What Are Diamond Accents for Engagement Rings?

Whether to opt for accent diamonds is not the first decision you’ll make when shopping for an engagement ring – that is most likely the center stone.

But the choice of diamond accents may well be the closest second possible.

What Diamond Accents Can Do for a Diamond Engagement Ring

  • Enhance the overall beauty of the centerpiece stone
  • Bring out more brilliance in the center stone
  • Increase the perceived size and sparkle of the center stone
  • Add interest and volume all their own
  • Add a unique personality and style to the ring
  • Add value and total carat weight
  • Give your lady more diamonds to look at as she dreams of you and your life together

Quick Summary

  1. Personal taste and preference rule in choosing accent diamonds. You know what you like when you see it. However, there are two iron-bound guidelines to good taste in accent diamonds:
  2. Rule #1: Choose accent diamonds with lower color grades and lower clarity than the center stone. You want the center stone to look its best. So it would be a mistake to choose accent diamonds of better quality than the center stone.
  3. Rule #2: Choose accent diamonds that are of only slightly less quality than the center stone. Just as you don’t want the accent diamonds to outshine the center stone, you also don’t want to injure its appearance by association with terribly inferior accent diamonds clustered around it like bad company.

What are Diamond Accents?

Elon Musk’s use of first principles thinking has the human species on the way to Mars.

First principles works equally well when you’re choosing an engagement ring. And unlike getting to Mars, it doesn’t take a genius to make excellent choices in accent diamonds.

These Are the Basics

  • Diamond accents” and “accent diamonds” refer to the same thing. They’re the small diamonds mounted near the main stone on an engagement ring, in order to accentuate the main stone.
  • Accent diamonds can accentuate the main stone based on
    • Shape: Certain shapes of diamond accents (explored below) accentuate certain shapes of center stones.
    • Size: Accent diamonds are much smaller than the center stone. Otherwise they would distract rather than accentuate.
    • Color: Accent diamonds are of only slightly inferior color than the center diamond. Otherwise, they’d either outshine it, if of better color, or else muddy the beauty of the center stone, if of significantly inferior color.
    • Quality: Quality is less important than color, since accent diamonds are naturally of slightly less quality than center stones. The marketplace takes care of this, for the most part. Diamond cutters and sellers use slightly lower quality diamonds for accents, since the inclusions are less visible, and since they can cut out some inclusions. They save the higher quality stones for center stones.

And those are the fundamentals. I think you’ll agree they’re not hard, and that you’ve got this. Let’s move on to looking at some different shapes of diamond accents in engagement rings.

Diamond Accent Shapes

Accent diamonds can be found, selected, or even ordered, in virtually any shape that diamonds are cut.

But in practice, most accent diamonds are created in the following three shapes:

  • Baguette accent diamonds
  • Trillion Cut accent diamonds
  • Small Round accent diamonds

Baguette Accent Diamonds

A baguette shape is a long rectangular shape, rather flat. It’s one of the most common shapes of accent diamonds, and you can see why when you look at the two tapered baguette accent diamonds on this engagement ring at James Allen.

What do you notice about the shape of those two long, tapered accent diamonds on either size of that center stone?

You’ll notice:

  • They are relatively small stones, measured in carat weight — long, but narrow and flat. Their narrowness and flatness keeps the weight down.
  • They have a relatively large top surface area, making them highly visible, beautiful, and impressive. (The top surface area of a diamond is called a “table size.” But hey, it’s just the top visible surface area. And it’s obvious why a large “table size” is preferred for an accent diamond.)
  • They flow like crystalline rivers of attention and direction toward the center stone.
  • It’s not obvious from a photo, but in person, with a magnifying glass, you could see that they are of good quality, but slightly less than the center stone.

So that’s it. That’s why baguette accent diamonds — tapered or not — are one of the most popular and preferred shapes of accent diamonds for engagement rings.

Their long “flowing” or “indicating” quality really set off the center ring.

Baguette accent diamonds are perhaps the most classic shapes of accent diamonds. You can’t go wrong, choosing this elegant shape.

Trillion Cut Accent Diamonds (a.k.a. “Trilliant” or “Trillian”)

Trillion Cut accent diamonds have a triangular shape. (You’ll be glad to know “trillion” has nothing to do with the price.) They’re sometimes also called “trilliant” or “trillian.” Don’t bat an eye — they’re all the same thing.

Like baguette accent diamonds, trillion cut accent diamonds are typically mounted one on each side of the center stone.

Also like tapered baguette accent diamonds, trillion cut accent diamonds accentuate the flow of the ring, from “narrow” along the band to the widest point at the center stone mount.

You can imagine a, say, equilateral triangle, with the point at the band and a side right up hard against the center stone. That’s a classic trillion cut accent diamond position.

Take a look at this one over at James Allen.

How beautifully do those two trillion cut accent diamonds seem to enlarge and accentuate the volume and size and sparkle of the center stone! They almost seem to be a part of the center stone.

Those two trillion cut accent diamonds are:

  • Larger/heavier in carat weight than a comparable baguette accent would be
  • Accentuating but not outshining the center stone
  • Quite bold statements

Do you see now how, once you start looking at the design of jewelry, you can really begin to see what the diamond accents are doing for the overall effect?

Judgment and taste in diamond accents on an engagement ring are not just for the experts.

You’ve got this.

As you click through various images at James Allen, Blue Nile, or Brian Gavin, you’ll see that you are already beginning to develop your own personal taste in these matters.

In the ring linked above, you’ll also notice the rows, on either side, of small round accent diamonds. Let’s now explore that shape.

Small Round Accent Diamonds

Small round accent diamonds are one of the most frequently chosen shapes for diamond accents in an engagement ring.

They provide the most sparkle of any accent diamond, as they have the most facets. (“Facets” are of course the flat “sides” of any diamond. Small round diamonds each boast upwards of 50 facets, so light is shattered and sparkled in every direction at once.

A row of these beauties, even when small, makes a ring visible from across the room, without the pretense, arrogance, or gaudiness sometimes seen in highly expensive, over-large diamond engagement rings.

To get a feel for this effect, have a look at the two elegant rows of small round accent diamonds on this engagement ring at James Allen:

Notice about these small round cut diamond accents:

  • Even though these small round accent diamonds are smaller than the baguette and trillion cut accent diamonds we sampled, the brilliance shines through, even in a photograph.
  • They bring the eye toward the main stone.
  • They also let the eye flow over the ring itself, so that the entire piece is part of the show. (The ring isn’t just something to stick a big diamond on. It’s elegance all the way around.)
  • When the two rows of accent diamonds lay right against the finger of your beloved, they’re even more beautiful. (Check out the images of the woman’s hand, at that link.) That close contact with diamonds can be highly desirable, both for the woman and for the people around her. Elegance is the hallmark of this classic use of accent diamonds.


As you continue to explore images and styles and cuts of accent diamonds at James Allen and other online jewelers, you’ll begin more and more to feel the effects of these highly aesthetic tiny jewels.

No matter what shape you choose — and you’ll find more than just these classic, highly sought after three shapes of baguette, trillion, and small round — you’ll feel confident that you’re choosing based on your personal taste, together with your beloved’s.

As always, it’s safest to look, learn, and shop at reputable online jewelers only. They have the most accurate and honest specs for any diamonds that you’re learning about — or buying.

Three that provide plenty of information, market competition, and complete integrity — jewelers you can count on for expert friendly advice, fair pricing, and certified diamonds:

  • James Allen
  • Blue Nile
  • Brian Gavin