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How to Buy Diamond Stud Earrings

Woman wearing a diamond stud earring
MAY 31, 2016

by Andrew Schneider

Jewelry Specialist

Diamond studs are small, versatile earrings that are appropriate for casual, semi-formal, and formal settings. Men, women, and even children can comfortably wear diamond stud earrings alone or with complementary pieces of jewelry. Carat size and setting type influence earring prices, so keep that in mind if you are shopping within a specific budget. Look at multiple styles of diamond earring studs to compare features such as cut and clarity before selecting a shimmering pair for your collection.

Young woman wearing a diamond stud earring

Establish a Budget

Prices for diamond earrings range from less than $100 to more than $20,000 per pair. Think about how much you want to spend on your diamond jewelry, and then sort products by price to keep your budget on track while shopping online. Certified diamonds with a high-polish finish and a weight that falls between 2 and 2.5 carats typically sit on the higher end of the price scale, while 0.10 to 0.25-carat diamond studs with average clarity are ideal for budget-minded shoppers.

Woman with matching earrings, ring, and necklace

Consider Accessories

Determine whether you plan to wear your diamond stud earrings on their own or combine them with other pieces of diamond jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, or rings. Jewelry sets provide peace of mind for shoppers who prefer to buy complementary pieces together rather than mix and match existing accessories. A jewelry set typically includes multiple diamond-adorned pieces with the same metal bases, such as diamond earrings set in sterling silver paired with a tennis bracelet featuring a silver overlay.

Close up of a woman's ear with a diamond stud

Explore Different Cuts

A diamond gets its signature sparkle from its cut, which affects the level of light refraction released by the gemstone. Some online listings for diamond earrings for women and men rank the cut grade of the gemstones using a scale created by the Gemological Institute of America. "Excellent" is the highest and best grade for a cut, and "poor" is the worst.

Cut styles commonly associated with diamond studs include the princess cut, which has a square shape; the round cut, which has rounded edges; and the brilliant cut, which features angled facets above and below the diamond's crown. Avoid deep-set round stones if you want a large portion of the diamonds' surfaces to remain visible.

Close up of a woman's ear with a diamond stud

Choose the Right Carat Size

Carat size determines the weight of a diamond. A large carat size is not the only factor that affects a diamond's shine, and smaller diamonds with specific cuts sometimes sparkle more than larger ones. Stud earrings with diamonds typically range from 0.10 carats to 2.5 carats, though you may occasionally find other weights. If you have sensitive earlobes or are shopping for a young child, opt for a small carat size that does not feel heavy when worn.

Close up of a woman's ear with a diamond stud

Consider Gemstone Clarity and Color

Diamonds come in many hues, including pink, yellow, blue, and black. Impurities and other defects contribute to discoloration, so colorless, transparent diamonds are often the purest. Flaws typically reduce the price of diamond stud earrings, which is beneficial if you prefer the unique, edgy look associated with colored diamonds.

Clarity refers to letter grades, which let buyers know the condition of a gemstone. "FL" refers to a flawless diamond with zero defects, while "IF" is used to describe diamonds that are internally flawless. Diamonds are graded by professional jewelry evaluators who use tools designed to catch flaws invisible to the naked eye. If you're happy with diamonds that look perfect but have hidden flaws, opt for budget-friendly studs with an I1 or I2 clarity rating.

Close up of a woman's ear with a diamond stud

Select a Setting

Diamond stud earrings for women and men feature bases made from metals such as gold, sterling silver, and platinum. Setting styles include prong settings, bezel settings, and crown settings. Prong settings generally have between three and eight prongs that hold each earring close to the ear. Bezel settings form a complete rim around the edge of the stone and are the most secure type of setting. Crown settings, as their name suggests, are designed in the shape of a crown and have a unique ornate look. Choose stud earrings with friction backs if you want secure backs to help hold your earrings in place.