by Staff Writer
Shopping for jewelry can be tricky if you don't know exactly what to look for. Diamond stud earrings are a classic choice when you're choosing jewelry for you or as a gift for another. Simple yet elegant, these earrings can be paired with a number of different ensembles, and many women rarely remove their diamond studs. Before purchasing your diamond stud earrings, consider these five points.
What size diamonds are you looking for? The size of the diamonds you choose will ultimately be decided by a number of different factors, one of which is your own personal style. A smaller diamond can more easily be paired with daytime outfits, while larger diamonds usually only look appropriate with dressier apparel and evening wear. Carat is the weight measurement of a gemstone, and the jewelry industry lists the size of a diamond by its carat weight. Be aware that the total carat weight (TDW) for a pair of earrings includes all the diamonds in the jewelry; for diamond studs, a size of 1-carat TDW means that each earring contains a 1/2-carat diamond.
What cut is best suited to you? Diamonds can be cut into various different shapes. Whether you are looking for small or large diamonds, you should always take into consideration the shape and style of your studs. The most popular diamond cut for studs is the round brilliant, which has 58 facets and reflects the most sparkle of any cut. If you are interested in a different cut, consider the princess, emerald and asscher cuts.
What quality do you require? Jewelers grade diamonds according to the four Cs, two of which -- carat and cut -- we've already talked about. The other two ratings are color and clarity. Diamonds are prized for their lack of color, and an alphabetical scale rates the color quality of a stone: D-F for colorless, G-I for near colorless, J-K for faint color and L-R for noticeable color. Clarity refers to the flaws in a diamond. Some stones have no flaws or very few, which can only be seen under magnification, and others have many flaws that are noticeable without magnification.
What is your price range? Diamond stud earrings can be found at varying price levels. Large, colorless, flaw-free diamonds are rare and very expensive, so most consumers must decide what combination of quality factors will give them earrings that are a good value for the money. For example, if the 2-carat diamond earrings in your price range don't have the color that you want, look for a higher color rating in a slightly smaller diamond and you may find the perfect fit.
Where did your diamonds come from? For conscientious shoppers, it is worthwhile to find out the origin of your diamonds. Many retailers (including Overstock.com) now offer guarantees that the diamonds you purchase are in no way "blood diamonds" or affiliated with illegal or harmful mining practices in other nations. Taking the time to find out ensures that you not only end up with a beautiful pair of earrings but piece of mind as well.