How to Buy Diamond Stud Earrings
Diamond studs are small, versatile earrings that are appropriate for casual, semi-formal, and formal settings. Diamond stud earrings look great when worn alone and can also be easily coordinated with complementary pieces of jewelry. Use the following guide to help you find a pair of diamond stud earrings that will make the perfect, sparkling addition to your outfit and your jewelry collection.
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 yourself on budget 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.
Determine whether you plan to wear your 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 made from sterling silver paired with a tennis bracelet featuring a silver overlay.
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.
Explore Different Cuts
A diamond gets its signature sparkle from its cut, which affects the level of light refracted by the gemstone. Some online listings for diamond earrings 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. For a look at all the different diamond shapes, read through our Diamond Cuts Fact Sheet.
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 studs, 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.
Take a look at our guide on How to Buy Diamond Engagement Rings for a more in-depth look at cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
Select a Setting
Diamond stud earrings for men and women 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 diamond close to the earring. 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.