Consumer Guidance

Women’s Jewelry: Choosing the Best Diamond Stud Earrings

best diamond stud earrings design

Handmade milgrain and bezel studs in 950 Pt – Brian Gavin

For the uninitiated, choosing a diamond can be hard. Finding a pair of perfect diamond earrings can be even more difficult. You see, factors like stone sizes, diamond shapes, face contours and etc… all require the right balance and detailing to make a pair of earrings stand out.

Luckily for you, we are here to take the guess work out in today’s blog post. We’ll tell you how to find the right earrings for your face shape, the different styles available, the best places to buy diamond earrings and more below…

Tips for Selecting a Diamond Shape For Your Studs

The beauty of diamond studs is that they are suitable for most types of face shapes (which is why they are very popular). They are also great accessories to match your dress code for casual wear or fancy ballroom events.

Here are some guidelines to help you choose a diamond shape for yourself. If you have a broader face type, elongated shapes like the emerald cut, radiant cut and marquise cut will complement your face. This is because they provide an impression of length with their proportions.

If you have a thinner face type, symmetrical shapes like the round cut, princess cut and Asscher cut are options that would flatter your face shape. As a rule of the thumb, round diamonds are safe options and can work with any type of face shapes.

Incidentally, round diamonds also have better sparkle factor and brilliance compared to other shapes of diamonds.

Designs Available And The Best Place to Buy Diamond Earrings

Regardless of your personal style or fashion taste, there will always be stud designs that suit your needs. When buying a pair of diamond studs, the 2 most important criteria to look out for are: quality of the center diamond and workmanship of the setting.

Bear in mind that even the most beautiful diamond will look terrible if it were set into a poorly made setting. To find a great pair of earrings, the key lies in balance and craftsmanship.

Now, I emphasize the need to source for reliable bench jewelers because the good ones pay attention to details. They will make the difference between earrings that turn out droopy or the ones that look great.

In my opinion, the best place to buy diamond earrings is to go online. White Flash, Brian Gavin and James Allen are exemplary vendors offering HD videos for their diamond listings. This makes it really easy for you to scrutinize and select the best diamond for your needs.

Classic Basket Style Diamond Stud Earrings

Basket style diamond stud earrings were one of the original designs that lasted through generations of creativity. Today, they remain one of the most popular styles of setting designs. Feel free to click on any of the stud designs to find out more details…

4 prong basket screw cap

4 Prong Basket Screw Back – Brian Gavin

6 prong scallop basket stud setting 18k white gold

18K White Gold 6 Prong Scalloped Basket – James Allen


Prong Martini Style Diamond Stud Earrings

The 3-prong martini (or 4-prong) setting is one of my favorite designs. It is a simple yet evergreen design. More importantly, the 3 prong martini style setting provides a base with good center of gravity. This enables the stud to fit snugly against your ear lobe for a great presentation.

14k white gold best martini diamond earring studs mounting

3 Prong Martini Diamond Earrings – White Flash

14k 3 prong martini style studs

14K White Gold 3 Prong Martini – James Allen


Bezel Style Stud Earrings

Bezel set diamond studs are very hardy and designed for maximum security. They are great for people who are rough with their jewelry. Bezel settings tend to be more expensive because of the skilled labor required to set them correctly.

bezel rose gold earring design

18k Rose Gold Handmade Bezel Studs – Brian Gavin

handcrafted bezel earring stud design

18K White Gold Bezel Setting – White Flash


Halo Style Stud Earrings

Halo designs add extra bling to a piece and create an illusion of a single large looking diamond without the huge costs. This is achieved by mounting melee diamonds along the perimeter of the center stone.

halo design brian gavin earrings

Halo Earrings in 14k White Gold – Brian Gavin

halo frame setting pave earring stud design

Handmade Diamond Pave Frame Setting – James Allen


Designer And Branded Stud Earrings

If you are looking for a bolder or more unique style of design for your earrings, designer brands like Ritani are worth looking into.

ritani bella vita halo diamond earrings

Ritani Bella Vita Halo Diamond Setting – White Flash

double halo ear studs with melee diamonds

Brilliance Double Halo 18K White Gold – White Flash


Preset Diamond Stud Earrings – Are They Any Good?

You probably came across preset diamond studs if you did some shopping online or around your local stores. The meaning of preset is that the center stones have already been mounted and the piece of jewelry is ready to be purchased.

Now, preset jewelry offers a level of convenience since it completely removes the involvement of the consumer in the fabrication process. Decisions for diamond quality, carat size and price points are predetermined by the jeweler.

As a consumer, you need to understand that preset jewelry is a can of worms because it allows jewelers to abuse marketed claims and misrepresented quality. The fact is, most preset earrings do not have reliable grading reports from GIA or AGS that ensure the accuracy of the represented quality.

Very often, consumers get ripped off thinking that they had gotten a great deal (i.e. earrings advertised as F color/VS2 clarity). In reality, the real quality of the earrings could defer greatly (I color/I1 clarity).

Here’s the bottomline: if you are buying a pair of diamond studs with centerstones larger than 0.30 carats individually, you better make sure there are reliable grading certificates from GIA or AGS. If the jeweler doesn’t offer a grading report or attempts to sell you uncertified diamonds at “cheaper” prices, I can guarantee you are in for a giant rip-off.

The only exception to this guideline is when you are purchasing a pair of diamond studs made of up of melee stones smaller than 0.30 carats (see below). In such a scenario, grading reports are not necessary because the size of the diamonds are too small to make economical sense (cost of grading far outweighs the cost of a melee diamond).

melee studded earring knots

Diamond Love Knots Earrings – Blue Nile

floral diamond earring stud

Diamond Floral Stud Earrings – Blue Nile


For reliable quality in preset pieces, the best places to buy diamond earrings are Blue Nile and White Flash. These are 2 vendors I had personally vetted and can speak for their craftsmanship and quality.

How to Choose Diamonds For Earrings

Just like shopping for an engagement ring, cut quality is the most important aspect of a diamond. This is because it directly translates to the amount of sparkle and brilliance the diamond displays.

Now, there are some differences I want to highlight when you are choosing diamonds for earrings. First of all, the viewing distances for earrings are much further away compared to engagement rings. Since size is usually the first thing people notice about diamond jewelry, it makes sense for you to prioritize carat weight when shopping for a pair of studs.

Secondly, when diamonds are mounted onto a stud and worn on the ear, they are usually set lower and seen in the face up view. Combined with longer viewing distances, the color and clarity of a diamond will not be readily noticeable by the naked eye.

So, here are my personal recommendations when choosing diamonds for your earrings.

  1. Cut quality has utmost importance because it determines the beauty of the diamond.
  2. Carat size should be as big as your budget allows.
  3. Color should be kept in the G-I ranges.
  4. Clarity should be kept in the VS2-SI2 ranges. (as long as the stone is eyeclean)

The guidelines above provide the most practical approach to getting the best value for your money. At the end of the day, your personal preferences will matter the most and these are not hard & fast rules.

If you are in the market to buy a D/IF rating for symbolic reasons, who’s to say you are wrong?

Regardless of your personal preferences, there’s one thing you can never skimp on. And that is cut quality. For a step by step guide to select diamonds with confidence, I recommend you read every single word in this section.

Summary – Women’s Jewelry Guide to Diamond Stud Earrings

Hopefully, you now have a clear idea on the various types of designs available for ear studs and have learnt something useful in this week’s post. Remember, CUT is KING when it comes to buying diamonds even for earrings.

Here’s a fun reminder. Show off your earrings! Whether you are putting them on for a big night out or on a regular working day, wear them with confidence. If you utilize the diamond shopping tips on Beyond4cs.com, I can assure you that your earrings will “POP” with sparkle.

Lastly, I wish you the best of luck as you pick out your brand new diamond stud earrings. And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via email or leave a comment below.

If you are shopping for a pair of studs, I highly recommend James Allen, White Flash And Brian Gavin. These are reputable vendors that provide high quality diamonds and have excellent craftsmanship on their settings.

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What Are Accent Diamonds?

accent diamonds pave setting 18k white gold princess cut center

Did you know that there is more to a diamond than just one stone? Or that the focal point of the centerpiece is not always the only part that matters?

Have you ever thought that it might be nice to add some more sparkle to a piece you own or would like to own? Then you should definitely be considering the use of accent diamonds in your jewelry piece.

More about these beautiful stones can be found here – read on!

Examples of Diamond Accents in Engagement Rings

Accent diamonds (or sometimes called diamond accents) are much like what you would expect. They are an accent – an added piece and in a way, an elaboration to amplify the beauty of a jewelry piece.

3 stone emerald cut rose gold ring with rectangular accents

Larger sized emerald cut accent diamonds

melee diamond accent on shanks of platinum ring

Smaller sized round accent diamonds (melees)


In a nutshell, the goal of diamond accents is to create subtle but observable differences. Feel free to click on the photographs above to see the ring settings in more details.

Diamond accents should not overwhelm the overall appearance of the jewelry piece. When correctly utilized, they add sparkle in a streamlined manner and complement the main gem perfectly.

Paul’s Personal Tip: I’m a fan of pave and side stone settings. When assessing the craftsmanship of a vendor, I typically look out for accent diamonds that are big enough to enhance the visual appearance (sparkle) while being small enough so that it doesn’t take attention away from the center stone.

What Are Ideal Ratios For Accent Diamonds in 3-Stone Rings?

Well, there’s really no hard science or magic formula here.

This is because relative proportions is a factor that should be determined by your own preferences. Setting design and the shape of the accent diamonds are also things that will affect your decision as well.

With that said, here is my guideline for selecting accent diamonds in a 3 stone ring. In general, I would recommend diamonds that are roughly half the carat weight of the center stone.

For example, if your center stone is a 1 carat G VS2 round diamond, you may want to consider accent diamonds around 0.5 carats in size. I would also recommend keeping color/clarity ratings within 2 grades of the center stone.

Now, I need to emphasize that this is just a guideline and not rules that are cast in stone. If you like the look of smaller or larger accent diamonds, it’s really all that matters. After all, you are the person who is going to wear that piece of jewelry.

You Get What You Pay For or Less If You Cheapen Out

In the market, most jewelers offer settings with predetermined carat sizes and quality for accent diamonds. The most common problem here is that these diamonds are seldom graded because their smaller sizes make it uneconomical to do so.

When this happens, you will have to take the word of the jeweler for the represented quality of the side stones. Sadly, this leaves a huge avenue for unethical jewelers to abuse.

From my personal experience, I can tell you that most salespeople and jewelers will simply brush off the importance of accent diamonds and actually OVERSTATE their quality.

heavily included diamond accent impacts performance

Examples of accent stones with terrible quality.

If you observe accent diamonds with your naked eye and find that they are cloudy/dull (left) or heavily included (right), it is a serious cause for concern and a huge red flag.

 

Where to Get Accent Diamonds With The Best Cut Quality?

When it comes to cut quality and light performance, these are aspects of a diamond (no matter how big or small) that I would never compromise. I advocate that you do the same as well if you want a jewelry piece that’s lively and full of sparkle.

Brian Gavin and White Flash are 2 vendors that utilize super ideal cut accent diamonds and melees in their settings. As far as I know, no other vendor offers the same level of cut quality at competitive prices compared to them.

Here’s a perspective on the size of the melee diamonds that are typically used in ring settings.

melee diamond 1 mm compare coin small tiny

Some of the smallest melees can measure from 1 mm in diameter! 

First of all, the small size of the melees make them difficult to handle; let alone to polish them to ideal proportions. Yet, vendors like Brian Gavin are able to offer ideally cut melee diamonds because of their commitment to achieving the highest quality in the jewelry they make.

aset of brian gavin super ideal cut melee accent diamond

This is an ASET image I captured with difficulty due to the tiny size of the melee (handling them is really tough!). As you can see, the saturated reds indicate very strong light return. What’s even more amazing is that the contrast patterning of the melees is highly symmetrical!

Both White Flash and Brian Gavin utilize super ideal cut melees and sidestones in their settings. Combined with impeccable bench workmanship, the finished pieces look stunning!

Craftsmanship And Attention to Details Matter When Using Accent Stones

The skill and craftsmanship standards of a vendor make all the difference between settings that “pop” and the ones that look “meh”. Since every accent diamond is different and polished individually, details like diameter dimensions, table sizes and cut quality can vary.

In jewelry designs where the accent diamonds are supposed to look uniform, scrutiny is required at the backend processes of the jeweler’s bench.

On the other hand, when different sized accent diamonds are required in designs like tapered channels, the craftsmanship of the jeweler will make or break the final appearance.

tapered shanks with melees of varying sizes diamonds

As you can see in the example above, the finished shanks display a fluid flow of mounted melees in decreasing sizes. The shanks are cleanly made and show a high level of workmanship expertise.

The point I want to bring across here is that good bench jewelers care about the smallest of details and impose strict standards when the ring is fabricated.

The Bottom Line About Accent Diamond

Just like selecting your center diamond and ring design, the quality of accent diamonds DO matter. If you want the overall jewelry piece to have the best possible brilliance, every tiny detail will matter.

With that, I want to end off this month’s blog post by wishing our readers a Happy Mother’s Day!

Brian Gavin and White Flash are the only 2 vendors in the world that I would trust in getting impeccable craftsmanship in their jewelry pieces. The super ideal cut accent stones they use in their settings offer brilliance and sparkle on a totally different level. Check them out for yourself!

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