When discussing small melee diamonds, the conversation inevitably turns to size. Just how little is little? What are we talking about in terms of carat weight and measurement? But perhaps a more on-the-point question is: how does melee make the difference when it comes to satisfying client demand and delivering a product that truly shines?

Melee Diamond Average Size

Since size seems to be on everyone’s mind, let’s address it. While the diamond industry can seem intimidating and overwhelming to navigate for consumers, reputable professionals are always willing and eager to educate and inform. That said, the definition of melee, according to the world-renowned Gemological Institute of America (GIA):

Either single cut or full cut, weighing less than 1/5 carat (ct)... Melee diamonds can be as small as 0.001 ct (1/1000 of a carat).

Let’s quickly convert carat to mm to get an idea of actual size or dimension: 





































To put that into perspective: a pencil eraser is about 5 mm – or the size of a 0.5-carat diamond. Melee starts at just about the size of a crayon point and goes down to just smaller than the size of a pencil point. (Note: It often helps to put these measurements into readily known objects so we can have a handy reference point.)

All of this is to say that the melee diamond average size is… small. 

Download our MM Size to Carat Weight Conversion Chart

The Power of Small Melee Diamonds

Their small size is exactly why melee diamonds make such a significant impact in jewelry designs – and in business’ profit margins. 

To clear up any lingering misconceptions and myths, melee is not synonymous with “diamond chips” or “diamond dust.” It is not a byproduct of the cutting process or waste swept off the floor as larger diamonds are transformed from the rough state to a smooth, polished, market-ready product. 

Melee is produced in large quantities by experts that use the latest cutting techniques and equipment. Technology has allowed for high-quality stones without prohibitive labor and cost barriers. 

Melee may be:

  • Single Cut. Here, the stone has 17 facets (or, less commonly, 18 if a culet is present).
  • Full Cut: Like a larger brilliant-cut diamond, a full-cut melee stone has 57 or 58 facets. A culet is typically present. 

Each stone is cut with the exacting precision and attention given to larger stones. Sold in parcels, they are sorted according to weight and size to ensure that jewelers and designers can create pieces of unparalleled beauty.

Small melee diamonds have just as much beauty, fire, scintillation, and brilliance as a larger stone albeit on a different scale.

Small Melee Diamonds Make the Difference 

As GIA puts it so succinctly: “Tiny Diamonds, Big Impact.” Incorporating small melee diamonds allows professionals to create and offer the types of pieces that consumers want. It allows for exceptional intricacy, complexity, and glamor. 

If you envision the most stunning diamond engagement rings, for example, chances are that melee plays a role. In halo settings, for example, a larger center stone is encircled with smaller stones to maximize the beauty and effect of the “star of the show.” The center stone appears larger and more dazzling when complemented by smaller stones of the same color and clarity. This allows you to compromise a bit in terms of carat weight, which can be an effective way to cost engineer – and deliver ultimate value to your clientele. 

Pavé is another style that is made possible with melee. Literally meaning ‘paved,’ this is a piece that is paved with diamonds. Intricately arranged, it creates the aesthetic of never-ending sparkle and shine. Small but mighty, these diamonds join forces to create a powerful whole.

While elevating the style, quality, and luxurious appeal of pieces, melee diamonds are also less expensive compared to larger carat weight stones. As mentioned, this allows business owners to manage costs while delivering the highest quality to their customers. 

Your In-House Diamond Specialists 

It is as important to choose a reputable supplier when purchasing small melee diamonds as it is when purchasing a 1, 2, 3, 4+ carat stone. The buying public requires reassurance that they are investing in the highest quality and that their piece will stand the test of time. While they may be supporting characters in the spectacle which is an engagement ring, a statement necklace, an anniversary bracelet, etc., they are nonetheless vital in their overall appearance, brilliance, and value.

We work with our clients as a team to help foster growth. Trust K. Rosengart’s team of GIA-certified diamond experts to deliver the finest results. Schedule a time to talk with us today.

If you're looking at purchasing melee diamonds, check out our buying guide!

Ultimate Melee Diamond Buying Guide