Because they are both classic and versatile, diamond studs make the perfect gift – even if they are a present to yourself. However, with such versatility, the style options for diamond stud earrings are practically endless. It can be hard to know exactly which diamond shape, what level of diamond quality, and which setting style will suit your or your loved one best.
Use this handy guide to buying diamond stud earrings to help you find the perfect pair.
Quality Guidelines for Diamond Stud Earrings
As you may have heard, the quality guidelines for diamond studs are not quite as strict as those for engagement rings. The reason is simple: engagement rings are more out in the open than diamond studs. People are more likely to ask to look at the diamond close up when it’s located on your hand for everyone to see. On the other hand, diamond stud earrings are often hidden by hair, and most people aren’t going to stick their face in your ear to inspect your earrings.
So, “eye clean” means something different when it comes to diamond stud earrings. In terms of the 4C grades, clarity and color are not as important to diamond studs as they are to engagement rings. This is especially true for clarity; small inclusions and even some tiny external flaws will not be as visible on an earring. You can also get away with a lower color grade, depending on one’s tone of skin and hair color.
The one 4C grade that you don’t want to skimp on with diamond studs is cut. Ultimately, a diamond’s cut has the most significant impact on its appearance and sparkle.
Diamond Cuts for Studs
The most common diamond shapes used for stud earrings are round, Asscher, and princess cut diamonds. Basically, any diamond cut that has more equal proportions is well suited to be a stud earring. That is why the circular shape of the round and square shapes of princess and Asscher are so popular.
On the contrary, marquise and pear shaped diamonds are the least common diamond cuts used for studs. Due to their distinctive shapes, it is too obvious to tell when pear and marquise cuts don’t have matching proportions. So, it’s difficult to find two matching stones that would be suitable for a pair of diamond stud earrings.
Fortunately, any diamond shape will look flattering on your ears, so the shape you choose is really all about your personal preference.
Diamond Studs & Carat Weight
You may be wondering what size diamond earrings you should buy. The carat weight that you choose is mostly up to your budget. However, if you have drooping earlobes, you may want to consider a smaller carat weight. Earlobes can stretch after years of wearing heavy earrings, so a larger carat weight may weigh your earlobes down even more.
Keep in mind that if you are looking at a pair of diamond studs online, the “total carat weight” listed is for the two studs combined, not each stud. So if you are looking at 1ct earrings, each stud is .5 carats. Luckily, since you can save money on other 4C grades such as clarity and color, you may find room in your budget for a larger carat weight.
Certifying Diamond Stud Earrings
How does diamond certification come into play with diamond studs? Many jewelers don’t provide grading certificates for pre-set pairs of diamond studs. At Ritani, we offer our customers a thorough value appraisal of their diamond studs.
However, if you are creating your own pair of stud earrings and starting with loose diamonds, you should definitely seek out a GIA or AGSL certificate. All of the loose diamonds in our collection at Ritani are certified, so you can design a pair of diamond studs with two certified stones.
Fancy Colored Diamond Studs
If you look hard enough, you can find a pair of fancy colored diamond studs in any shade. If we’re talking in terms of what’s popular, yellow or black diamond stud earrings will be easiest to find in stores and online.
Other shades of fancy colored diamonds – such as pink, blue, or green – are so rare and high value that typically they are used for jewelry pieces other than earrings. Earrings are hands-down the most frequently lost type of jewelry, so diamond cutters would rather invest in a colored diamond pendant or ring.
Diamond Stud Earring Settings
Aside from the diamond shape, settings and backs are the main style factors for stud earrings. Prong and basket settings are the most common for diamond studs.
Both of these setting types are classic, minimalist, and will showcase the diamond. For added sparkle, many of our customers who purchase diamond stud earrings opt for a halo setting. A diamond halo will help to enhance earrings with a lower carat weight.
Another popular earring setting is the martini setting. A martini setting generally has three prongs holding the diamond in place. The setting is narrow at the bottom, resembling a martini glass, and allows the diamond to sit closer to your earlobe than other settings such as prong or basket settings.
You’ll also want to consider the precious metal that you use to set your earrings if you have sensitive ears so that you can actually wear and enjoy your earrings. 18kt yellow gold and platinum are generally the safest choices for those with sensitive ears or nickel allergies.
Stud Earring Backs
When shopping for diamond earrings, you’ll want to make sure to find earrings with a safe, secure backing – you don’t want your earrings to fall out and get lost!
If you have valuable and/or sentimental diamond earrings, you may want to consider getting them insured – check out our blog post on jewelry insurance here.
The most common earring backing is the push backing – also called a butterfly backing or a friction backing. They’re popular because they’re secure and uncomplicated to put in or remove.
Some earring lovers prefer screw backs. Screw backs are thicker in diameter and are the most secure option for stud earrings. If you or your loved one are concerned about the diamond studs falling out, screw backs are the best option. However, for those who don’t wear them often, putting in or removing screw back earrings can be very painful and a little more time-consuming. Sensitive earlobes beware!
Our final piece of style advice is to make it about the wearer. Pay close attention to skin tone, hair color, ear size, and the proportions of the face to work out which carat weight, diamond shape, and setting style will look the best. The upside of having such versatility with diamond stud earrings is that you can easily customize them to fit anyone’s personal style, so let that be your guide.