If you venture into any jewelry store or look in any catalogs, magazines or fliers featuring jewelry, you’ll often see or hear the phrase “diamond accents” or “accent ciamonds” (they mean the same thing).
What are diamond accents?
Diamond accents are a name given for small diamonds that reside in the mounting. Normally they sit on either side of the main solitaire and enhance the look of the ring or jewelry (see picture).
You’ll find accent stones in diamond engagement rings, gemstone rings, watches, earrings, pendants, and bracelets… Pretty much any item where a little extra sparkle will make the piece look better and sell better.
The normal shapes, or cuts, of diamond used for accents are:
- Straight Baguettes
- Tapered Baguettes
- Trilliants or Trillions (Triangular Cuts)
- Melee (Single Cuts)
See picture below of diamond cuts:
Accent diamonds should match in color and clarity. And most of the times, they should match in millimeter (mm) size as well (if they are supposed to matched). Note: This doesn’t mean the carat weights of the side stones will match identical, only the mm size. Carat weights will vary slightly from diamond to diamond depending on how the diamond is proportioned.
Accent diamonds should come close to matching the quality of the center stone (if the center stone is diamond) as well. That way they look good together, don’t stand out like a sore thumb (you don’t want them to look dark, yellow or cloudy) and give the ring or jewelry a nice balanced feel.
An average quality of side diamond will be SI clarity to I clarity, and a near colorless color range (G, H, I, J).
These color and clarity combinations will work well for most side stones since the stones are small, hard to see and generally sit much lower in the mounting.
Most accent diamonds will have a small carat weight ranging from a couple of points to around .25 ct (1/4 carat). No matter the size, they should never be too big as to compete with the center stone.
If you have a one carat diamond in the center of your ring, then having two .25 carat accent stones on either side should be perfect. Just enough to add a little bling to the ring.
Most jewelers don’t call larger stones “accent stones“. Generally it’s just the little, itty, bitty stones, like 10 points or less that get that title.
Examples of accent stones are below. You’ll see pictures of different small diamonds in the side of jewelry that help enhance the items and give them a little more pizzazz and shine.
One thing that you will notice about accent stones is the fact that jewelers like to dismiss their quality.
Jewelers will go on and on about the center stone (the main attraction), but they often skip over or treat the side diamonds as a side note or insignificant.
Sometimes jewelers will tell you nothing more about them other than their combined carat weight. “This mounting totals 42 points” They give you no color, no clarity, nothing.
This may be fine if the side stones are just a point or two, but for any decent carat weight (over 10 points), I would recommend getting the color and clarity of the stones.
Quality is important and can affect the overall look and feel of the ring. If the side diamonds look like a cloudy piece of salt… That’s not good.
Make sure you find out what the quality of the accent diamonds (The 4C’s – cut, color, clarity, carat weight) are and make sure you use a jeweler’s loupe to view those diamonds. You don’t want to see huge black inclusions, cracks or chips in the stones.
For larger carat weights, I would always shoot for SI clarity, G-H color (or higher). For smaller stones, I clarity, I color will work just fine.
The bottom line:
You want your accent diamonds to have good brilliance and sparkle: Don’t dismiss them.
Because, if they don’t sparkle, they really aren’t worth buying.
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