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06.05.22

Diamond Stud Earrings: Boring or Jewelry Staple?

By Stephanie Dore

Whether it’s your favorite puffer, a perfectly worn pair of denim, or a crisp white shirt, boring fashion is kind of a thing. I mean, normcore is real, y’all. So when it comes to the seemingly endless debate over whether diamond stud earrings are a forever staple or out of style, can you guess where we stand? Well, if you guessed staple, you’d be 100% right, darling. Diamond stud earrings might at first glance seem like a total snoozefest but they really do act like a great pair of jeans. Which means it all comes down to personal style. Here’s everything you need to know about designing your dream pair of diamond studs. And probably more.

If the Diamond Stud Fits

First of all, let’s get everyone’s favorite question out of the way. Does size matter? Short answer is yes, it matters because it’s one of the biggest components of diamond pricing. But beyond that, diamond size (in layperson’s terms: carat weight) is all about personal preference. The biggest rule of thumb about sizing for earrings is remembering that the total carat weight will be split in half, so you need to think about how large you want each diamond

 While there’s a nice plateau of popularity at 1 carat total weight (that’s ½ carat in each ear), if you’re going for a standalone look that you want to, well, stand out, you’re probably going to want to up your carat weight a bit. Going up to 1 carat per ear (2 carat total weight) is still totally doable for everyday style. If you’ve got lots of piercings and will wear your studs with other earrings, then you might prefer a daintier style. Remember that different shapes also appear differently sized, for instance ovals have a lot of visual spread and will appear about 15-20% larger than a comparable weight round diamond.

bar set half bezel princess cut diamond stud earrings
These bar set half bezels are a totally modern interpretation on the princess cut diamond stud!
custom jewelry half bezel oval diamond stud earrings
Half bezels are a great way to show off all your diamond in a sleek modern stud.

Your Money Matters

Speaking of pricing, setting your budget should really be one of the first things you do, especially if you’re going the custom route. Remember that while diamond prices jump at the full carat mark, when you’re buying earrings you’re purchasing two stones and total carat weight won’t jump in the same way. You’ll still want to keep in mind the individual weight and pricing of each stone. For instance, if you want about 1 carat in each ear, you can still shop shy (going for a .90 carat stone in each ear) to save. You can also stretch your budget by shopping for fancy shapes (rounds are always more expensive), lower color and clarity grades, or even a different type of stone altogether! 

The Real Deal

When we say different stone types, we’re still talking diamonds! Yes, there are natural mined diamonds, but there’s also the lab. And yes, lab created diamonds are in fact real diamonds. Just like ice occurs in nature but you can also make it in your freezer at home, diamonds can be created by humans. Maybe not at home, but by humans nonetheless. Lab created diamonds are physically, chemically, and optically exactly the same material as mined diamonds, and can cost up to 40% less. That’s nothing to sneeze at. If you’re open to other stone ideas there’s also Moissanite, which has been used as a diamond simulant (basically a lookalike) for years, and is also made in the lab, but is coming into popularity in its own right. Moissanite has a slightly different sparkle than diamond (more rainbow flash, in fact) and a slightly lower price tag.

moissanite rose cut drop earrings
These moissanite rose cut drops are rainbow goodness at an extra sweet price point.
Some shapes, like asschers, don’t need frills to stand out in a diamond stud!

Go On a Fancy Diamond Shape Spree

Sure, most of us probably picture some simple round diamonds when we picture diamond stud earrings. Or perhaps some princess cuts (aka squares). But like we said, fancy shapes can save you money and give your studs an extra punch of personality. We adore an oval diamond stud earring, a sophisticated emerald cut, an Art Deco-y Asscher, or even some super modern baguettes. Yes, baguettes! You really can go wild with shapes and think outside the box here, especially if you’re going totally custom.

The Diamond Stud Earring Styles for the Ages

Once you’ve picked your stones out, choosing a setting style is the next step. And yes, there are choices. So. Many. Choices. There’s the classic prong setting, for instance, but it doesn’t stop there. Let’s look at a few:

The 4 Prong Basket: This is your good ‘ol standard. It works for most shapes (if you pick a pear cut diamond, this would be a 3-prong basket), and is super secure, with an added horizontal bar that supports those tiny prongs. You can, however, get a little custom with the prong tips themselves, choosing between more rounded or pointed claw prongs, for instance.

The 4 Prong Martini: A martini setting is a bit more modern than the classic basket, with a side view that is cone shaped like, you guessed it, a martini glass, rather than the more straight up and down prongs of a basket style. It’s a little less metal-forward and sometimes you’ll see them with 4 or 3 prongs.

The 6 Prong Woven: This intricate earring setting style almost looks like a fancy crown, with 6 small prong tips visible from the top and a basket that has a woven texture of overlapping prongs. It’s super secure but is a bit more metal heavy than, say, a martini.

The Full Bezel: A bezel setting has a rim of metal that fully surrounds your diamond’s circumference, making it by far the most secure setting available. It has a crisp, modern look and can be created for any shape of diamond you choose.

The Half Bezel: The half- or semi-bezel setting is one of our favorites. It’s still very secure, yet gives you a bit more open look than a full bezel, clutching your diamond between two sides of metal.

If you want to fancy up any of these setting styles, you can also choose to do a halo diamond setting, diamond prongs, or any number of other designs. Have ideas? Let our designers know and we can work with you on a completely unique earring design that suits your personal tastes.

The Heaviest Metal

Choosing a metal for your diamond stud earrings is also an important part of the design process. First of all, there is gold or platinum. Platinum is hypoallergenic and naturally bright white. Gold comes in several colors, including yellow, white and rose gold, and either 14 or 18 karat. When it comes to earrings, they don’t take nearly as much hard wear as, say, a ring, so any of these options will stand the test of time assuming you take care. One of the biggest reasons to choose white gold or platinum is if you are choosing a very high color grade, or colorless, diamond — so that you don’t distract from that colorlessness with a warm metal. If you choose a warmer stone, however, yellow or rose gold can really complement that.

half bezel emerald cut diamond studs
When choosing a metal for your diamond studs, think about what jewelry you wear everyday! If you mainly wear yellow gold pieces, stick with yellow. If you mainly wear silvers and white metals, or like to mix and match, opt for platinum!
There are endless ways to customize your diamond studs, and we’re here to help!

Anytime, Anywhere

The beauty of diamond stud earrings is that they make one of the best jewelry gifts for just about any occasion. Special birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and promotions…you name it. You don’t have to know anyone’s ring size (just that they have pierced ears) and even itty bitty ones are something sparkly to look at. But they’re totally something you can buy for yourself too. They go with literally everything, from the board room to a ballroom, and are gender neutral too. 

Picking Your Perfect Pair of Diamond Studs

Ready to shop for your own diamond stud earrings? You can explore our diamond search where you can view 360-degree images of more than 10,000 diamonds to get some inspo then email our team with what you’re looking for at hello@frankdarling.com and we can curate some super special pairs just for you. Or book a virtual or offline appointment at our New York salon to view certified lab-grown and natural diamonds in person. 

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