Sparkle With Diamond Studs Not Duds

How to Shop for Diamond Studs, Not Diamond Duds

Shopping for diamonds, you get what you pay for.  Understanding how to use quality and earring settings to your advantage will help you avoid ending up with diamond duds.


Here’s a closer look, and why those diamond stud earrings advertised for under $200 may not be the bargain you’re hoping for.  Later, we’ll show you where to find larger diamond earrings for the best value.


Jewelry Rules for Diamond Stud Earrings

A diamond’s cost is determined by its grades of cut, color, and clarity, as well as its carat weight.
In turn, these qualities, or characteristics you feel are most important to you.
(Click here to see a more detailed explanation of color and clarity.)
Basically larger stones with high grades cost more.
Here’s a quick guide to get the most for your money when shopping for diamond stud earrings.

rules for earrings


  • Be willing to adjust your expectations to your spending limits. For larger diamonds, choose stones with lower clarity or color grades. This can easily save you hundreds of dollars.
  • Diamonds for earrings aren’t scrutinized like a diamond in an engagement ring, so you don’t have to invest in high clarity stones.
  • Many I1 graded diamonds have inclusions that don’t interfere with its appearance.
    (Click here to see diamond grading scale) Anything lower than a GIA graded I1 clarity diamond (I2 and I3) will have inclusions easy to see. Often, these inclusions affect how light is returned through the diamond, reducing its sparkle.
    Diamonds are supposed to sparkle-that’s their job!
  • For larger or higher clarity diamonds, consider sacrificing on color. This can work to your advantage by considering the setting and metal you choose. Diamonds with lower color grades (generally color can easily be detected from stones graded J or lower) can easily be camouflaged using yellow or rose gold settings.

Diamond Clarity Grade-Be Clear on What You Want


The diamond stud earrings in the above photos show a variation in total carat weight, clarity and color grades. All sets of earrings are priced to appeal to specific shopping criteria, from high quality and larger size, to affordable, yet acceptable quality.


Sacrificing too much in the clarity grade affects the appearance of the diamond. In the diamonds pictured  above, you can see the crackled affect from the highly included stone on the left, to dark inclusions easily visible in the stones pictured in the center and right.

Take Advantage of Diamond Color Grades

Diamonds with color grades between I to M can be somewhat camouflaged to make an appealing pair of diamond stud earrings. By setting diamonds with lower color grades into yellow or rose gold settings, the color of the diamonds are offset and blend in with the settings.

Low color graded stones set in yellow gold earring stud settings; M,N color, VS1 clarity, $1499, Antique Jewelry Line, Etsy

Low color graded stones set in yellow gold earring stud settings; M,N color, VS1 clarity, $1499, Antique Jewelry Line, Etsy

Alternative Settings That Mimic Diamond Stud Earrings

If diamond stud earrings don’t conform to your budget, illusion set and cluster set diamonds mimic larger diamond stud earrings at a fraction of the cost.

Diamond Earrings for the Non-Conformist

Diamond stud earrings are a solid standard choice for your jewelry wardrobe, but what if you already have them, or they’re just too plain for you?

Here are a few suggestions and examples of elegantly set diamonds in alternative settings to appeal to the rogue styles.

Where to Shop for Diamond Earrings

For new jewelry, start with your local jeweler. They can customize a pair of diamond earrings, while catering to your wallet.

If you don’t have a local jeweler, we can help you find one. Contact us at, and we’ll guide you.

Most shops have an online presence as an extension. The sources we’ve used are good places to shop.

Shopping “estate”, (which is really jewelry speak for anything previously owned, regardless of the age) is a smart way to shop for jewelry. In general, the cost can be 20-50% of new, retail selections.

Antique Jewelry Line, based in Philadelphia, went an Etsy shop by the same name, has a good selection of diamond stud and alternative set diamond earrings.

Look in Your Jewelry Box!

Take a look at what you already have. Do you have an orphaned diamond stud earring? Did you know a jeweler can make a match for it without having to make a brand new pair? Yes! That would save you 50%!

Do you have jewelry set with diamonds you don’t wear anymore? Consider redesigning them into multi stone diamond earrings.

There are lots of shopping options and choices for diamond earrings. You’re not limited to just diamond stud earrings.

Cheers to finding sparkle for your ears!

Note: Diamond stud earrings in featured photo are 0.97 ct total weight, H color, I2 clarity, available at Antique Estate Jewelry on Etsy. (antiqueestatejewelry)