What is "Diamond Accent" Jewelry?

If you're a bargain shopper like I am, you'll occasionally see diamond jewelry - particularly pendants, but occasionally rings, earrings or bracelets - advertised with prices that seem ridiculously low. If you read the description closely, you'll notice that it refers to a single diamond - a diamond accent.

So what does that mean?

In modern practice, "diamond accent" means the piece contains one tiny diamond, usually of lower grade color and/or clarity and weighing in at only about a point or so (0.01 carats). It may not be fully faceted (cut). The setting of the piece will be sterling silver, vermeil, or less commonly stainless steel, patterned to give the illusion that the piece is set entirely with pave diamonds.

Is it technically diamond jewelry?

Yes, but you have to look pretty hard to find the "real" diamond. And, per the FTC, the seller may not be allowed to call it diamond jewelry without further explaination.

(b) It is unfair or deceptive to use the unqualified word "diamond" to describe or identify any object or product not meeting the requirements specified in the definition of diamond provided above, or which, though meeting such requirements, has not been symmetrically fashioned with at least seventeen (17) polished facets.

[So sellers can't call something a diamond unless it has at least 17 facets. Did you know that? I didn't until I read the FTC regulations. I'm the kind of geek who reads FTC documents]

Sellers are required to provide a disclosure about the number of facets or qualify the word "diamond" with a description of the type of diamond used, hence the term diamond accent.

If you're buying online and can't examine the item, how do you know that it's a diamond accent piece ?

Jewelers are required by law to disclose the nature of what they sell - it should be clearly stated in the item's title or description.

Don't feel like reading? Items with faceted stones which can be legally called "diamonds", will be labeled with the total carat weight (abbreviated ctw) of the stones in the piece. For example:

  • Total carat weight: 0.25 carats (1/4 carat)
  • 1/5 carat diamond pendant - 0.20 ctw
  • Diamond and amethyst ring - diamonds 0.25 ctw, amethyst 0.50 ctw

Diamond accent pieces will not be labeled with a carat weight unless they meet the FTC's definition of a diamond.

Is diamond accent jewelry a good buy?

Even though they are not dripping in real diamonds, some of these pieces are quite attractive. . If the real deal isn't in your budget and you like the look, why not? Just as long as you realize that you're purchasing a fashion statement, not an investment.

Jewelry is a personal choice - if you love it, that's what matters!

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