What are Melee diamonds?
Melee diamonds is a term used for small diamonds usually diamonds that fall under the 0.18 carat range.
However since shipping, grading and diamond cutting costs escalated its not uncommon to find the range of Melee diamonds weighing up to 0.30.
How are Round Melee diamonds sorted?
Sorting and grading of melee diamonds can be a tedious process. Melee is sorted by category in;
- Round Brilliants
- Round 8 sided
- Fancy Shapes
- Color (White and Yellow)
- Clarity (IF, VVS, VS, SI, and I’s)
- Matching pairs
Round Melee is sorted though the use of a diamond sieve. The diamond sieve has different size holes in them to allow the lager diamonds to be sorted from the smaller diamonds.
Once these melee diamonds are sieved and sorted in similar sizes, they need to be graded. Melee diamonds need to be sorted, graded, matched and paired together in groups. Melee can also be sorted using a digital caliper. The digital caliper is useful for both Fancy Shape and Round Melee.
Round Melee Diamonds approximate mm to weight
1. 0.001 carat – 0.78 mm – 0.99 mm
2. 0.005 carat – 1.00 mm – 1.15 mm
3. 0.0075 carat = 1.16 mm – 1.23 mm
4. 0.01 carat = 1.24 mm – 1.40 mm
5. 0.02 carat = 1.56 mm – 1.80 mm
6. 0.025 carat = 1.81 mm – 1.88 mm
7. 0.03 carat = 1.89 mm – 2.10 mm
8. 0.04 carat = 2.10 mm – 2.33 mm
9. 0.05 carat = 2.24 mm – 2.43 mm
10. 0.06 carat = 2.44 mm – 2.50 mm
11. 0.07 carat = 2.51 mm – 2.73 mm
12. 0.08 carat = 2.74 mm – 2.80 mm
13. 0.10 carat = 2.81 mm – 3.10 mm
14. 0.12 carat = 3.11 mm – 3.23 mm
15. 0.15 carat = 3.23 mm – 3.54 mm
16. 0.18 carat = 3.55 mm – 3.83 mm
How are Melee diamonds graded?
Melee diamonds are graded in-house and not graded in a laboratory like larger diamonds as the costs are simply to high. Unlike larger diamonds Melee diamonds are graded in larger categories for color and clarity for example; White and Yellow and in clarity for example SI - Its not usually graded separately SI1, SI2 etc. However this can vary from company to company.
What are Melee diamonds used for?
It may seem like a waste of time to sieve and grade though large number of small diamonds. Individually they don't cost much but in larger quantities their overall value begins to add up considerably. Custom made jewelry often requires larger amounts of Melee. You will hardly find a wedding set that does not have some Melee on the sides to complement or complete a stunning setting. Melee is usually sold by carat weight and this is where the sorting and sieving pays of as a carat of Melee can start around $100 per carat to $3000+ per carat depending on the sizes, cut (Fancy or Round) and colors (White, Yellow or fancy colors).
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