Last updated on December 26, 2022
Diamond stud earrings are probably the most classic and popular choice for women around the world. While we all love studs, there are important factors such as diamond colour, clarity, shape and more to consider when choosing the perfect pair.
What Are Stud Earrings?
Stud earrings, also referred to as solitaire earrings, are the most classic earring styles. They typically consist of a single diamond or another gemstone in a precious metal setting held by a backing.
While there are various stud earring designs, they all share certain structural features. Stud earrings consist of a head that serves as a setting to hold the gemstone. The head is attached to a post that goes through the ear piercing, and the post is secured to the ear with a backing. Backings, in their turn, can be of various types, including push backs and screw backs. Push backings glide onto the post and are held in place by friction, and screw backings screw in place onto the post. While both backing types are secure, screw backing is a better fastening option for earrings with larger gemstones.
Stud earrings are worn face-up to showcase the beauty of the centre gemstone and give the illusion that it is floating on the ear. Being smaller than other earring styles, studs are perfect for daily wear. However, depending on the size of the gemstones, they can also be worn on special occasions.
History of Diamond Stud Earrings
The history of stud earrings dates back to 5000 BC when people wore an early form of stud earrings and other designs to show what religion they believed in or what tribe or family they belonged to. Also, ancient people believed that evil spirits and sickness entered through our body orifices, especially through the earholes. This made them place gemstone earrings near the earhole to protect themselves from spirits and evil.
Modern-style diamond stud earrings made their appearance in the latter part of the 19th century when the South African diamond fields were discovered, and the diamond market was full of diamonds.
The popularity of diamond stud earrings increased in the 1970s, and ever since, they have remained the most popular earring type. While the styles of studs constantly change throughout the decades, the classic beauty of diamond stud earrings has never changed.
How to Choose Diamond Shape for Stud Earrings
The popularity of diamond stud earrings is due to their availability in any cut you can think of, making them suitable for every face shape. While the choice of the diamond shape is mainly based on your personal preferences, there are some guidelines to help you with your decision.
Round diamonds are a timeless classic, and they are suitable for any face shape. The group of oval-looking diamonds, which includes oval, pear, marquise and heart shapes, give an additional illusion of length and make your face look slimmer. The category of rectangular and square-cut diamonds, such as princess, emerald, Asscher, radiant and cushion, compliments boney faces giving them a unique charm and appeal.
How to Choose Diamonds for Stud Earrings
The 4Cs (colour, clarity, cut and carat weight) are the universal standard for evaluating diamond quality. To get the best quality for the price you can allow, you need to follow the simple guidelines below.
When choosing a colour for your diamond stud earrings, you have a little more leeway than for an engagement ring. Since stud earrings are usually small in size, buying colourless diamonds (D-E-F grade) would probably be a waste of money. The stones are really small and will be viewed from such a distance that nobody would be able to see if your diamonds are colourless or near-colourless (G-H-I-J grade).
Diamonds in the near-colourless range will serve you just as well as the stones with the higher grade. The difference would be invisible to others, but you would save a good amount of money.
Similar to the colour, choosing the best clarity will not make a visible difference. Of course, you can opt for the highest range, but it will not give any noticeable benefit.
Since it is unlikely that anyone will be able to spot inclusions on your diamond earrings, you can skip diamonds with higher clarity grades and choose stones that are Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) or even Included (I1 and I2).
It is always recommended to choose the best-cut stones (Excellent grade) to ensure that each diamond’s proportions and symmetry will maximize the amount of fire, brilliance and scintillation. In case you want to save some money, you can consider the Very Good cut grade, as the difference between those two will not be that noticeable. If you are buying round diamonds, make sure the stones are not too deep or too shallow, as this disproportion will greatly affect the appearance.
Diamond size is always a matter of taste. Just keep in mind that as the stones get bigger, their flaws and tints become more noticeable to the naked eye. This is why you need to pay extra attention to the colour and clarity of your diamonds if they are 1 carat and larger.
Choosing the Best Setting for Diamond Stud Earrings
Settings play an important role in any piece of jewellery, and diamond stud settings are not an exception. They hold gemstones tightly in place and offer creative possibilities for demonstrating the beauty of the stone.
When it comes to stud earring setting types, several popular styles offer different designs and levels of security.
- Martini – this setting type is shaped like a cone which resembles a martini glass when looked at from the side. The gemstone is held by 3 or 4 prongs putting the least amount of metal on the stone and making it more visible. The diamond in this setting is set close to the earlobe, making the earring less likely to drop.
- Basket – this setting type is probably the most popular one. It features a “basket” with a flat bottom and prongs to hold the diamond. The stone in this setting is set farther from the earlobe, making it a good choice for those concerned that martini setting stud earrings could dig into their earlobes.
- Crown – this setting type also features a flat bottom, but its construction is more solid, meaning it uses more metal than the martini or basket style. This results in less visibility for the diamond. Diamonds in crown settings are set farther from the ear, making the studs more likely to droop.
- Bezel – this setting type is designed for maximum security. It surrounds the diamond with a band of metal, making it a perfect choice for those concerned about the protection of their gemstones.
- Halo – this setting type is made to add extra sparkle to a piece and create an illusion of a larger centre gemstone. This effect is achieved by mounting melee diamonds around the centre stone.
- Designer – this setting type describes how the diamonds are mounted in unique designer settings rather than the way they are held. This option is perfect for those looking for distinctive and sophisticated stud earrings.
As a general rule, to get the most sparkle out of your diamonds, choose a setting type that uses the least amount of metal on the stones. This will ensure the diamonds are more visible. As for security, it is important to understand that diamonds worn as earrings are not subjected to the wear and tear that rings receive. So the main concern is to choose a setting type that will hold the diamonds tightly in place, preventing them from falling out of the setting.
Choosing a Metal for Diamond Stud Earrings
When choosing a metal for your diamond stud earrings, you need to remember that diamonds are highly reflective gemstones, meaning the colour of the metal will influence the colour of the stones.
For diamonds with yellow tints (K-Z), it is recommended to choose yellow or rose gold as putting such stones in white metal will only make them look even more tinted.
The most suitable setting for near colourless diamonds (G-H-I-J) will depend on where in the range your stones fall. If your diamonds are graded G or H, then the gems will barely have any tints, and it is safe to have them set in white gold or platinum. If your diamonds are graded I or J, they will have a bit stronger yellow tint, so it is better to opt for coloured metals.
If your diamonds fall within the colourless range (D-E-F), you have a better choice of settings. Both white and coloured metals work fine with colourless diamonds. However, it is worth mentioning that yellow or rose gold will add some yellow tint to the stones.
Featured image: Naja / Canva