If you’re shopping for diamonds, earrings are a good place to begin. Both men and women like the look of diamond stud earrings, as they offer versatility and can be worn anytime.
Typically, you can find diamond stud earrings in the round three-prong designs as well as 4-prong styles with screw-back posts that come in 14K and 18K yellow and white gold. Studs also are featured in oval, emerald, and pear-shaped styles.
Naturally elegant, they come in a princess style, with a square top and beveled sides, as well as a luxurious looking round halo design with friction post.
Keep reading to learn more about details you should pay attention to when shopping for your first pair of diamond earrings or a pair for that special someone.
Diamond Earrings and the 4 Cs
Just like other pieces of fine diamond jewelry, diamond earrings–whether stud or dangle–are measured according to the 4 C’s – cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. You need to know this information first before you shop for earrings and other types of diamond pieces.
The Cut of Diamonds
A diamond with a perfect cut directs more light through the top of the diamond while a cut that is not so ideal allows light to escape through the bottom or sides of the gem. Therefore, the angles of light that a diamond reflects depend on the cut. When a diamond is cut in a round shape, the angles are more intense, thereby increasing the brilliance. The better the cut of the diamond, the better the clarity.
The Diamond Color
Gemologists consider color (or the lack of color) a crucial factor in grading a diamond. Diamonds that are colorless are valued higher versus diamonds that have a yellowish cast, which are more common.
When reviewing diamonds then, certain letters reveal the diamond’s color, as follows:
- D = Colorless,, which is the most rare and most valuable
- E-F = Colorless
- G-J denotes Near Colorless
- K-M equals Faint Yellow
- N-R represents Very Light Yellow
- S-Z equals Light Yellow – (the most common and least valuable)
Superior color grades are therefore considered from D through K.
Diamond Clarity and Rarity
A diamond’s clarity affects its rarity. A flawless diamond is therefore more valuable than a diamond with marks (called inclusions). The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the ultimate source to learn more about grading for clarity as well as the other 3 Cs. It developed a scale to grade diamonds for measuring their worth and rarity.
Grading for Clarity
When grading for clarity, gemologists rate diamond form flawless to various grades of included, all of which represent imperfections in the stone.Most fine jewelers will not feature diamonds that are graded SI1 or below that grade.
Types of Inclusions
Any imperfections or inclusions should not be obvious to the naked eye, Usually, gemologists look for a stone’s imperfections through a microscope with 10X magnification.
Dark Inclusions – Carbon Spots that Failed to Crystalize
These carbon spots happen because the carbon did not fully crystalize. Therefore, these spots can reduce a stone’s brilliance.
Fractures Called Large Feathers
Fractures in diamonds may be seen visually and normally show up in a slightly whitened area of the stone.
Mirrored Images of Inclusions – Reflectors
As the name suggests, reflectors are mirrored images of marks or imperfections. While you want a diamond to reflect light, you don’t want it to reflect this type of error.
Large and Indented Natural inclusions
An indented natural is a portion of the original rough surface of a gem. It appears below a polished diamond’s surface. It is considered more of a defect or flaw than an inclusion. You’ll find this mark usually on a diamond’s edge or girdle.
Surface Knots on the Diamond
A knot is a crystallized carbon inclusion that emerges on the polished surface of the diamond. Gemologists can see knots when viewing the stone through a microscope. In some cases, a knot may give off the impression that a gem features a raised area on a facet – something that can be visually observed with the naked eye.
A knot can affect a diamond’s durability. So, it’s an important consideration.
Diamond Size or Carat Weight
Carat weight also factors into a diamond’s value. For example, a diamond that is 1 carat equals 100 points. Therefore, carat weight is divided into points, with 1 carat equal to 100 points, 2 carats equal to 200 points, etc. That means a 1/2 carat weight diamond equals 50 points.
What to Remember about Carat Weight
Some people mistake the carat of a diamond for the stone’s size. However, the carat weight equals the gem’s metric weight, allowing the jeweler to ensure an exact measurement. Metric weight equals 200 milligrams, with each carat further divided to 100 points, which translates to a measurement equal to a hundredth decimal.
If you 1 carat cut earring then lacks value from a poor cut, color, or clarity, the weight of the diamond won’t carry much impact.
Making a Selection: A Recap
When selecting diamond stud earrings, you’ll need to review the following when making the selection:
- How much you can spend
- Carat weight
- Color, cut, and clarity
- The diamond’s shape
- The metal and the color
When you know how much you can spend, you can easily narrow down the choices and focus on the other buying areas. Usually, if you’re buying solitaire diamond studs, you’ll have more flexibility in what you’re able to spend versus buying a solitaire for an engagement ring.
A Few More Important Notes
When selecting diamond stud earrings, it’s also important to think about where you’ll be wearing the earrings and how they will be worn. Depending on where they are worn, they’ll reflect light differently. Also, if you wear more than one earring, you’ll need to consider the shape and size.
Typically, people investing in studs for the first time choose a round earring, as it provides more brilliance and can be worn with different clothing styles.
Get Your Money’s Worth – Always Consider the 4Cs of Diamond Buying
Whether you’re choosing earrings for yourself or as a gift, always keep the 4 Cs of buying diamonds in mind. Doing so will help you plan how much you can spend and will help you get your money’s worth for the diamond earrings you select.