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Ask a Diamond Pro: Experience Shopping for Diamond Studs on a $1000-$1300 Budget

By Mike Fried,

Diamonds can be a part of any type of jewelry. There is no limit. Even though we usually help people with engagement rings, from time to time, we get a request for other jewelry, such as diamond studs.

This reader was looking for 2/3ct studs in total for about $1,000-$1,300. Even smaller diamonds like these (they are around 0.30ct each) can look gorgeous and very brilliant if chosen correctly. We are used to being the ones choosing diamonds for people but occasionally, someone surprises up with great selections. This reader was one of them.

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 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!).
0.64ctw, I/VS2
Blue Nile LD08536050-LD09144987

0.66ctw, E/SL1
Blue Nile LD08866157-LD08978062

I’m leaning more towards the first pair, and would certainly be open to any other suggestions.

Thanks for everything!

Diamond stud earrings

This reader already chose two pairs that he thought looked great. After checking them, we had to agree that the I/VS2 pair he found was an excellent choice! Luckily, he already put that pair on hold so when we got back to him with the good news, he didn’t waste any time and purchased them right away. 

This is what we like to see. When people read our educational material and pick diamonds accordingly. It’s not that we don’t like doing it ourselves, but it’s great to know that the work we’ve put into our articles pays off. 

Since there might be more people thinking about buying diamond studs, we explained the basics of what to focus on down below.

How To Pick Matching Diamond Studs

There are several options for how to get diamond studs. You can buy a preset pair which means that the store has already picked the diamonds and set them in the settings. These diamonds don’t always have a certificate to keep the price as low as possible. They don’t have to be a bad purchase. In fact, a lot of them look amazing. But it’s just something to consider before you spend any money. 

Another option is to buy a preselected pair. A lot of online jewelers, such as James Allen or Blue Nile preselect pairs that they think go well together for earrings. This is a good way to not spend a lot of time on it and just choose between pairs. 

James Allen's preselected diamond stud option sheet
Example of diamond pairs for earrings selected by James Allen (click to enlarge)

The last possibility, and ultimately our favorite one, is building your own pair. We like it because it gives you the option to browse all the available diamonds and pick the ones you like the most. 

Diamond Stud Characteristics

Every time you’re picking out two diamonds that are supposed to match, you need to check all the diamond details to ensure you get a good-looking (and matching) pair. There are several aspects you should focus on when picking our diamonds for diamond studs. 

1. Diamond color

Diamond color should match, meaning that both diamonds need to have the same color grade. We usually recommend H-J color for studs, depending on the color and style of the stud setting. H color is great for a halo setting and I/J for a solitaire style. 

2. Diamond clarity

Diamonds in earrings aren’t viewed as closely as diamonds in a ring. Therefore, you can relax a bit more when it comes to diamond clarity. There is no reason to pay for anything above the VS2 grade. The most common clarity grades for diamond studs are SI1 and SI2. All that matters is that you choose eye-clean diamonds, meaning those that don’t have visible imperfections to the naked eye.

3. Diamond cut

The rules of diamond cut stay the same as they are for engagement rings. It’s still the most important aspect that affects a diamond’s brilliance so you need to pay attention to the certificate.

4. Measurements

Because you want the two diamonds to look almost identical, it’s important that they are very close in measurement. Not only do the length and width need to be the same or 0.1mm apart, the depth and table percentages are equally important. They should be kept within 1% of each other. 

The Final Product

Out of those two pairs the reader picked out, the I/VS2 one was absolutely perfect. They did a great job applying all the advice from our educational site and ruling out diamonds that wouldn’t be brilliant. After the purchase, we received a message about how happy they were with the purchase and a picture of the diamond studs. Truly beautiful. See for yourself:

Reader's diamond stud earrings


Diamond studs are a gorgeous piece of jewelry that adds a little bit of bling to your everyday life. No matter how big the diamonds are, if properly selected, they end up looking very brilliant.

Smaller diamonds, like the 0.32ct ones in this article, are perfect for any outfit and any activity. The I color and VS2 clarity is a great compromise between value and quality and paired with a 3-prong Martini setting, the result is just stunning. 

If you’re looking for a similar pair of studs or just thinking about it and don’t know how to start, don’t hesitate to message us. Our experts are here to help with any questions you might have. 

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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