Enhancing the beauty of the diamond in jewelry can be done in different ways.
Designers can either add a pop of color with gemstones, create distinctive and intricate shapes with filigree, or make it sparkly and shiny with diamond accents.
You might have heard of diamond accents or accent diamonds before. The jewelry stores mention them a lot when they ask about your preferred design. Catalogs and fliers also advertise with the phrase “diamond accents.”
There is more to having just one stone on a ring, and diamond accents tell us that the focal point of a ring is not the only part that matters.
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What Are Diamond Accents?
Even on its own and in the most straightforward setting, diamond sparkles and turns heads from across the room. That is just how impactful they are. But, there is nothing wrong with further enhancing the beauty and elegance of a diamond.
How? By adding more diamonds!
Diamond accents or accent diamonds are the small diamonds used to complement large diamonds and enhance a jewelry piece’s overall beauty. They are positioned as side decoration to work in harmony with the center stone to increase its overall brilliance.
How Small Are Diamond Accents?
Diamond accent size varies depending on the setting and the size of the primary stone. Most of the time, accent diamonds weigh between 0.01 and 0.20 carats. Since they are primarily used to accentuate the large gemstone, they are considerably small.
Consider a ring with three stone and side stone settings – to make it look balanced, the accent diamonds should approximately be half the size of the main stone. Be sure that the side stones’ diameters are almost equal to the center gemstone’s table size.
To calculate the table size, multiple the dimensions of the center stone by its table percentage. This information is listed on the lab certificate. Here is an excellent example of a considerable diamond accent in a three-stone setting.
Use the stones’ outside diameter measurements or compare carat weights to determine the ratio between the main stone and accent stones. You may always check with your trusted jeweler to calculate this for you.
Pave settings typically utilize smaller accents for a more aesthetically pleasing look. The more side stones it has, the more exquisite the jewelry appears. The general rule for pave settings is to go for diamond accents that are ¼ the size of the focal stone or less.
In the same way, channel set rings look louder with smaller diamond accents. The ideal size is ⅙ or less the size of the center stone.
For tension settings, only a few are designed with accents. This type of setting holds the diamond in place by exerting pressure from the ring’s open ends instead of using typical prongs. Diamond accents in the tension setting are relatively small so that they won’t be in the way of the setting’s intricate design.
In terms of design, diamond accents’ size generally comes down to personal preference and whether they offer the right balance to the ring. Some designs blend well with smaller side stones. Others appear more balanced with larger ones.
If you decided to go with two larger side stones, be sure that they are almost identical in size and proportions.
Types of Diamond Accents
Today’s jewelry has four main types of diamond accents:
Each type has its distinct characteristics that best complement various centerpiece gemstones while keeping an economical price level.
Often considered the perfect diamond accent shape, baguette’s symmetry and large table size serve as a stunning contrast to round or cushion-cut diamonds and common center stone shapes. They are the best choice if you are on a budget since they are usually available in smaller carat weights.
However, the thing about baguette is that they tend to have less sparkle than trillion cut or small round diamond accents. That’s a factor you need to think about when you are deciding on going this type.
The baguette diamond accent has two popular shapes – tapered and straight. The tapered is slightly wider on one end to let the diamond follow the natural curve of the ring. It is widely used in side-stone and three-stone ring settings and almost any diamond shapes like brilliant, emerald, radiant, or princess.
A straight baguette is a nearly perfect rectangle and usually appears more prominent than other diamonds because of their large table size. They are often arranged in a row, giving the semblance of a full diamond band. Straight baguette is mostly used with round brilliant, marquise, and Asscher cuts.
Marquise diamond accents are oval-shaped with curved sides that rise to a sharp point at the top and bottom. Similar to baguettes, they are mostly used as side stones. Their soft curves contrast beautifully with emerald and princess cut diamond’s sharp lines.
They also complement round diamonds too. Putting them with such contributes a surprising twist to an otherwise classic piece of jewelry. Marquise’s unique shape gives them a broader range of versatility. Adding them in a V-shape creates a beautiful and distinct chevron pattern that will make any gem stand out.
Trillion cut diamond accents possess a unique triangular shape that straightforwardly follows the natural curve of a ring. They are a great choice in increasing the visual volume of a ring’s diamond because of their excellent table width that lends for a larger appearance.
This type of diamond accent is ideal in a three-stone setting with rounder brilliant or cushion-cut center stones. It also works well with rings that have princess or radiant cut cent diamonds.
Round or small round diamond accents are the classiest among all four main types. They are the most universally complementing accent diamond shape. This type of diamond accent has three subtypes according to size:
- Stars – 0.02 carat or less
- Full cuts – between 0.02 and 0.07 carat
- Melee – between 0.08 to 0.18 carat
Small round diamond accents blend beautifully in three-stone, side stone, pave, or channel ring setting. They also do well in filling out thicker settings. They do this by providing extra sparkle, personality, and elegance to any piece of jewelry.
Color and Clarity of Diamond Accents
The majority of diamond accents have reasonably low clarity – usually graded between SI (Slightly Included) and I (Included). This tells you that they have some inclusions or imperfections that can be easily seen under magnification.
But, the size of diamond accents is perfect for doing something about it. They are too small that their inclusions can hardly be seen with the naked eye. Thus, jewelers pick low-priced stones to use as accents.
Their color is typically near or within the Nearly Colorless grade. While diamond accents are not entirely colorless, their color is good enough to keep the setting and center stone from looking yellowish.
When it comes to the color and clarity of diamond accents, keep in mind that their purpose is to emphasize the center stone’s look and not overpower it. Therefore, they should always be in harmony with the center gemstone.
Diamond Accents Costs
Like any diamond, diamond accents costs are tied to the carat weight, too. Thus, since diamond accents carry such low carat weight, they are less expensive than the stones used as the engagement ring’s focal point or any jewelry.
Since they are too small and their blemishes are hardly noticeable, you can afford to pick lower grades in some categories, consequently bringing down the price.
Please take note that diamond accents are not usually sold on their own. Jewelers typically purchase them wholesale by hundreds at a time. So, you won’t or rarely see them priced individually. Instead, they will be priced per carat like a regular diamond cut. Diamond accents with average color and clarity grade are priced between $300 to $400 per carat, rising to about $1000 carat for high-quality cuts.
Choosing The Right Diamond Accent For Your Jewelry
The perfect diamond accents can turn a simple piece of diamond jewelry into a stunning showstopper. To find the right diamond accent for your jewelry, bear in mind that their primary purpose is to improve your main stone aesthetically. Therefore, they should match appealingly.
Find The Right Size
The best diamond accents should not be any larger than 15% of the primary stone. For instance, if the central diamond is 1 carat, then the smaller diamonds should be below 0.15 carats.
Color must be considered when matching diamond accents. Color grade differences are often hard to notice with the naked eye – such as H Color generally appearing the same as G Color even when their prices differ significantly.
Consider how the eyes are naturally drawn to the main stone because theirs are the largest surface area and a more excellent reflection of light on the ring. It is recommended that diamond accents be at least one to three grades below the center diamond but still ensuring side stones still appear colorless.
The clarity of diamond accents should also be at least one to two grades lower than the main stone. Do not worry about the blemishes in lower clarity diamonds since the diamond accents are too small to even show their imperfections.
Your jewelry is your style. It is your fashion statement. So, do not be afraid to take risks and pair various shapes together. Mix and match different settings, cut, and shapes to get you that unique and beautiful ring that spells Y-O-U.
Diamond Accents vs. Imitation Diamond Accents
If you have a keen eye for diamonds, you will notice that jewelers like to dismiss diamond accents’ quality. They go on with full efforts on the center stone but treat the side stones as insignificant.
It happens a lot that some would even use imitation diamond accents like cubic zirconia, white sapphire, or moissanite. These three are cost-efficient, and a lot can’t tell the difference even with a second glance. They can still make your centerpiece stand out, but their brilliance is still incomparable to a true diamond.
Add to that the fact that genuine diamond is more durable than imitation diamond accents. On a Mohs scale, diamonds still rate the highest when it comes to hardness.
While diamond accents don’t stand out on their own, their balance with the center stone is what makes the piece of jewelry more beautiful. They can either make or break the overall aesthetics of your ring or any of your diamond pieces.
However, just because they are smaller than the main stone that you should overlook them. As we hinted throughout the article, diamond accents play an essential role in any jewelry design. If matched correctly, you will have the most unique and exquisite diamond piece with an intense and blindingly beautiful shine.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Are diamond accents real diamonds?
A: Yes. The term accent is used to emphasize the diamond accent’s purpose – to accentuate the main gemstone. They are real diamonds, possessing the same cut, clarity, color, and carat as all other diamonds. They are simply smaller than ordinary diamonds because of the purpose they are serving.
Q: Where to buy diamond accents?
A: Diamond accents are hardly sold by piece. But jewel stores like James Allen, Blue Nile, Brian Gavin, and White Flash utilize premium cut diamond accents in their ring settings. To give you an idea about the size of diamond accents typically used in ring settings, here’s how it looks like on a coin.