Diamond melee and gemstone melee can both
be correct terminology.
This month's feature article is in response
to a question prompted by ast month's Jewelry
Dictionary feature. Our reader asks...
"Your definition of melee only applied
to diamonds. I've also heard the word applied to zircons. Are both
As I usually do, I'll give you the short
answer and then expand my response. The short answer is... yes.
The definition in question is...
MELEE: A melee is a small diamond, under .20 carat.
Diamond melee and gemstone melee are both
acceptable expressions in the gem and jewelry world.
Most people that I work with use the word melee when
speaking of a parcel of small (and usually round shaped) diamonds or colored
As for "zircon melee," I'm guessing our reader
is speaking of natural zircon gems, which make great diamond substitutes.
not have a good photo of white zircon melee at the moment, but you can see the
diamond-like appearance of these 10 point (0.10 carat) blue zircons.
The Jewelry Dictionary uses the traditional definition of
melee. As with most jewelry terms, it is a jewelry retailer/consumer focused
Please note that the definition never mentions the phrase
"diamond chip" a term avoided by the industry..
Melee, both diamond and colored gem, refers to unbroken,
faceted stones, such as the ruby melee below..
Some gem dealers and jewelers define gemstone melee as round, colored stones of less than 4 mm.
Others apply the term to small faceted stones of any shape.
Diamond and colored gem melee are used as accent
stones... or clustered in a jewelry piece.
The word melee (pronounced mellie, like Nellie) seems to
come from the Old French language, and is related to words like jumble, medley, and
mixture. Another form of melee (pronounced may-lay) means confusion,
jumble, or even donnybrook or
I carry diamond melee and gemstone melee (white zircon,
white sapphire, white topaz... and even some CZ melee. I also carry some
gemstone melee in other colors.
Let me know what you need.
A Google search using the search box below
and the keyword phrase diamond melee or gemstone melee
will show you a number
of links and ads.
Gem Industry News...
Shrinking Economy Squeezes Industry
Several venerable jewelry industry publications are in financial distress.
Modern Jeweler has been around for more than 100 years., But
the publisher, Cygnus Business Media, is suspending publication and offering it
for sale. Cygnus is also suspending some other publications as well.
Modern Jeweler enjoys a reputation of being a slick, serious,
and credible jewelry industry magazine.
Spectra, the American Gem Society’s official publication is
abandoning hard-copy publication.
Spectra is a members-only magazine that will now be published
electronically. AGS members will receive their digital copy of the 75 year-old
magazine via e-mail.
Other industry publications such as JCK, Colored Stone,
and Jewelry Artist (Lapidary Journal) are probably also feeling
the financial impacts of the business downturn.
Are your home town newspaper and local / national TV news sources delivering
optimistic stories about signs of economic recovery?
If the signs are prophetic, that will be great for holiday sales! If things
do not pick up soon... you must continue to offer great value in the jewelry you
Gift giving occasions have not disappeared. Birthdays,
anniversaries, and many other reasons to give nice jewelry at a great price just
keep on coming. Your customers (and their friends) need what you offer!
A market where people perceive they should spend less fits right into your