Guest Post by K. Rosengart
A diamond engagement ring isn’t just about that center gemstone – but it is certainly one of the most important! Melee diamond accents can make that big center gemstone pop. Their smaller facets make it appear larger, and their fiery sparkle makes it appear more brilliant.
What Are Melee Diamonds Exactly?
Melee diamonds are essentially small diamonds. They come in at 0.2 carat or less. They’re too small to be center gemstones, but they can bring out the unique personality of a design and highlight the featured stone on a diamond engagement ring.
Melee diamonds can be made full cut with 57 or 58 facets to catch the light at every angle. This means each surface is smaller, allowing the diamonds around your center gemstone to shimmer like stars.
Alternatively, they can be made single cut, with 17 or 18 facets that have a broader shine. Full cut is much more popular because it complements center stones so well, but single cut fits many vintage designs.
Popular Melee Diamond Settings
Melee diamonds are used in settings that bring out the design of the ring. There are many different settings, but two are extremely popular:
Halo setting: A halo setting is one that encircles the center diamond. It’s incredibly dazzling. The primary advantage of a halo setting is that it accentuates the size of your diamond. Essentially, your diamond sits on a platform surrounded by other diamonds. The fiery effect is enough to catch eyes from far away.
It’s best to use a center gemstone that weight more than 0.5 carat so that it’s not overwhelmed by the melee diamonds that surround it. The breadth of the center diamond should be about double the width of the setting on any side.
Pave setting: Pave is pronounced “pa-vey”, but the root word is the same in English. It means to pave, and this is essentially what a pave setting does. It paves an area of a ring to either side of your center stone with interlocking melee diamonds. This is a dramatic setting that communicates complex design. It’s also one potential way of creating a more affordable ring.
Because the diamonds are set into metal, this setting also makes the melee diamonds more durable. It’s a good choice for a more practical ring. The pave shouldn’t go all the way around the ring, either. The bottom of the shank simply sees too much friction.
Side stone setting: Side stone setting relies on larger melee diamonds that run in a row to either side of your center stone. It creates an effect like a pave setting, except here you have a single row of larger melee diamonds, instead of bands of interlocking smaller diamonds. While large for melee diamonds, these diamonds will still be noticeably smaller than your center stone so that they don’t steal any of its thunder.
Often, the diamonds will diminish in size as they go further away from the center stone. This helps create a visual rhythm of increasing size that leads the eye directly toward the center diamond.
Custom Design with Melee Diamonds
Melee diamond accents aren’t limited to these settings. These are the settings that are most proven to make your center stone really pop. Yet melee diamonds can be used in any way you can imagine. A custom diamond engagement ring can speak to your love in a way that’s even more personal, and a designer can help guide you toward the very best options.
This doesn’t mean you’ll be selecting each melee diamond personally. Melee diamonds are graded and cut to exacting specifications, so once you agree on the design and size of the melee diamond accents, they’ll be chosen for you according to your design.
Additional Ways to Make a Diamond Pop
Melee diamonds are just one way to accentuate the size and qualities of your center stone. Choose a slightly thinner band and the stone will be even more pronounced. Avoid any thicker bands unless you’re using melee diamonds to enhance them.
Split shank rings are a good way of leading the eye toward the diamond without taking up all that space with metal. The gap in between the split can make the center gemstone appear larger. The split shank itself can be an extremely clever way of incorporating powerful design.
You might also look at a band with slightly tapered shanks. Here, the band itself thins as it nears the stone. This makes the stone seem larger in comparison to the entire band, since the section of band its closest to is slightly thinner.
Any setting that raises the diamond, such as a cathedral setting, makes it more pronounced. Quite simply, when someone looks at it, the diamond is that much closer to the eye.
Combine some of these design choices with melee diamond accents and you can make your center stone a marvel. A diamond engagement ring is something that should bring you joy and pride. There are ways to make a diamond pop… but think about them as ways to make the ring more personal, more intimate, more representative of the relationship that it will symbolize.
About K. Rosengart
Located in New York City’s famous Diamond District, K. Rosengart is a diamond melee supplier. For more information about K. Rosengart’s melee diamonds, visit krosengart.com, and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for an extra dose of sparkle!