Yup, the idea that I had last night worked. I am very happily wearing a ruby and haf-persian 3-1 bracelet today. Silver and dark red; yummy. The rubies are small; about 4mm, and lightly faceted. Just enough to catch a small twinkle of light; not enough to overwhelm the maille.
That was the problem with most of my ideas yesterday; they all took attention away from the chain, like a naughty child in a kindergarten class. But these small rubies play well with the chain, they complement each other and neither makes attention getting plays for center stage.
Now for chain number two . . . hmm . . . I'm part of the way there, but not satisfied yet.