How Are Small Diamonds Cut?

Small diamonds, often called melee diamonds, are typically cut using a variety of techniques, including sawing, bruting, and polishing. Sawing involves using a diamond-tipped blade to separate the rough stone into smaller pieces. Bruting shapes the diamond by grinding it against another diamond. Finally, polishing gives the diamond its brilliant shine through careful faceting and smoothing.

The cutting process requires extreme precision and skill, as even the slightest mistake can ruin the diamond. They are usually cut using automated machinery rather than being hand-cut like larger, more valuable stones.

When small diamonds are cut properly, they can exhibit exceptional brilliance and sparkle despite their size. However, some newbies might be surprised to find that not all small diamonds are perfectly cut. In fact, there may be variations in symmetry or proportions due to cost-saving measures or limitations in manufacturing techniques.

How Small Can Diamonds Be Cut?

The size of small diamonds can vary. This depends on a couple of factors, including their country of origin and what they are used for.

Diamonds can be cut to 0.2 carats or less. They may weigh as little as .001 carats. These small diamonds are used to accent a bigger stone. Melee diamonds are too small to be the focus. Small diamonds are made in factories. In these factories, diamond cutting equipment is used for a smaller cut.

What is a Melee Diamond?

Melee diamonds are small diamonds that are used to add to a piece of jewelry. Melee diamonds are tiny and round. Their small size is why they are used as accent diamonds in pave, eternity, channel, and halo settings.

If you have a ring with a pave setting, the small gems are likely melee diamonds. The melee diamonds can add extra sparkle to a beautiful stone and setting. They accent the center stone without taking away from it.

Melee diamonds often circle a center stone. Your ring may have melee diamonds along the band. This is often done with pave settings.

What Are Single-Cut and Full-Cut Melee Diamonds?

Small diamonds are single-cut or full-cut. Single-cut melee diamonds have 17 to 18 facets. Full-cut melee diamonds have 57 to 58 facets.

Full-cut melee diamonds are used for rings. This includes wedding bands and engagement rings.

Single-cut melee diamonds are used for antique-inspired jewelry. Sometimes, single-cut melee diamonds are used for watches.

If you are looking for more sparkle, full-cut melee diamonds are a good choice. Single-cut melee diamonds don’t have as much sparkle. This is because of their low facet number.

Is a Melee Diamond’s Cut Important?

If you are shopping for a piece of jewelry, the focus is on the cut of a large stone. With melee diamonds, the cut is not very important. Most shoppers don’t pay much attention to how a melee diamond is cut. Because melee diamonds are used as pave they aren’t as important as the bigger stone.

Because of the small role that melee diamonds play, people won’t notice how they are cut. To the naked eye, melee diamonds add sparkle and detail to a center stone. If you are getting a piece of jewelry with melee diamonds, don’t worry about the cut of the stones. If you’re looking for extra sparkle, full-cut melee diamonds will do the job.

How Much Do Melee Diamonds Cost?

Melee diamond pricing works the same way that regular diamond pricing does. How diamonds are priced depends on a few factors. This includes the cut, size, quality, and more.

Because of how small they are, melee diamonds are not individually. They are sold to jewelry designers in large batches. Jewelry designers pay for the package of melee diamonds instead of each diamond.

Melee diamonds are not worth a lot of money. This is because diamonds are valued by a number of factors, including weight. Due to the small size of melee diamonds, you shouldn’t expect to get much money from them. The big stone on your jewelry is worth more than the melee diamonds.

Melee diamonds usually cost $300 to $400 per carat. In some cases, melee diamonds can cost up to $1,000 for one carat. This is only if the diamonds are very clear and high-quality.

Keep in mind that melee diamonds weigh 0.2 carats or less. Because of this, the cost per melee diamond can be very low. The cost can increase if you are getting a ring with a full pave, as many melee diamonds are needed.

What Are Popular Melee Diamond Settings?

You will probably find melee diamonds on pave, halo, and eternity settings. You should know what each of these settings are. This can help if you’re shopping for a ring with melee diamonds.

A pave setting is sometimes called a bead setting. There are many other specific types of pave diamond settings. These include micro-pave, French pave, and more.

Eternity bands are surrounded by a full ring of melee diamonds. The setting of the diamonds can vary, from channel set to bezel set. Melee diamonds may go around the entire band or half of the band.

A halo ring features a center stone with melee diamonds surrounding the center stone. You may find other styles of jewelry with melee diamonds. In most cases, the melee diamonds keep the focus on the center diamond.

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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