Small diamonds are charming in their discretion. Small diamond pieces do not say you do not own a big stone; they murmur, "I'll have another cup of tea, thank you" or "My, I am busy today, but not too busy to enjoy life."
Shown, a riding crop in diamond, platinum and gold, set with twenty-six Old European Cut diamonds measuring approximately 2 1/4 inches; price, $495 from Doyle & Doyle.
Small diamonds breathe. You can layer them with your real or costume pieces. Wear them to work, to the market, to the school meeting; they will not look vulgar. The diamonds happen to be set in a piece, rather than being the piece.
I would rather have an interesting design set with small stones than a rock on a piece of pipe, any day. Well, most days.
For your consideration, a selection of small diamond pieces for varying tastes and price points.
Vintage mid-century diamond pendant in 14k, with a tiny seed pearl at the top and five old-cut diamonds set in gold openwork. About one and three-quarter inches long, interesting enough to hold its own or chic layered with a chain. Price, $395 from Beladora II.
Chaumet "Etoile" ring. Fourteen small diamonds (.42ct, G colour, VVS) set into the stars. Size 7, $1,950 from Evelyn Kay. For a classic piece of Paris, worth passing up a stack of costume rings.
How hip do you want those diamonds? House of Waris Flame Ring, 1.05cts of black diamonds set in blackened brass. Price, $2,400 from Barney's.
Alex Sepkus' designs remind me of Klimt paintings.
His 18k and diamond earrings (.27cts tw, set as six diamonds in each earring) are $750, far less than on his site, at Empire Diamond.
Calm diamonds: Yayoi Forest's Lucky Seven diamond ring with seven pavé diamonds in a three-quarter inch disc, in 14k gold, $560 from Catbird.
Andrea Fohrmans' Brooke luminous, passe-partout necklace, a 1 3/4 inch pendant of rose-cut diamonds set in pink gold on a 16" chain. Price, $1,900 from Twist.
Sethi Couture 18k white gold paisley lace earrings with 1.24ct white and burnt orange diamonds, $3,050 from Fragments.
Pins and brooches are back, at the edge of jewel-maven's sights. Daphne Guinness likes to pin a parade of five or six down the front of a dress.
Because they are sitting out the mass-fash moment, you can pick up some exquisite pins and brooches at great prices just now. Then everyone will want one like yours.
Begin with one like this vintage Mauboussin fluted ruby and diamond clip brooch, in 14k yellow and pink gold, $795 from Empire Diamond.
Perfect for me, but alas, now sold.
A small (1 inch by 7/8 inch) rose-cut diamond pin is probably French, and would add a grace note to a jacket or sweater neckline. $175 on sale from Ruby Lane seller Jewelry Liquidations by Amy.
On your wrist
This Mark Davis bangle is vintage refurbished Bakelite sprinkled with pink sapphires and diamonds set in 18k gold. Subtle, quirky and the kind of thing no one will know is so precious until your wrist catches the light, and... $1,990 from Twist.
A delicate 2.3mm 14k pink gold bangle with channel-set diamonds (.55 ct tw) mixes with anything you own. Price, $1,399 from OroLatina.
When dealing with online vendors, speak to them. They can provide additional photos and more detail about the condition, if you are buying vintage.
Even though the diamonds are small, ask if they know the colour and clarity. Information on cutting grade is hardest to get. Well-cut little pointers will sparkle from across a room. Some pieces may not come with this information, so ask for the return policy in writing.
Then, choose your small treasure and enjoy every day!