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If you’ve spent any time perusing our diamond buying guides, you’ll notice that the majority of our content is focused on buying a diamond for an engagement ring.
However, we’re also happy to help our readers buy other diamond jewelry, from bracelets and pendants to earrings and more.
Recently, we received an email from a reader asking for our help buying a set of diamond stud earrings. The reader had a budget of $1,000 to $1,300 and wanted to buy a set of earrings that would look mostly flawless when viewed up close.
Here’s the reader’s original email:
“I’m looking to pick up a set of diamond studs in a 3 prong, or simple and small 4 prong white gold setting, about 2/3ct total (1/3ct each).
My budget is somewhere around $1000-$1300, and I certainly don’t expect to find something completely flawless and colorless.
From what I’ve read, something with an I or H color rating would be great value for the studs that aren’t going to be viewed next to each other in the setting like a ring with multiple diamonds would.
I’d like to find something that even when viewed up closely should look mostly flawless.
I’ve found these two sets that seem like a good combination, and based on the 3D photos they look great (granted, that’s to my untrained eye!).
I’m leaning more towards the first pair, and would certainly be open to any other suggestions. Thanks for everything!”
Before we get into specifics, let’s get one thing out of the way: this reader already has a strong understanding of what to look for in a set of diamond studs. The pairs of diamonds they chose are both worth considering, and they ended up selecting the first set .
Now, this email gives us a great opportunity to talk about purchasing diamond stud earrings in the $1,000 to $1,3000 range. This is a price range that’s appealing to a lot of people, since it’s affordable enough to work for anniversaries and other occasions without breaking the bank.
If you have $1,300 to spend on round diamond stud earrings, the same rules as usual apply. Look for an Excellent or Ideal cut grade, opt for an eye-clean diamond over a specific clarity grade, and stick to diamonds with a color grade in the H to J range for optimal value.
With this said, it’s okay to be a little more relaxed with your requirements than you would with a diamond for an engagement ring, since diamond studs are usually viewed from further away.
We’ve discussed all of this, as well as why we make these specific recommendations, in more detail below.
We’re big fans of diamond stud earrings. In many ways, they’re the perfect gift for anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions. Not only do they look stunning, but they’re very versatile, with an elegant, simple appearance that can be dressed both up and down.
As this Rapaport article states, options like tennis bracelets and stud earrings “are classics to which people return time and again because they are easy to wear, safe, reliable and glamorous.” You can wear them with an everyday outfit, not just a beautiful dress, and never have anything look out of place. They’re equally at home at work (or, you know, just at home) as they are in a trendy restaurant or lounge.
If (like this reader) you’re looking for an ideal gift for your wife, fiancé or girlfriend, a high quality set of diamond stud earrings is a safe choice that’s sure to satisfy.
Beyond their elegance and versatility, one huge advantage of diamond stud earrings is that they can be quite affordable, provided you understand what to look for.
In general, whenever we give advice on buying diamonds, we recommend taking all of the 4 Cs of diamonds (cut, color, clarity and carat weight) into account, then allocating your budget towards those that have the biggest impact on a diamond’s appearance.
This almost always means choosing a diamond with an excellent or ideal cut quality (check out the diamond cut chart for more info), aiming for a target carat weight, then selecting a diamond that’s eye-clean (meaning it doesn’t display any inclusions that are visible with the naked eye) and colorless in relation to its setting.
When it comes to diamond studs, the same rules apply, but you can relax your requirements for clarity and color. This is because the normal distance from which people will see diamond studs on your partner’s ears means that most tiny inclusions and color issues simply aren’t visible.
For example, in our guide to diamond stud earrings, we recommended the following parameters when comparing studs online:
There are two ways to choose a pair of diamonds for stud earrings. The easiest option is to pick a pre-set pair of diamonds from a reliable online vendor.
This method is quick and simple, but it has some major drawbacks. The first is that many of the pre-picked pairs of diamonds marketed for stud earrings have obvious inclusions, meaning they aren’t eye-clean.
The second is that some diamond pairs have differences in cut that may make one stone more brilliant than the other.
A better option is to search for two diamonds with near-identical specifications, then select them for a pair of stud earrings. This option allows you to pick great diamonds that will have minimum inclusions, cut issues and other factors that may affect their appearance.
With a budget in the $1,000 to $1,300 range, finding a pair of beautiful diamond stud earrings is rarely a difficult process.
For example, these 0.42/0.43 carat, J color, SI2 clarity diamonds from James Allen have an excellent cut quality. Although they display some inclusions, these issues are invisible to the human eye from a typical distance and outside a brightly lit studio environment. Especially since all of them are placed on the edges of the diamonds where they can be covered with prongs.
Paired with classic three or four-prong stud earring mountings, they’re available for slightly over the reader’s $1,300 budget ($1,400 in total).
By slightly reducing the target carat weight, it’s possible to get a stunning pair of diamond studs for under $1,000. For example, these 0.40 carat, J color, SI2 clarity round diamonds with this pair of 14K white gold four prong stud earring mountings are available for a total of just $1,230.
In general, we recommend James Allen for diamond stud earrings, as their high quality images and large selection give you plenty of competitively priced options to choose from.
Blue Nile also offer a range of excellent diamonds in the 0.40 carat weight range, also with excellent pricing. Just make sure to check the GIA reports before purchasing. This 0.40 carat, J color, SI2 clarity diamond and this 0.41 carat, J color, SI2 calrity diamond will look fantastic in this four-prong 14K white gold setting. The total cost of these gorgeous earrings is $1,221.
As always, we recommend spending as much of your budget as possible where it matters: on cut quality and carat weight. Then, select a pair of diamonds that have eye-clean clarity and a color grade that allows them to appear colorless when set inside stud earring mountings.
Since stud earrings are often viewed from a distance and hidden by shadows cast by the face, it’s okay to be more relaxed when it comes to clarity and color. This allows you to put an even greater percentage of your budget towards cut quality and carat weight.
Not only do we help hundreds of readers find and purchase engagement rings every month — we can also help you to find the perfect pair of diamond earrings for your loved one, all while understanding your unique tastes and budget.
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