Small Diamonds with a Large Impact
A single small diamond may not gather as much attention as its bigger counterparts. Several placed together, however, creates a plane of glitter. Melee diamonds are known for the miniscule size and design possibilities for jewelry. Whether it’s unique engagement rings or classic styles, they help diamond bands shine.
Melee diamonds are typically under a fifth of a carat each. Due to their size, they may not be subject to the same grading parameters of other jewels. As they are set in groups, it’s important for the gems to be well matched. Harmonizing color, clarity and cut create more striking appearance.
Like other diamonds, melee may be prong set. Their mounts must balance security with displaying the gemstones. Bead settings are smaller and reveal more of the jewels. Both prongs and beads should be placed flush against the diamonds for optimal security.
Pave mounts cover swaths of a band in jewels. The way melee diamonds are staggered in the setting, a single bead may secure three or more jewels at once. At the same time, each stone is held in place with multiple prongs. Pave and micro pave wedding bands may have molded on settings, though hand raised burrs create a more delicate look.
Channel settings are made to hold rows of gems. The namesake channel is cut into the shank, and stones placed inside. The edges are folded over the jewels, holding them in place while putting them on display. The two rims secure a number of melee diamonds.
Halos are a border of gems which surround a larger jewel. It’s a popular way to add brilliance to diamond engagement rings. Melee diamonds are a common choice for halos. By bordering a diamond with more jewels, the central stone appears bigger.
Side stones sit on either side of the main jewel. Like halos, they add shine to diamond engagement rings. Melee side stones often come in sets. Instead of just a single pair flanking the stone, there are rows of little gems for sparkle. On split shanks, melee side stones create even more glitter.