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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
If you are looking for a bolder or more unique style of design for your earrings, designer brands like Ritani are worth looking into.
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).
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.
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.
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.
I’m live in Croatia which is part of the EU. Would you have any idea about where to buy diamond stud earrings online that does shipping to my country? I checked with BlueNile and James Allen. They both do not ship here. Alternatively, I could buy in London when I’m there for a vacation next month. Any suggestions on what to do?
The cost of diamond stud earrings and Jewelry will cost a lot more in London than in Croatia. On top of that, high quality diamond stud earrings are going to be a rarity in the UK. The cut standards are way too low compared to those offered by the US retailers. In your case, you might be far better off purchasing in a local store in Croatia or make your purchase in the States if you are planning a trip there in future.
I have a couple of questions.
First, do you have any thoughts on Maurice Jewelers ( in the Plaza, etc)?
Or the diamond studs that are in sale at Lord and Taylor?
And what kind of backings do you recommend? What’s the best setting for diamond studs in your opinion?
I had heard screw backs but just read that you don’t recommend sleeping in them and they are a lot of work.
Also – how close to the ear should they sit? I bought a pair of diamond studs from Gilt and Maurice a few years back and lost one.
They sold me another one from their store but had to change the setting to match. They didn’t leave careful notes and i didn’t want to leave the stud with them for days. I noticed that the newer one had a thicker setting and sits higher on my ear than the other. Still no droop though.
They didn’t give a GIA cert for 1 carat studs and claimed it would raise the price too much to pay for that. I read this article after the fact..
I don’t love that that settings aren’t identical but I don’t know which one is more ideal? And how to go about changing them.. and if I should be willing to leave them there for a few days etc.
They seem nice inside and all but don’t do things they claim like call when they said they would and messed up some other communication issues.
I got the earrings at half of what they say it’s worth because of the sale but not sure know that I read your article if I was scammed or not.
Also – the ones at Lord and Taylor sparkles quite a bit too which was a surprise. But I have no idea if anything was done to them. I’m wondering how much do 1 carat diamond earrings cost – can you give a rough estimate so that I won’t overpay?
The fitting is based on personal preference and it depends on the alignment of the studs. As a guideline for studs that fit correctly, they should be sit completely flat onto the ear.
Anyway, your jeweler don’t offer GIA reports NOT because that would raise prices but because they want to sell misrepresented diamond. If I claim to sell you a H/VS2 diamond, how would you know it isn’t a P/SI2? Most consumers fall into this trap: https://beyond4cs.com/engagement-ring/beware-of-cheap-diamond-deals/
The cost of 1 carat diamond earrings would vary depending on many factors like cut, clarity and color ratings. I cannot give a generic answer as quality matters when it comes to prices.
Great write up on this guide to women’s jewelry. Can you do another write up on pendants too? What’s the best setting for diamond earrings if I intend to wear them to sleep and not have to go through the hassle of taking them out everyday? The BlueNile studs look simple and doesn’t seem like it requires constant maintenance.
For your case, the best setting for diamond studs with minimal maintenance are those with screwbacks. The reason being that screwbacks are less likely to come off compared to normal snap-ons.
Note: I’m not recommending that you sleep with your earrings on because it could damage the piece or cause it to warp overtime. Do this at your own risk.
So true Paul Gian UK jewelries tend to be more expensive and lower quality than almost everything else even here in The Philippines.
The only quality diamonds you can buy from London is the branded ones like Graff.
A piece of similar jewelry from London and The Philippines would cost much less when you buy them from Leibish & Co. for example and they have a fantastic sale for their jewelries now. If you buy 3 you get HUGE discounts for all. I’ve looked around and I think the best place to buy diamond stud earrings online is Blue Nile.
I’ve been shopping around and one of the local jeweller claims to offer me the best deal on diamond earrings anywhere in the country. The pair of earrings is priced at $4,000 for a 1 ctw size and comes with an IGI certificate which states that the jewellery is worth $6,500. Do you think this is a good deal or is this too good to be true?
Any jeweller who claims to offer consumers a deal and follows it up with EGL graded diamonds are out to rip you off. It’s unethical and definitely a red flag. EGL is well known for its soft grading standards and had been involved in various lawsuits from consumers. Recently, the diamond industry in the trading community had completely banned all EGL diamonds in their networks. That’s how bad it is.
Run! It’s only a good deal for the jeweller at your expense.
What do you think of James Allen’s preset earrings? I know they are a recommended vendor on many of your webpages but you didn’t seem to mention them much in this write up. Where would you say would be the best place to buy diamond stud earrings online or in a brick and mortar store?
James Allen’s preset earrings have limited designs and typically consist of larger sized diamonds above 0.30ct which are uncertified. I don’t recommend shopping like this. If you want to shop at James Allen, it would make better sense to pick out your own diamonds (with GIA/AGS certs) and get it set in the setting you like. It isn’t that hard and gives you control over the quality of the diamonds. You can get more information about the various places I recommend for buying earrings in this write up.
Can you clarify why color is less noticeable in earrings as compared to a ring? I thought both rings and earrings have diamonds that are mounted in the face up view?
Also, what size diamond studs are too big and start to become overwhelming?
You are right in saying that diamonds are mounted in a face up view (table facet). For engagement rings, a common scenario that takes place is a side by side comparison when ladies get together. : )
When this happens, it would be possible to see color differences especially if the rings being compared are many ratings apart. Think about it – would this be practical when you try to compare earrings worn by someone else against the ones you are wearing? Is it possible to put ears side by side closely? Well, it’s possible but highly unlikely. This is why color is hardly noticeable in earrings even if you see someone wearing a H color pair of earrings beside someone wearing a D color pair of studs.
Also, it is easier to see the diamond’s body color in its profile view. For rings, all it takes is to lift your finger and you can quickly see the side profile of the diamond. For earrings, it’s going to be extremely rude to pull someone’s ear in order to observe the stud’s profile. I hope I make sense here.
I think a good size for diamond stud earrings without being obnoxiously big is around the 1ct range.
I like that you provided some tips on how to choose the best diamond earrings such as making sure you purchase a pair that is proportional to the shape of your face. You said the best earrings that match a thin face are the symmetrical shapes like the round cut and princess cut earrings. It is also good to wear round diamonds which can go with just about any type of face shape. I would definitely keep this in mind when I shop around to buy my wife a set of earrings. Thanks.
Have you had the chance to review a business called Lumera Diamonds? They are an online store like BlueNile and I found their prices to be very similar to what the other vendors are offering.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any reviews on Lumera Diamonds nor do I have any experience with them. I think there are some distinct differences. With vendors like James Allen, HD videos are provided for you to review a diamond before purchase. On the other hand, most other online businesses expect you to buy blind which is a risky endeavor.
I’m wondering what exactly is a diamond stud and how does it differ from hoops and dangles? Seems like different businesses apply a different definition about this.
The photographs in this write up should give you a good idea what a diamond stud is and what it isn’t. Basically, studs are the most basic forms of earrings with the centerstone mounted on a metal and the main focus lies on the centerstone instead of the metal design. Hope this makes sense!
Hi Paul I am looking at buying a dancing diamond , or rhythm diamond pendant surrounded by small diamonds. I would like centre diamond to be 75 points. Where would you recommend buying this? Thanks Margo
Quite a number of places sell these types of designs. You may want to check out Ritani: https://beyond4cs.com/go/ritani/
You mentioned that HIGH quality diamonds are never on sale.
Well I bought a HIGH quality diamond from Leibish & Co. for 35% off then further discounted coz I’m a friend of Leibish to nearly 50% off for a fancy vivid yellowish orange SI1 clarity with strong yellow fluorescence with GIA color only report.
I don’t think HIGH quality diamonds ar never on sale. For example in 2005 it’s hard to find a $1k dollars 0.30ct D-IF diamond from Bluenile coz they usually coz more than that but today you can find a 0.30ct D-IF diamond for less than $900. In 2005 it is impossible to find a $1,500 0.50ct D-IF diamond from Bluenile now a same diamond can be bought for $1,500.
So I guess alot of white diamonds have decreased in value or heavily discounted since 2005 what about natural color diamonds?
Depends on the type of natural color diamonds you are looking for. I can tell you that most of the goods in the market are NOT investment grade and you can expect to LOSE money the moment you buy them.
Where is the best place to buy diamond stud earrings in New York City? Do you have someone you can recommend or tips to help me out? My budget is around $500.
If I found a pair of studs I’m interested in, would you help me offer a review on the purchase?
It depends on what you are looking for. Frankly speaking, your budget is very small. Don’t expect to get anything that’s high quality or spectacular for $500. Obviously, studs with larger center stones will be out of the question. In your case, the best place to buy diamond stud earrings in NYC would be James Allen. They have a showroom there where you can drop by as well.
Here’s the direct link there: https://beyond4cs.com/go/ja/
As I live in the UK I am concerned by your comments that the cut quality is in general not of the highest quality. Have you reviewed 77 Diamonds in London? I am looking to purchase a pair of diamond stud earrings, would you you still recommend to purchase from a US on-line retailer like White Flash and why?
If you are looking for diamonds with the best cut quality and performance, there are only a few in the world that specialize in them. White Flash is one of these rare businesses. If you are looking for smaller pieces or those made with multiple smaller diamonds, Blue Nile has operations in UK and has a wide range of choices to select from.
Would you be able to recommend a place to buy diamond studs in London? Does it make more sense to buy at one of the established international jewelry stores for example in New Bond Street or am I better off trying Hatton Garden? Would you recommend 3-, 4- or 6-prong studs, or is it purely taste? Concerning the 4Cs, for preset earrings it seems like the companies never tell you the cut, most time is just says ‘brilliant cut’, but I understand that is the type of cut, not a rating. The just tell you weight, colour and clarity..
Well, Hatton Garden is the place to go to for overpriced goods and inferior quality stuff. And from what you describe, it’s a typical description that jewelers use to sell uncertified goods and that opens you up to misrepresentation.
Personally, a 3 prong would be good enough for earrings. If you intend to buy a 5 carat or 10 carat diamond for the earrings, then it would make sense to go to 6 prongs. If you are looking for quality at competitive prices, the companies I mentioned above are the places to shop at. And I’ve made the reasoning pretty clear. It’s all about reliability.
For diamond studs you say the order of importance for the Cs is: cut, carat, color, clarity. I am choosing between a few pairs. They are all excellent cut and vary slightly in carat size and color. My question is is carat still the first to consider if it is only a small difference? For example, which is more desirable: a pair that is 1.29 carat with an I color or a pair that is 1.25 carats with an H color?
Also would you trust the clarity of s12 from blue nile to eye clean for diamond studs?
When it comes to color and carat sizes, it is really subjective. Whether one pair is more desirable than the other would depend on your personal tastes. The caveat here is whether we are even comparing like for like diamonds with minimal variables in cut quality and inclusion types.
For such large size diamonds, most SI2s are not going to be eyeclean. And it has nothing to do with buying them from Blue Nile or any other vendor. SI2 diamonds need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. If you want me to review the diamonds for you, you will need to include the urls to the listings.
Thank you for your article! I am trying to find a pair of diamond stud earrings and it’s so confusing. Your site is so helpful:)
I agree with you the martini 3 prong setting is great. I am trying to use your guide and wanted to see if this is what you mean I would like round diamond studs 0.6-0.7cwt which is the largest I can get within my budget.
I’m looking at BlueNile and should I go for ideal cut when searching for the matching diamond pair and colour I and clarity s12 (unfortunately I can’t see the inclusions on the website)? Also would the setting colour affect the sparkle?
Setting color has no bearing on the diamond’s sparkle. Cut quality is what makes a diamond appear lively or dull. So, place your emphasis on that. With Blue Nile, you will have to use the filters to show you only diamonds that have video listings. In this way, you will be able to see where the inclusions are in the SI2 diamonds and I need to stress that you MUST view videos to determine eyecleanliness. If you still need help, let me know again and provide me with a realistic budget for the earrings. I can help you do a search if you like.
Thanks so much Paul!
I’m looking for the best value diamonds (without setting) with budget for the diamonds at 1200 usd
Last year I bought a Tiffany diamond pendant I wish I had found your review on your Tiffany diamonds before that!
With Tiffany, you do get decently well cut diamonds but they come at a huge price premium. Anyway, I did a comprehensive search and would recommend these 2 diamonds for a great pair of earrings. It’s well cut and well matched.
Thank you I have purchased the diamonds and have got them set in 18 white gold:). Much appreciated and awesome website! I’ve learnt a lot and know what to look for in diamond earrings now.
You need to charge for your services.
You are welcome. If you want to, you can make a donation here: https://beyond4cs.com/about/donations/
I’m shopping for earrings and have been reading everything I can find to get educated. Like others, I appreciate all your effort here and your style of presentation makes things easy to understand. One thing from this article I think might be missing is what to look for to get a “matched” pair of stones as I understand that carrot weight alone may get you stones that don’t appear to be the same size? A couple of questions.
Are Blue Nile and James Allen inventories depleted, having just come from Christmas and Valentines day? Is there a better time of year to shop?
I’m looking for round stones, budget of $7000. Could you make a recommendation?
Again, thanks for all you do!
Carat weight gives a guideline on how the diamonds would face up in terms of size and well cut diamonds don’t deviate in physical sizes too much. At the end of the day, I look at physical dimensions in mm to confirm a pair of matching sizes.
The stock at BN and JA gets replenished regularly. In my opinion, the best time to shop for diamonds tends to be the off peak timings as there is less competition from fellow consumers and also less stress on the workshop to craft the pieces in a short period of time. But really, if you find something you like, buy it instead of procrastinating as it may be tough to find another identical diamond if you have a set of specifications already in mind.
I’ve actually performed a study here: https://beyond4cs.com/experts-reveal-the-best-time-to-buy-a-diamond-ring/
I could make a recommendation and tailor a search for your needs but I need more details. What type of sizes/color/clarity are you looking at for $7k? If this is for a purchase of TWO diamonds for a set of earrings, then it would be $3,500 for each diamond.
Hi Paul, great article. I’ve decided on a pair of studs 1 CT. With various options, which diamond cut and setting combined would created the best sparkle. I understand it’s the bouncing of light. Are settings with less metal best? Thanks in advance.
Yep. Settings with less metal would allow more light to enter the diamond but the priority should be placed on the diamond’s cut instead of the setting.
I recently purchased the following pair of studs from Blue Nile. https://www.bluenile.com/build-your-own-earrings/diamond-details/LD10388931-LD13653102. I was trying to maximize cut and mm spread using the stats you provide for ideal, in the absence of Idealscope and ASET, and this was the top of my budget for this particular item. I also shopped James Allen and Whiteflash. At JA, even though I loved their HD images, I felt like I could not get enough info to make a good decision in terms of certs and stats. Even in chat, they would not release GIA numbers, so I could shop wisely–disappointing. At Whiteflash, I could not get a pair that were good enough in terms of size within my budget–although cut was certainly superior there and I LOVED the full diamond stats transparency and Idealscope and ASET imaging. On the pair I bought, linked above, I am worried that I may have fallen into the cloud trap you discuss, which I did not read about on your site until 2 weeks after the purchase, especially since there are no diagrams on the GIA certs to assess the number/location of clouds (and crystals). I have not received them yet, so a return would still be possible. How do they look to you?
I reviewed the set of diamonds you bought and I would say that they are quite well matched. Cutwise, they could be better and obviously, you already know this given your price constraints and comparisons with White Flash. The first diamond #LD10388931 is the one I would look out for. It’s hard to say if there is a cloudy issue with the diamond using the video listing. Seeing it in person would be the best way to assess it. If the diamond is hazy, you can easily pick it up with your eyes in real life. Just make sure that both diamond studs are perfectly clean and free of grim as this is the most common reason why people wrongly assume they bought a hazy stone.