In the world of diamonds and jewelry, there’s a lot of technicalities. Every stone placed in a piece has its own intent and meaning to the design. One of the best and most common ways to enhance these pieces is to use what are known as diamond accents.
In the Post
- What Are Diamond Accents?
- How Much Do Diamond Accents Cost?
- Are There Different Kinds of Diamond Accents?
- How to Pick Out Diamond Accents
- Are Diamond Accents Worth It?
What Are Diamond Accents?
Diamond accents are stones in a piece that are placed to accompany a larger center stone. They embellish the piece, making the brilliance all the more stunning.
Diamond accents add more sparkle and enhance the beauty of your center stone. In jewelry-speak, you may hear them referred to as melee stones or diamond chips.
Are diamond accents real?
For the most part, if a company is calling an accent stone a diamond, it should be real. Any of your famous jewelry designers that have accent stones should be genuine diamonds. However, certain places online are not that forthcoming.
Some places put CZ (cubic zirconia) stones to accompany a diamond, or the whole piece might be CZ, including the center stone.
Another type of accent stone that may claim itself as diamonds, is moissanite. Moissanite is a lab-created gemstone for the most part, because natural moissanite is extremely rare. It has a similar brilliance to the diamond, but it is not the same.
While moissanite is its own stone, it is often referred to or mistaken as diamonds, so it falls into the imitation diamonds category.
It is always best to look at the specifications of the piece, especially if you’re shopping online. While we’d love to say everyone out there is genuine, this is not the case. Looking at the specifications will show you the TDW (total diamond weight) and let you know how much of that piece includes diamonds.
Diamond accents vs imitation diamond accents
Sometimes, people will opt for imitation diamonds, such as CZ or moissanite. They are both cost-efficient, and most people can’t tell the difference by glance. Using imitation diamonds as accent diamonds will still make your piece sparkle, but the brilliance is no competition with a genuine diamond.
Plus, a genuine diamond is going to be more durable than a CZ or moissanite. The durability of a stone is measured on a scale called Mohs. A genuine diamond rates at 10 Mohs. A CZ rates around 8-8.25 Mohs and moissanite rates at 9.25 Mohs.
How Much Do Diamond Accents Cost?
The cost of diamond accents will vary from piece to piece. The price is dependent on how many accent stones are in the piece and the size of them. Another factor that will determine the price will be the brand of the ring.
For instance, a ring bought from an unknown jeweler that has 20x 2mm diamond accent stones will be cheaper than a super brand, such as Neil Lane. The ring could have the same amount of stones at the same time, but Neil Lane will charge more because of the company’s infamy and reputation.
It’s also difficult to determine the price of diamond accents because they are included in the price of a ring unless you’re getting it custom-made.
So, if you’re just buying a ring commercially from a jewelry store, you’re not going to know the exact price of those diamond accents. The cost is going to include the center stone, gold, and the accent diamonds in the total price.
Price of custom-made pieces with diamond accents
If you get a custom-designed ring or other pieces of jewelry, you can actually find out the cost of a diamond accent individually. The cost would entirely be dependent on the size and quality of the stone.
Diamond accents are intended to enhance the beauty of a center stone, not overshadow it. They are relatively small, though certain pieces allow for larger sizes. Most diamond accent sizes range between .010 – .18 in carat size. A piece may have just two diamond accents, while others have more. This is up to you and your personal preference when designing your custom jewelry.
Another factor that could increase the price of your diamond accents would be the quality of the stone. You’ll want to figure out what you would like the quality of the stone to be. And when we say quality, we’re talking about clarity.
Because diamonds are not man-made, they have natural imperfections in them called inclusions. Ideally, you want a diamond with the least amount of inclusions, though the price can skyrocket if you want larger diamond accents.
The good news about smaller diamond accents is that because they are so small, none of the inclusions in the stones would be visible to the naked eye.
With a center stone or larger accent stones, you could spot inclusions by looking closely. Sometimes, you don’t even have to look closely. If there are visible inclusions and quite a few of them, your stone is likely to cost less.
Basically, if you want to put 15 small diamond accent stones around the band in a custom-made piece, then you don’t need a high clarity. Most retail jewelry stores’ diamond accent stones are a clarity of I2, which is a lot lower on the clarity grading scale than one would think.
But because there are so many small stones, the inclusions are not noticeable, even though being an I2 clarity would indicate that there are visible inclusions.
If you were to take the same clarity of I2 and assign it to a 1ct center stone, then the diamond would be very low in clarity and likely much cheaper. But, it will have those bits of carbon throughout, and its brilliance will be impacted.
We’ll talk more about clarity later when we go to pick out diamond accents.
Are There Different Kinds of Diamond Accents?
Diamond accents generally come in four different cuts: the round, the baguette, the trillion, and the marquise. Don’t be surprised to see princess-cut stones as accent stones too. Any cut of diamond can be an accent, but those four are what you’re more likely to come across.
Round diamond accents
The most common diamond accent cut is going to be the round shape. The round cut is a traditional and practical choice for both accents and center stone. One of the reasons why many choose this cut is because of how adaptable the stone is.
A round diamond accent can accentuate any center stone cut. Round stones are like your black shoes in the closet: goes well with anything.
The round stone as an accent is cut differently than a round brilliant diamond center stone. Most center stones are what we call full-cut, meaning the stone has been cut with 52-58 facets. But a round diamond accent is cut with considerably fewer facets, more around 18-20. While we still want the accents to be sparkly and beautiful, they do not need as many facets as a center stone.
A round diamond accent can be used as side stones in a piece, but more often than not, they are used as melee stones.
Baguette diamond accents
Baguettes are another more common cut in diamond accents. They are one of the more interesting cuts, because you don’t see a baguette as a center stone. It is only a side stone.
If you don’t know what a baguette diamond looks like, they are long in length and short in width, like a rectangle.
The facets within a baguette diamond are cut lengthwise, called step cuts. Step cut is a term to apply to develop the facets of a rectangular or square stone.
The cuts in the stone are lined up parallel next to each other. Other cuts that have step cuts would include the emerald cut and Asscher cut. Baguettes have considerably fewer facets than the others, but they do go a long way.
Tapered baguette diamond accents
The tapered baguette is a little different than your regular baguette stone. While it still is cut almost the same as a traditional baguette, the ends are a little different. They are elongated diamonds, but the ends taper off in a trapezoid-style shape.
Baguette diamonds, while beautiful, are the most brittle cut of diamond, and a lot of times when they are channel set, they leave spaces between each stone. Baguettes have been a classic favorite of the 40s-90s age group.
Trillion diamond accents
A trillion-cut diamond accent is somewhat common. Trillion cut diamonds are diamonds that are shaped to a triangle with rounded edges.
Trillions are not too common in a jewelry store’s stock pieces, but are always offered in custom-design or mounting books.
These diamond accents are more commonly seen as two side stones, rather than in the melee area, or the center stone for that matter. A common practice is to take three small trillion accents and put them on both sides of the center stone.
Trillion cut stones have about 50 different facets and the way that they are cut makes the trillion one of the most radiant cuts. A one carat trillion stone looks bigger than another cut of the same size.
Trillion diamond accents look best when set next to an oval, radiant, or round brilliant stone.
The downside of trillion diamonds, be it accents or otherwise, is they are prone to chipping. It’s not a bad cut or anything, but all diamonds can chip if they’re hit in the right spot. Trillion cut stones should be handled with care.
Marquise Diamond Accents
Marquise cut diamond accents are an oval-shaped stone that comes to a point at either end, similar to the shape when looking at one’s eye.
They are not a widely popular cut, but you also see these cuts more as diamond accents than center stones. However, you’re more likely to find a marquise center stone than a trillion one or a baguette.
Marquise brilliant diamond accents have 58 facets, which make them one of the more sparkly cuts. Due to their shape, they also make the fingers look long and slender. A 1ct marquise will also look bigger than most of the popular shapes as well.
It is difficult to get a good cut of a marquise stone because there’s a lot of things that can go wrong when cutting it. It can have a dark spot shaped like a bowtie across the table of the diamond. In fact, most of the marquise will have this “bowtie”.
The trick is to find one that is not as dark so it doesn’t detract from the brilliance. Some bowties are very subtle and others virtually non-existent.
How to Pick Out Diamond Accents
Now that you understand what diamond accents are and the different cuts they come in, you are ready to start picking them out. We talked a little about clarity before — the smaller the stone, the less need for a higher clarity. But just because you don’t necessarily need clearer stones, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them.
Even if your diamond accents are small, they still deserve the respect of a higher clarity. With a lower clarity of stone, they will not sparkle as strikingly as stones with a high clarity.
They will also have to be cleaned more if the diamond accents are a lower clarity. If you can afford it, you should definitely get the best clarity you can. It is worth saving for, if need be.
If you have multiple diamond accents, make sure they are all the same clarity. If they have different clarities, the brightness of the piece will be diminished and off-putting. It will appear unbalanced and detract from its beauty.
If you have a lot of diamond accents on your piece, make sure they are set correctly. While most store stock pieces are set correctly, this can be an important factor when picking out for a custom-made piece.
Prong-set diamond accents are held up by prongs. While sometimes you may find engagement rings with a platinum head and prongs to make sure the center stone stays in place, this isn’t usually true with accents. Traditionally, most pieces have prongs made of gold.
If a prong ever feels sharp or starts to catch on clothing or other fabrics, you need to get your prongs re-tipped. This ensures the chance of losing a diamond accent or worse, a center stone.
Channel set diamond accents are into a channel, which consists of the top of the stone being lined between two bars of gold usually. They are soldered to the top and the bottom of the stone.
It is important to have a solid backing to channel set stones. There are some designs where you can see the stones in the channel from the inside of the band.
These designs are more likely to weaken and risk the chance of the stone falling out. With a solid backing, your loose stone could dislodge from its solder over time and just slide in the channel.
No matter which style setting you choose, there is always a risk of stones becoming loose or falling out, more often with rings. We don’t realize how hard we are on our hands throughout the day.
Without regular check-ins with a jeweler, you may not be aware of the condition of your jewelry. This is why many jewelry companies require you get your diamond jewelry checked for loose stones and prongs.
Regular check-ins ensure the best care for both your center stone and your diamond accents. ß
Are Diamond Accents Worth It?
Only you can determine the worth of diamond accents. You now know that diamond accents come in different shapes and sizes. A beautiful diamond accent will enhance the beauty of your center stone without overshadowing it.
Diamond accents are perfect for the person who wants to light up the room when they walk into it. An owner of a diamond accent appreciates the finer things in life and desires to make the world just a little more sparkly.
You might not be a fan of diamond accents if you appreciate the striking single beauty of a classic solitaire stone set in gold.
Are they worth it? Well, you’ll never know until you try. So, next time you’re near a jeweler, take a gander at the pieces with diamond accents. Try it on for size. Who knows? One look at that gorgeous glitter piece of fine jewelry, and you may never go back to a solitaire diamond again.