piece of jewelry from these small dazzling diamonds, a wide choice and variety of diamonds, including big to small melee diamonds are available.