Consumer Guidance

What Are Accent Diamonds?

accent diamonds pave setting 18k white gold princess cut center

Did you know that there is more to a diamond than just one stone? Or that the focal point of the centerpiece is not always the only part that matters?

Have you ever thought that it might be nice to add some more sparkle to a piece you own or would like to own? Then you should definitely be considering the use of accent diamonds in your jewelry piece.

More about these beautiful stones can be found here – read on!

Examples of Diamond Accents in Engagement Rings

Accent diamonds (or sometimes called diamond accents) are much like what you would expect. They are an accent – an added piece and in a way, an elaboration to amplify the beauty of a jewelry piece.

3 stone emerald cut rose gold ring with rectangular accents

Larger sized emerald cut accent diamonds

melee diamond accent on shanks of platinum ring

Smaller sized round accent diamonds (melees)

In a nutshell, the goal of diamond accents is to create subtle but observable differences. Feel free to click on the photographs above to see the ring settings in more details.

Diamond accents should not overwhelm the overall appearance of the jewelry piece. When correctly utilized, they add sparkle in a streamlined manner and complement the main gem perfectly.

Paul’s Personal Tip: I’m a fan of pave and side stone settings. When assessing the craftsmanship of a vendor, I typically look out for accent diamonds that are big enough to enhance the visual appearance (sparkle) while being small enough so that it doesn’t take attention away from the center stone.

What Are Ideal Ratios For Accent Diamonds in 3-Stone Rings?

Well, there’s really no hard science or magic formula here.

This is because relative proportions is a factor that should be determined by your own preferences. Setting design and the shape of the accent diamonds are also things that will affect your decision as well.

With that said, here is my guideline for selecting accent diamonds in a 3 stone ring. In general, I would recommend diamonds that are roughly half the carat weight of the center stone.

For example, if your center stone is a 1 carat G VS2 round diamond, you may want to consider accent diamonds around 0.5 carats in size. I would also recommend keeping color/clarity ratings within 2 grades of the center stone.

Now, I need to emphasize that this is just a guideline and not rules that are cast in stone. If you like the look of smaller or larger accent diamonds, it’s really all that matters. After all, you are the person who is going to wear that piece of jewelry.

You Get What You Pay For or Less If You Cheapen Out

In the market, most jewelers offer settings with predetermined carat sizes and quality for accent diamonds. The most common problem here is that these diamonds are seldom graded because their smaller sizes make it uneconomical to do so.

When this happens, you will have to take the word of the jeweler for the represented quality of the side stones. Sadly, this leaves a huge avenue for unethical jewelers to abuse.

From my personal experience, I can tell you that most salespeople and jewelers will simply brush off the importance of accent diamonds and actually OVERSTATE their quality.

heavily included diamond accent impacts performance

Examples of accent stones with terrible quality.

If you observe accent diamonds with your naked eye and find that they are cloudy/dull (left) or heavily included (right), it is a serious cause for concern and a huge red flag.


Where to Get Accent Diamonds With The Best Cut Quality?

When it comes to cut quality and light performance, these are aspects of a diamond (no matter how big or small) that I would never compromise. I advocate that you do the same as well if you want a jewelry piece that’s lively and full of sparkle.

Brian Gavin and White Flash are 2 vendors that utilize super ideal cut accent diamonds and melees in their settings. As far as I know, no other vendor offers the same level of cut quality at competitive prices compared to them.

Here’s a perspective on the size of the melee diamonds that are typically used in ring settings.

melee diamond 1 mm compare coin small tiny

Some of the smallest melees can measure from 1 mm in diameter! 

First of all, the small size of the melees make them difficult to handle; let alone to polish them to ideal proportions. Yet, vendors like Brian Gavin are able to offer ideally cut melee diamonds because of their commitment to achieving the highest quality in the jewelry they make.

aset of brian gavin super ideal cut melee accent diamond

This is an ASET image I captured with difficulty due to the tiny size of the melee (handling them is really tough!). As you can see, the saturated reds indicate very strong light return. What’s even more amazing is that the contrast patterning of the melees is highly symmetrical!

Both White Flash and Brian Gavin utilize super ideal cut melees and sidestones in their settings. Combined with impeccable bench workmanship, the finished pieces look stunning!

Craftsmanship And Attention to Details Matter When Using Accent Stones

The skill and craftsmanship standards of a vendor make all the difference between settings that “pop” and the ones that look “meh”. Since every accent diamond is different and polished individually, details like diameter dimensions, table sizes and cut quality can vary.

In jewelry designs where the accent diamonds are supposed to look uniform, scrutiny is required at the backend processes of the jeweler’s bench.

On the other hand, when different sized accent diamonds are required in designs like tapered channels, the craftsmanship of the jeweler will make or break the final appearance.

tapered shanks with melees of varying sizes diamonds

As you can see in the example above, the finished shanks display a fluid flow of mounted melees in decreasing sizes. The shanks are cleanly made and show a high level of workmanship expertise.

The point I want to bring across here is that good bench jewelers care about the smallest of details and impose strict standards when the ring is fabricated.

The Bottom Line About Accent Diamond

Just like selecting your center diamond and ring design, the quality of accent diamonds DO matter. If you want the overall jewelry piece to have the best possible brilliance, every tiny detail will matter.

With that, I want to end off this month’s blog post by wishing our readers a Happy Mother’s Day!

Brian Gavin and White Flash are the only 2 vendors in the world that I would trust in getting impeccable craftsmanship in their jewelry pieces. The super ideal cut accent stones they use in their settings offer brilliance and sparkle on a totally different level. Check them out for yourself!

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When is the Best Time to Buy Engagement Rings?

Getting engaged is one of the all-time highs of life. It is both a memorable moment and a commitment to forever. You want everything to be exactly right for that day.

That being said, of course you want to find the perfect ring – with an equally amazing deal to match. Staying on a budget at any point in time is a great idea, but especially during this season.

So, when is a good time to buy an engagement ring? When will you find sales? What times of year should be avoided?

Answers to these questions and more below.

best time to buy engagement rings

When is the Best Time of the Year to Buy Engagement Rings?

Well, that depends on how flexible you are with your proposal date. If you are just dying to pop the question than it will not make sense for you to wait six months to do so just for a sale. So, we will take many factors into consideration.

But, as far as the date goes, we have all seen the commercials that come out right around Christmas time for engagement rings from every major retail store in America. This is a big indicator. Engagement season is November through February, for the obvious holidays that exist during this time frame.

There are multiple opportunities to propose when the family is all gathered for Thanksgiving or when on a Valentine’s date. This being the case, you will find this to be the most popular time to buy a ring. Retailers are smart about their tactics – they know what sells and how to take advantage of the situation.

If you really want to propose during this time of year, try planning ahead and getting the rock a few months before all the craziness and frenzy starts.

Based on experience, the best time to buy an engagement ring is about 2-3 months before you plan to propose. This will leave you with enough buffer time in case things don’t go smoothly.

Let me tell you the last thing you want is for an engagement ring production to be delayed (happens frequently during peak periods) and wreak havoc to your proposal timetable. And this isn’t something you want to experience when the proposal draws near.

If you are in the market for engagement rings that are cut well for sparkle and light performance, I recommend checking out Brian Gavin and White Flash. Both vendors specialize in super ideal cut diamonds and offer very competitive pricing.

Wait, Don’t Diamond Jewelry Go On Seasonal Sales?

best time of year to buy jewelry

If there’s one thing you need to learn from this article, it is that truly high quality diamonds NEVER go on sale.

The seasonal sales and promotions that you frequently see in stores aren’t applicable for high quality diamonds. And when I mean high quality diamonds, I am referring to engagement rings that consist of a center diamond larger than 0.30ct that comes with a reliable grading report from GIA/AGS.

Forget the signs that scream 50% OFF! or “MASSIVE SALE TODAY!” because you’ll only end up paying more for inferior quality when you buy a diamond ring on “sale”. That’s the cold hard truth behind the majority of “flash sales” or “promotions” in the jewelry industry.

Don’t believe me?

I challenge you to go out to the stores and start performing price comparisons of diamond jewelry with identical quality. Read every single word in this article on diamond pricing and use it as a benchmark to do your own comparisons.

Once you do this, you will realize that the majority of brick & mortar stores that offer these tricky promotions had already marked-up their prices excessively to begin with. You see that even the discounted prices would be higher than those offered by reliable vendors at their normal prices.

Are There Any Legit Deals On Engagement Rings During Seasonal Sales?

Yes there are but you will need to keep your expectations in check.

Reliable online vendors like BlueNile or JamesAllen do run seasonal promotions during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Here’s a screenshot of the latest promotion James Allen ran recently…

best time of year to buy engagement ring on valentines day

If you look at the fine print, you will realize that these discounts are not applicable towards the center stone of an engagement ring. (Remember I mentioned earlier that high quality diamonds NEVER go on sale?)

This is actually a typical promotion you can expect from vendors who already offer very competitive pricing on their diamond rings. Since their margins are already low to begin with (unlike what you see with the fake promotions run by many brick & mortar stores), they base their promotions on settings, preset jewelry and accessories like earrings/necklaces.

Seeing this, I know many people will assume the best time of the year to buy an engagement ring would be during the festive periods. After all, having some discount is better having no discount right?

Let’s do some math…

First of all, you need to understand that the savings made are usually insignificant since the bulk of an engagement ring’s cost comes from the center stone. If you are in the market for a simple solitaire setting (costs about $200), the 25% discount amounting to $50 is really nothing to be excited about.

That is unless you had your eyes set on a setting that costs in the range of $1,600. In this case, the dollar amount you can potentially save could be substantial (a 25% discount equates to roughly $400 saved) and would make sense now.

Festive Seasons Aren’t Best Times of the Year to Buy Diamond Rings

In my personal opinion, the downsides of timing your engagement ring purchase to seasonal “sales” far outweighs the upside of saving a few dollars. The fact that you are joining thousands of others in the same mad rush makes it harder for you to shop for something within your specifications.

If you are shopping for a diamond engagement ring during peak periods, you need to understand that the inventory moves at a very fast pace because of the sheer volume being sold. This means a diamond painstakingly found and shortlisted may just be sold by the next hour when you get back to it.

During this busy time frame, the bench jewelers and back-end manufacturers will also be under significant pressure to rush out completed jewelry for deadlines. From experience, I can tell you this is the time where things have the highest possibility to go wrong.

For the best engagement ring shopping experience, I recommend vendors like James Allen, Brian Gavin and White Flash over local brick & mortar stores simply because of their better price points and higher quality selections.

What If I Need to Buy the Proposal Ring Now?

getting a proposal ring on time

That happens. You just suddenly know that you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, but its smack dab in the middle of the proposal season. Don’t get too concerned, there are plenty of ways to score a deal, even during jewelry’s busy times.

Here’s a few options to point you in the right direction.

Consider an Antique From a Relative

Think of a non-invasive way to ask family members if they have a ring or gem they want to make a legacy of by passing it on to you and your beloved. If it’s a ring, all you will probably need to do is get it sized and appraised. If they want to give you a family diamond or other stone, you can find a setting. Either way, it’s a great deal and means a lot!

Buy From the Internet – Significantly Better Selections & Prices

The web is great for so many things, and one of those is ring shopping. If you hate the idea of spending hours in a physical store, opt for online shopping instead. You start by just googling and looking around, pricing things out. Take notes as you do this.

Then check out some reliable sites like James Allen or Blue Nile. Both have great reputations and selections. You won’t be able to physically see the stone before buying, but check out their return options. And James Allen will even let you see a 360-degree video of the ring before committing.

A Final Note About Timing an Engagement Ring Purchase…

Although there are both “good” and “bad” times of the year to buy a wedding ring, really the best time is when you know you want to get married. Yes, getting an awesome buy has its place, but remember that you can find something within your price range at any time. It might require a lot more effort, but it is out there.

Shop around, take your time, and know what you are buying. An engagement ring is very important, and will be worn with pride for many years, so it is worth it to find a thing of true beauty. Best of luck!

When it comes to buying an engagement ring, a trustworthy vendor is the one of the most important factors that will make or break a purchase. If you are in the market for a round diamond ring, check out Brian Gavin and White Flash. For fancy shaped diamonds, James Allen and Blue Nile are the best companies with good selections.

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The Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender

australian argyle tender stones 2015

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of fancy color diamonds?

If you are like most people, I’m pretty sure you willing be thinking about vivid pink diamonds and the beautiful hue they exhibit.

Although diamonds can exist in almost any color hue imaginable, there’s something extremely special about pink diamonds that make them stand out and highly sought after. It’s no wonder that pink diamonds often find themselves in the limelight of record breaking auctions.

In today’s blog post, I’m going to talk about a very specialized niche market in the industry – the Argyle pink diamonds tender. (more…)

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Diamond Ratings And Quality – The Definitive Guide

 guide to understanding diamond ratings

For most guys, buying a diamond engagement ring is an extremely stressful (and challenging) process to go through when planning a proposal. Can you imagine being hassled by a pushy salesperson who’s trying to hard sell you a $7,000 diamond ring while you are trying to determine the quality of the diamond with a level head?

It’s not easy and not a fun situation to be in especially when thousands of dollars are at stake.

Speaking from personal experiences, I can definitely empathize with many of such encounters. You see, the average person won’t have the necessary experience when it comes to choosing a diamond of good quality. (more…)

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A Buyer’s Review: Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond Ring

Ever since I developed a passion for the jewelry industry, colored diamonds have always intrigued me. Known for their fascinating hues, rare fancy color diamonds have also been in the headlines for their record breaking auctions.

And I’m not alone.

Over the years of managing, I noticed a growing interest on colored diamonds (specifically, yellow diamonds). Most of the questions received are usually related to making stone selections and who’s a reliable vendor they can trust when shopping for natural yellow diamond rings.

cushion cut yellow diamond engagement rings (more…)

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