Diamond Earrings Guide – Best Designs And Where to Buy!

stunning solitaire diamond earrings 6 prongs design

18k white gold 6 prong martini style earrings from White Flash.

Diamond earrings are one of the most popular and versatile pieces of jewelry for a woman. Whether it is for a formal occasion or a casual event, almost every woman needs a pair of earrings to complement her outfit.

From simple diamond studs to dramatic hoops, there are so many different styles of diamond earrings available to choose from. So, how do you decide on which to choose, what to buy and even where to buy?

In this write up, we are going to take an indepth-look at the top 10 most popular designs and help you narrow down the style that best suits your needs.

You are also going to see real life examples of how the setting designs look like in real life and find out the best places to buy high quality diamond earrings! Let’s dive right in…

Basic Prong Set Diamond Earrings

4 prong diamond stud earrings on ears seen with appearance

Classic 4 prong round diamond stud earrings – click here for details.

Perhaps the most popular choice among our top ten list, prong-based diamond studs are a classic fashion understatement. It can come in multiple variations of designs and usually consist of four or six prongs.

What’s nice about prong designs is that they are timeless and can be worn for both formal and casual occasions. The simplicity of stud earrings also makes them a great gift as they are suitable for different face shapes, skin tones and ages.

Almost every jeweler will offer some form of basic prong-based designs but the key to choosing a stunning pair lies in the quality of craftsmanship and diamond cut performance.

Martini Style Diamond Earrings

 3 prong martini diamond earring pair white gold

Affordable 3-prong martini earrings – click here for details.

Martini designs are relatively “rare” in the consumer market because they aren’t widely available. This is also what makes them so special. Typically, such designs are found among online jewelry dealers.

The highlight of a martini setting is that they are conical in shape and give a clean, minimalist look. Usually, you will find designs with 3 prongs to hold the diamond in place although there are variations with higher prong count. Because of this, there is less metal coverage on the diamond, resulting in the center diamond being showcased to the fullest extent.

However, it should also be noted that the disadvantage of having a conical shape is that the pointed end of the cone can push into the ear-hole and may even enlarge your ear-hole overtime.

If you want to get a sparkly, high-performance pair of diamond earrings, make sure you check out White Flash, James Allen and Brian Gavin to browse through their designs.

Chandelier Style Diamond Earrings

chandelier style diamond earrings design

Extended chandelier style earrings with 0.5 ctw diamonds – click here for details.

If you want to make a glamorous statement, chandelier earrings are really eye-catching choices. These earrings are usually comprised of drop loops or rings which feature tiers of diamonds hanging well below the ear level.

As the name suggests, the basic idea is to look as though you have beautiful and sparkling miniature chandeliers on your ears. They work best with someone who has long hair and enjoys brilliant accessories.

Basket Style Diamond Earrings

basket style diamond studs with screw back posts mounting

4 prong basket studs in platinum with screw back – click here for details.

As the name suggests, the setting design holds the diamond in a basket with a flat bottom. For people who want more comfort when wearing earrings for long hours, the basket prevents the earring from digging into the ear.

In the photograph above, the basket setting uses screw-back posts and nuts instead of the normal friction back posts. The screw-back posts allow for more secured wearing but it compromises some degree of convenience.

Diamond Hoop Earrings

diamond hoop earrings made in white gold ctw

18k white gold “shared-prong” hoop earrings – click here for details.

Hoop earrings take on a circular design and can be found in a variety of sizes. Larger size hoops create a more dramatic appearance and are great for special occasions. Smaller sized hoops are more ideal for every day wear and make a more reserved kind of statement.

Halo/Pave Setting

halo pave ear stud with encrusted diamonds

0.24 carat total weight pave halo ear studs – click here for details…

Pave settings utilize a cluster of identically sized melee diamonds that are laid across a flat surface. When small diamonds are placed side by side with minimum amounts of metal, it makes it look as though the earring is paved with stones. And that’s how the name of the setting was derived.

For people who are looking for the extra bling, halo and pave settings are splendid designs for consideration. Not only does the additional diamonds provide more scintillation, it also creates an optical illusion which makes the center diamond look bigger.

You can choose and design your own pair of unique diamond earrings online at JamesAllen.com. It’s fun, easy and intuitive. Try it out today!

Cluster (Encrusted) Diamond Earrings

cluster star earrings white flash

Diamonds are in bloom with this pair of flower cluster earrings – click here for details.

Cluster designs are budget friendly and much more affordable compared to buying singular larger diamonds in earrings. With a cluster setting, multiple small diamonds can be used to create an illusion of a single large diamond without the costs.

With cluster designs, the jeweler’s creativity can also be unleashed to create unique looking designs.

Bezel Earrings

handmade bezel diamond studs white color

Simple, yet bold design to accentuate the diamond – click here for details.

The bezel setting provides one of the safest and best protection for the diamond. Since the diamond is placed flush against the surface of the setting, it is very difficult for the earring to get snagged.

Also, the metal rim surrounding the diamond helps to emphasize its shape and secures the girdle against accidental knocks. While there is a boost to better security in bezel settings, the metal also hides a greater portion of the diamond and may hinder light performance if the setting isn’t crafted well.

Drop Diamond Earring Designs (aka Danglers)

short dangle diamond earrings s shape hook
drop diamond earring design star shape

Beautiful drop earrings of varying lengths from Brian Gavin.

Drop, or dangling earrings are styles which typically hang below the earlobe. Danglers come in a range of sizes and offer various appearances as they can either dangle below the ear lobes or reach all the way to the shoulders.

Depending on the length and shape of the earrings, they can create a simple yet sophisticated look at the same time. As you can imagine, danglers are super trendy and often worn by fashionistas who enjoy making an accessory statement.

Huggie Earrings (Huggers)

huggies earrings lobe curve

Custom x-prong style hoop earrings – click here for details.

These cool looking earrings are modern in style and designed to hug the ear lobe. The earrings often have small diamonds mounted in a row and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. If desired, they can be made to run up the entire outer edge of the lobe.

Which Metal to Choose For Diamond Earrings?

Due to the diamond’s hardness, most settings are usually made of white gold, yellow gold or platinum so that they can better withstand wear and tear. So, what are the differences between them and which metal should you choose for a pair of earrings?

Yellow gold: Relatively softer than white gold and more susceptible to scratching. The yellow color hue is complementary to lower color diamonds and for people who want a warmer looking appearance.

White gold: Harder than yellow gold and platinum due to the rhodium layer. 14k white gold is recommended for people on a budget as it is the most cost-efficient way to get a durable, white looking metal. The downside to white gold is that rhodium replating may be required once every few years and the nickel content may be sensitive to people with allergies.

Platinum: Similar in appearance to white gold but is much heavier due to its density. Platinum is the most expensive metal out of these 3 and is highly durable. If you like feeling the hefty weight on your earlobes or want a hypoallergenic metal, then choose platinum for your setting.

Where is the Best Place to Buy Diamond Earrings?

2 round brilliant cuts set in yellow gold studs

2 round diamonds with CTW of 1.20 carats set in yellow gold studs

Diamond earrings are sold in almost every type of jewelry store you can find. From personal experience in shopping at local stores, most of the diamond earrings sold are excessively priced for the mediocre quality they offer.

The root of the problem lies in the preset options where you cannot dictate the quality of the diamonds used and the lack of proper certification. This puts the typical consumer in a position of weakness and unethical jewelers rip consumers off by misrepresenting their goods.

If you want to get a high quality pair of earrings with high performance diamonds at competitive prices, you need to go online. It’s the best way to compare costs and styles while having a risk-free shopping environment. These are vendors I highly recommend:

White Flash – Deals with super ideal cut diamonds and is the authorized retailer for many designer brands. White Flash has very affordable prices and superb customer service. One of the best vendors in the industry to buy diamond jewelry from.

Brian Gavin – One of the most well known names in the industry when it comes to super ideal cut diamonds and fantastic workmanship. They also have a wide array of earring settings for you to choose from.

James Allen – This vendor offers highly competitive prices and is a fantastic place to shop for fancy cut diamonds. They provide high definition videos that allow you to inspect their products in full details. With their big inventory, it’s easy to pick out a matching diamond pair for your earrings. They also have a great warranty and return policy.

To wrap things up, diamond earrings come in a wide variety of styles and designs. Depending on the type of earrings and styles you are looking for, different vendors would suit your needs. For a hassle free and enjoyable shopping process, I recommend that you find out exactly what your recipient’s preferences are prior to shopping.

If you need help to select a pair of diamond earrings, feel free to get in touch with me or leave a comment below. Good luck with the search!

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  1. Annie Frances-
    June 21, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    I really like the pave setting on earrings. I’m looking for emerald earrings on sale for my sister. She would love the pave setting because it has the halo effect. Her emerald earrings will be awesome. Thanks for the help.

  2. jessica chauhan-
    October 21, 2016 at 6:27 am

    I am fond of diamond studs and I prefer them for daily office wear.

  3. jenny-
    June 27, 2018 at 2:15 am

    What is the best setting for diamond earrings that maximize sparkle? I like the idea of a halo design where I don’t need to spend too much on carat size.

  4. Paul Gian-
    June 28, 2018 at 3:02 am

    If you are talking about a solitaire design, then the best setting for diamond earrings from a performance point of view is the martini setting. It allows the most light in. If you are talking about getting better shimmer and scintillation, then the cluster design would be a good choice.

  5. Lisa-
    January 3, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    I would like your help picking a one carat pair of princess cut diamond earrings at Brian Gavin. My budget is approximately $3,000 but it isn’t written in stone if an exceptional pair of diamonds comes along. I am not sure I’m that good at reading the Idealscope or AGSL Light Performance images. From what I can see, this pair looks good, although the F color diamond has a slightly larger table than you recommend (it is 69.2%). When I look at the AGSL image, what I think I see is that there’s red out to the edges and quite a bit of contrast.


    Here is another pair where the tables percentages meet your recommendation. One of the diamonds is same as in the pair above. However, the E VS2 diamond in this pair looks to me like it has more light leakage than either of the others:


    (I am open to other pairs of diamonds, these were just the ones I came up with based on my limited knowledge.)

    Am I on the right track? I decided to upgrade to Brian Gavin based on your information. I am open to other sellers but I agree with you: it looks like they got it right. I purchased a pair from Blue Nile that were very nice. They were well-matched except for one was noticeably “dimmer” and less brilliant than the other. If they were both as good as the best one I would have kept them. This time I’m going a little larger and I want to be sure I’m getting very bright and well-matched pair.

    Thank you very much for your time and help,

  6. Paul Gian-
    January 4, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I looked at both sets of diamonds are think both are on par and just as fantastic.

    Clearly, you know what you are doing. These are matching pairs that you picked out perfectly.

    I do have a slight preference for this pair just because of its color/clarity combination. This will help you get better value for your earrings.


    Either way, both sets are winners. Well done!

  7. Lisa-
    January 6, 2019 at 3:33 am

    Thank you very much for your time and help, Paul. Obviously, I learned from the best!! Your site is incredible and I’ve learned so much.

    One more quick question. Is there an easy well to tell the difference between an “excellent” grade cut and something lower? I am looking at some diamonds through a 10x loupe and cannot figure it out. They seem bright by eye but through the loupe I see few flaws and they appear symmetrical, but they don’t look very bright or clear through the loupe.

    Thank you,

  8. Paul Gian-
    January 7, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    One, you are examining the diamond in different lighting conditions through the loupe and with your naked eyes. When the diamond is brought near the eye and loupe. Light will be blocked. Less light in = less light return.

    I can say for sure that you will be able to see differences in sparkle.

    These are top notch and look bright. In fact, I would go so far as to say they are the best of the best in the world in terms of light performance.

  9. Lisa-
    January 21, 2019 at 5:45 am

    I received my princess earrings and I love them. They are truly beautiful. Thank you for your help!

    I have a question for you. Brian Gavin has some nice K & M color round diamonds. I’m looking for a less expensive pendant. Would the yellower diamonds work in a rose gold setting? Or would yellow gold be better?

    I’d prefer rose gold but if that will look funny with the yellow diamonds, I’m okay with yellow gold. Even white gold, for that matter, but I think it might look funny with a yellow diamond.

    Here’s the setting: https://www.briangavindiamonds.com/slider-bezel-pendant-14k-rose-gold-5422r14

    I love the M diamond below, but I feel like I’d be paying a premium for its clarity.


    Here is a smaller K that seems nice:


    And a couple of other Ks:



    What do you think? Is this a good setting for them? Is rose gold okay or is yellow better?

    And, maybe the biggest question, what do people USUALLY do with well-cut diamonds in the K – M color range?

    Thank you, Paul.

  10. Paul Gian-
    January 23, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Faint yellow diamonds (i.e. L/Mcolor) work perfectly fine in rose gold settings. People specifically want the color tint when buying K-M diamonds. For vintage style settings, these are ideal stones to create a retro look. Others simply like the warmth in the diamonds. This is really up to personal preferences.

    The slider bezel is a great looking setting. Next, I reviewed the shortlisted stones and all 4 diamonds are extremely well cut and consistent. I think you already know that by now given BGD’s diamond craftsmanship. To me, buying the M color diamond doesn’t make much sense here since you are paying a lot for the VVS clarity.

    I would go with this diamond for practical reasons:

  11. Mandy-
    February 15, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Do you have any recommendations on where to buy diamond stud earrings in New York, Manhattan?

  12. Paul Gian-
    February 16, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    James Allen is based in NYC and they have a physical showroom by appointment only.

  13. James-
    March 25, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    What is a good size for diamond stud earrings?

  14. Paul Gian-
    March 27, 2019 at 9:46 am

    It depends on personal preference. Is bigger better? Do you need someone to see what you are wearing from 50 meters away? If yes, you probably need 2 carat size diamonds. Personally, I find that a one carat size per ear creates a proportional appearance to most ears.

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