You might have heard the terms “diamond accents” and “accent diamonds,” and you may wonder what they mean. Let’s find out.
What Are Diamond Accents?
Accent diamonds, more popularly known as diamond accents, are stones that are small and have a simple cut. They are often used as a side decoration around the center stone of a ring or another piece of jewelry and can increase its overall brilliance.
Diamond accents usually have a rectangular (or trapezoid), triangular (trillion cut) or round shape.
Because they are small and less visible, these diamonds are not cut with the full number of facets as is the case with normal-size stones.
For example, round cut accent diamonds have only 16 to 18 facets and are called “single cut”, whereas bigger stones are “full cut,” i.e. they have 58 facets.
Click here to take a look at different ring settings with diamond accents and their prices — the side stones you can see on these rings are usually less than 0.1-0.2 carats each.
Carat of Diamond Accents
Diamond accents usually do not go over 0.25 carats in weight, and most of them are 0.10 carats or less.
If your ring has accent stones that are supposed to look uniform, make sure they are close in size – the diamonds can never match perfectly, but they should create such an impression when looked at from a normal distance with the naked eye.
Shopping tip: Try to find a piece of jewelry where the accent diamonds are big enough to enhance the appearance of the center stone but are also small enough to make it stand out.
Color and Clarity of Diamond Accents
Most accent diamonds have relatively low clarity – usually graded SI (Slightly Included) or I (Included). This means that they will have some inclusions that can be easily seen under magnification and such stones are cheaper than high-clarity ones.
However, since accent diamonds are small, their inclusions can hardly be seen with the naked eye, and that’s why jewelers pick such inexpensive stones for accents.
Accent diamonds’ color is usually in the Nearly Colorless grade. They are not completely colorless (such stones are very rare anyway), but their color is good enough to not make the setting and center stone look yellowish.
How to Buy Diamond Accents
When buying jewelry with accent diamonds, be sure to ask about their quality characteristics. Oftentimes, jewelers do not spend much time discussing accents if you do not ask explicitly.
If the diamond accents are bigger, it is also recommended that you look at them using a loupe. Make sure they are not damaged and do not have visible inclusions that can spoil the appearance of the jewelry.
Also, check if the color and clarity of the stones are consistent throughout – you don’t want a setting where you could see darker and lighter spots just because some of the accents are yellower and less clear than the others.
In general, pay more attention to the clarity of the diamond accents if they are larger. Shoot for SI clarity if the stones are around 0.10 carats or bigger.
As a rule, the color grade of the accent stones should not differ dramatically from that of the center diamond; otherwise, the contrast would be visible and not nice to look at. So, if the center stone’s color is graded G or H or higher, the diamond accents should not have a color grade lower than H.