Large, dazzling center stones steal the spotlight, but in many pieces, it is the smaller diamonds that allow the bigger elements to really shine. In addition to emphasizing the beauty of center stones, star and melee diamonds can be used to create intricate, intriguing - and profitable - designs. What is the difference between star and melee diamonds?
Star diamonds are exceedingly small; in fact, they are often referred to as “diamond dust.” They range in size from 0.009 and 0.021 carats. A “big” star diamond measures just about 1.8 mm (and that’s typically the outer limit!).
These stones are not used frequently, as the size is difficult to work with. In addition, achieving that distinct diamond sparkle requires a large amount. You are most likely to find star diamonds in handcrafted jewelry (such as that sold on Etsy) or in sorority and fraternity pins for official members. Higher end jewelers typically do not use star diamonds; instead, they opt for melee diamonds.
Melee diamonds, too, are quite small, ranging from 0.021 to about 0.074 carats. They are much easier to work with than star diamonds and, as mentioned, these are the stones that jewelry creators go to when they want to add sparkle without breaking the budget. Quality melee diamonds are also integral to halo and pave designs.
Many people think that because these stones are so small, quality is not as much of a priority. We disagree. When your pieces feature quality melee diamonds, you can offer stunning designs and increase your profit margins.
When it comes to melee diamonds, there are two basic cuts: single and full. For most pieces, full cut melee diamonds are recommended as they shine with a complexity that's very popular and that can bring out the brightness in other stones. Single cut melee can be a good choice for very particular custom pieces, such as rings that use faceted stones or step cut faceted ones. They may also be useful for colors that are deeper but not as bright, as you might find in emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.
If you have questions about the benefits of quality melee diamonds, do not hesitate to contact K. Rosengart.