Because they are both classic and versatile, diamond studs make the perfect jewelry 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 buying guide to help you as you research and eventually decide on a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings.
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.
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 lends itself to having 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.
Diamond Studs & Carat Weight
If you’re shopping for an engagement ring or loose diamonds, the carat weight that you choose is mostly up to your budget. If you’re buying diamond stud earrings, though, carat weight can play a more important role. Setting, side stones, and diamond bands can all make an engagement ring’s center stone appear larger.
Unfortunately, diamond studs usually have minimalist settings, meaning there is no way to “hide” a smaller carat weight. Also, keep in mind that if you are looking at a pair of diamond studs online, the “total carat weight” listed in the carat weight for the two studs combined, not each stud. 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, if they are pre-set.
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.
Stud Earring Backs
If you are purchasing diamond studs as a gift, make sure you know what type of earring backs your loved one prefers. If you can, check their jewelry box or the earrings that they commonly wear to find out. If you can’t check without ruining the surprise, push backs are a safe choice for earring backs. In general, they are the most popular earring back style on the market, because they are easy to use and comfortable for sensitive ears.
On the other hand, some earring lovers prefer screw backs. Screw backs are thicker in diameter and 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 a screw back earring can be very painful. Sensitive earlobes beware!
My 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 diamond shape and setting style will look the best. The upside of having such versatility with diamond stud earrings is that you can customize them to fit anyone’s personal style, so let that be your guide.