If you are looking at creating a custom diamond piece, then you’re probably looking at adding melee. But how small can melee diamonds get? Can they fit your needs? Well, they can get very small. In the diamond industry at least, size does matter; when it comes to melee, though, their miniaturized measurements are vital in creating pieces that catch the eye and capture the heart of consumers. But let’s get back to the question at hand….

How Small Can Melee Diamonds Get?

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is a California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to research and education around gems and jewelry. Those in the industry often turn to GIA for answers. We do so here to explain how small melee diamonds can get. According to the world-renowned institute, melee is defined as “small diamonds and gemstones weighing less than ⅕ carat” (or 0.2 carats). They can be as tiny as 1/1000 carat (or 0.001).

While available in emerald, radiant, marquise, princess, and other fancy shapes, melee is most commonly cut into round shapes. Thanks to advances in technology and cutting techniques, the diamond industry can achieve the same brilliance, fire, and scintillation of a larger stone on a much smaller scale.

The Many Benefits of Melee Diamonds

Melee is small, and as such, it is inexpensive compared to its larger counterparts. In terms of melee diamonds for setting, they are not typically the “stars of the show,” so to speak. That is, they usually play the role of supporting character, enhancing the qualities of bigger stones and/or creating intricate halo and pavé designs.

It is here that melee truly shines. Incorporating these tiny stones adds sparkle, glamor, and opulent appeal to pieces from engagement rings and necklaces to bracelets and earrings. For example, when used in a halo setting, melee makes the center stone appear larger and more dazzling. A big stone looks even bigger – but a smaller stone in terms of carat weight will also benefit from the illusion.

Bottom line: a solitaire engagement ring with one 2.5 carat diamond will cost more than a center stone surrounded by melee with a total carat weight of 2.50 cts so you get more bang for your buck.

Melee also makes it possible to create the pieces that are most sought-after by today’s consumers. There is a marked move towards more complex, ornate, and luxurious pieces. Your clients want show-stopping jewelry. Tiny stones allow designers and jewelry makers to create intricate pieces – again while keeping costs in line.

Melee Diamonds for Setting

The sky's the limit when working with melee, and any number of unique designs are possible. That said, there are some common setting styles that lend themselves very well to these sparkling diamonds:

  • Pavé. The word “pavé” comes from the French “to pave.” It is like paving a piece with diamonds; we love this imagery. Here, the stones are set in three or more rows with small hand-raised beads to hold them in place.
  • Halo. Melee surrounds a larger center stone. With engagement rings, the band may be unadorned or may feature a “pavé” or channel style with additional stones.
  • Bead and Bright. As with pavé, small beads hold the melee in place. They are surrounded by a highly-polished, reflective wall designed to reflect maximum light into the diamonds.
  • Channel. Instead of beads or prongs, the stones here are secured between two opposing walls – or channels.
  • Prong. This setting uses metal compared to other styles; metal supports to secure the stones and is integrated completely into the setting.

With creativity, ingenuity, artistic vision, and, of course, melee diamonds, jewelry industry professionals can craft and deliver the luxe, ornate pieces consumers demand. At the same time, the smaller price helps keep costs in check, ensuring that businesses can achieve a positive return on investment.

K. Rosengart: Your Trusted Partner for the Finest Diamond Melee

When you seek to deliver the highest quality and value to your clientele, it is essential to work with a supplier you can trust. K. Rosengart’s team of GIA-certified experts is here to help you source the finest diamond melee and meet your other business-building needs. From loose stones to CAD designs and finished products, you can count on us to be your in-house diamond specialists.
Melee Diamond Buying Guide | K. Rosengart