Many outside the trade have an incomplete perception of the jewelry business: they believe it’s glamourous, full of glitz, sparkle, and upscale clientele. This may well be true, but another reality is that overhead is high. In addition to retail space and employees, owners/managers have to contend with elevated startup costs, fierce competition, and, of course, the cost of materials and inventory. This is why you must maximize profitability when you can. This is where ideal cut quality melee comes into the picture.
The Integral Role of Melee Diamonds
Melee refers to diamonds that range in size from just 0.001s carat to 0.18 carats. There are two broad categories:
- Single Cut. Round diamonds that have 17 facets for a vintage aesthetic.
- Full Cut. Round diamonds that are “mini” versions of modern round diamonds, which feature 57 facets.
Today, most of the melee available is full cut; these stones may be small but what they lack in carat weight they more than make up for in quality and versatility. When included in your pieces, they can help meet customer demand for the industry’s most enduring trends, such as:
Halo engagement rings. This is one of the most popular styles for today’s couples. In a halo, a larger center stone is encircled by accent, or melee, diamonds. It has the effect of making the center gemstone look much bigger (e.g. a ¼, ⅓, or ½ carat may look as much as a ½ carat larger), thus presenting a terrific investment for customers -- and a good profit-driver for you.
- Halo… everything. This style has become so beloved that it is showing up in studs, drop earrings, pendants, chandelier necklaces, and bracelets. Including brilliant precision melee ensures that these pieces catch the eye of customers.
- Pavé settings. From the French, pavé means paved -- as in paved with gorgeous diamonds. Customers seek this style out because they magnify glitter and sparkle without adding exorbitant amounts to the price tag. But again, at the same time, you can utilize these pieces to increase your profit margins while appealing to customer tastes.
Today’s customers are both more savvy and more cost-conscious. They want gorgeous designs that have maximum impact but without Kardashian-sized prices. Melee allows jewelery makers to create larger-scale designs that sell at a higher price point than more simple pieces -- but not so out of price that customers turn away. It’s a delicate balance, and one that these small stars help you maintain.
Maximize Your Investment
Featuring pieces that contain melee diamonds will certainly appeal to customers. But to ensure that you do increase profit margins, make sure that you are sourcing the best stones -- and getting the best value. How?
Choose your supplier wisely. When you buy GIA certified diamonds, you receive a grading report that attests to the stone’s value and authenticity. Melee is a different matter. These stones are so small, and often sold in great quantities; it is cost-prohibitive to have each one graded.
This can be a problem because some suppliers mix simulated or faux stones with real melee diamonds. Besides diluting the value of your purchase, it can impact your reputation. If you put these stones into a design as a true diamond, and they turn out to be imposters, it can erode the trust that customers have in you. And word will spread.
Selecting a supplier who adheres to GIA standards when handling melee diamonds and who sorts in-house is essential. This ensures that you are getting the quality you want -- the quality that your customers demand. This certainly affects your ability to command optimal prices and to generate repeat business.
The jewelry industry is a tough, competitive world -- precision melee stones, cut with the same attention to detail as their larger brilliant counterparts, are a critical ingredient of success.