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Everything You Need to Know About Diamond Earrings

Everything You Need to Know About Diamond Earrings

Of all the gift ideas in the jewelry world, earrings are by far my all time favorite. Why? There are so many choices for style. Diamond stud earrings, hoops, huggies, dangles…there is truly something for everyone! They are also universally cherished and worn often as they go with absolutely everything. This post will aim to give you some pros and cons of different earring styles and hopefully help you choose the perfect pair for your loved one.

Diamond Stud Earrings

There’s no more classic, timeless, "can't live without" loved piece of jewelry. Diamond stud earrings can be worn daily, slept in and, because of their diamond color, they truly go with everything! Our mantra is that diamond stud earrings will be worn as often & loved as much as your diamond engagement ring. A solitaire (or singular diamond) on each earlobe is a very good choice for an unexpected gift at an unexpected time. Let’s talk a few features of the setting holding the diamond:

Earring Settings

Prong Setting

Prong setting is the most desired way to set brilliant cut diamonds. Due to the fine points holding the diamonds, they let tons of light in and allow colorless diamonds to shine brilliantly. Here are some examples:

2.00 total carat weight lab grown diamond stud earrings

Three-prong (often referred to as martini settings).  These 2.00 total carat weight lab grown diamonds studs sparkle like nobody's business!

Four prong diamond stud earrings with design on the side profile

Four-prong - the ultimate classic.  We love the unique detail on these 1.75 total carat weight beauties.

Yellow gold diamond stud earrings with 6 prongs

Six-prong - these yellow gold diamond studs have a soft, warm glow all around the diamond due to the warmth of the gold setting.

Channel Set

Channel set means the diamonds (typically either round cut or princess cut) are held between two bars of gold or platinum. Regardless of the shape of diamond that is set, channel settings will give the earring a square-ish appearance due to the straight sides.

white gold channel set diamond stud earrings

Bezel Set

Bezel set means there is a thin rim of gold around each diamond. You will typically see bezel earrings settings with round stones, like these set with .61 total carat weight diamonds.

bezel set round brilliant cut diamond stud earrings

Now let’s take a look at a few different earring back types:

Friction Backs

rose gold diamond studs

Friction backs are simply butterflies (or backings) that simply push on. They should have a good amount of friction and, once on the earlobe with the desired tightness, stay put.

Pro: Friction backs are ideal if you like to change your earrings daily - they just take a second to put on.
Con: Friction backs can wear over time and get progressively looser on the post. If this happens, give them a good clean first & see if removal of ear oils helps them to have more grip. If not, they may need to be replaced.

Screw Backs

white gold diamond studs with threaded posts and backings

Screw backs (also known as threaded backs) also require threaded posts. You will need to screw these on each time you wish to wear them, which can take a bit of time. Screw backs are loved by people who want to live in their diamond studs - sleep, shower, sports, rock climbing…you name it.

Pro: Screw backs are very secure but not a guarantee you will not lose one. Check the tightness against the back of your earlobe regularly to ensure they haven’t inadvertently un-threaded while sleeping or removal of clothing.
Con: As the post is also threaded and therefore thicker than a friction back, some people find screw backs uncomfortable to wear. If you have sensitive earlobes, be sure to note how they feel especially if you plan to leave them in all the time.

Locking Backs

white gold diamond studs with locking backs

Diamond stud settings with locking backs have a special post with a deep notch near the end, wherein if the backing makes it’s way to the end, will “lock” in the notch and not slip off. The backings typically have little buttons on one or each side which you will need to press together in order to remove from the earlobe.

Pro: if functioning properly, locking backs should do their job and stop at the end of the post, requiring you to press the buttons for removal.
Con: these backings are finicky in our opinion. If the buttons start to stick or wear out they provide very little resistance to remove. Also, as the backing is a thin, flat design they can require a dexterous hand.

The choice of style of setting and backing is really personal preference. There is no best choice for everyone. Visit your local jeweler to try on all the options before deciding which will be deemed “your perfect diamond stud”.


FAQ’s for Diamond Stud Earrings

What color of metal should I choose?

This is personal preference. White gold prongs will show the least amount of metal and the most amount of diamond. Yellow gold can provide that hint of color if your jewelry collection seems to lean heavily into yellow gold jewelry.  Rose gold can almost blend into your skin tone. Whatever precious metal you choose, it should be a reflection of your personal style.

What diamond shape should I choose?

Again personal preference! That being said, the majority of diamond stud earrings sold in retail stores are either round cut diamonds or princess cut diamonds. As a little refresher, princess cut are those with a square outline. The best diamond is the one you like best! Here are a few thoughts to consider if you are venturing out into another diamond shape:

  • When shopping for virtually any of the other shapes, be sure to closely examine how well each diamond on the earring matches the other. These diamonds were not cut to be a matched set so they will mostly be ever so slightly different from each other.

  • Cushion cut diamonds will have an appearance closely resembling both round brilliant and princess cut as they are sort of “pillow” shaped. It’s important to note that cushion cut diamonds have to be cut quite deep to get the proper sparkle so they will most likely face up smaller looking than round brilliant diamonds of the same carat weight.

  • Pear shaped diamonds have a distinct cut that will stand out in the crowd. The opposite of cushion cut diamonds, pear shaped diamonds can be cut more shallow, meaning these will face up bigger than some other shapes of the same diamond size, more accurately the same carat size.

  • Emerald cut diamonds make an excellent pair of diamond stud earrings. Diamond quality will be key here. You will want clarity and color as these will be readily observed by the naked eye.

  • Asscher cut diamonds would be considered higher quality diamond jewelry. Again, these need to be perfectly matched and the clarity grade will need to be impeccable, otherwise you may see flaws (also called inclusions) with your naked eye.

What quality of diamonds should I choose?

While jewelry stores tend to focus well cut diamonds into engagement rings, at Perrara we feel you should have lots of choice in clarity and color grade of diamond stud earrings. We keep on hand high quality, high clarity and color options as well as more mainstream options. When buying diamond stud earrings, we urge you to compare both side by side and make an educated decision with the help of a trusted advisor.

Pro tip: as diamond studs are in the ear and not on the hand, it is unlikely another person is going to get that up close and personal to see any potential inclusions. What will be readily seen to the naked eye is the carat diamond size and the color.

Should my diamond studs be GIA certified?

If they are over 1 carat in size or exceptional clarity and color, you may favor diamonds with GIA certification. This will also be important if the cut grade is high on your list of criteria.


Now that we’ve covered the basics on solitaire diamond stud earrings, let’s explore a few other options you have with diamonds, but with different designs.

Diamond Hoops

pretty girl with dark hair wearing two sizes of diamond hoop earrings

Diamond hoops are a close running mate to a perfect pair of diamond stud earrings. They too can be worn daily, somewhat depending on the size (more on that in a minute) & make an excellent gift idea. A few points to consider:

  • The precious metal will be more prominent on a pair of hoop earrings so take note of what color is already predominantly in this person’s jewelry collection.

  • The overall size of the hoop may be a reflection of the wearer. Someone who is more reserved may lean in to a smaller pair, something that makes a subtle statement. Others prefer big and bold. Consider her personality and current style.

Huggie Style Earrings

Huggie style earring (or “huggies” for short) are very similar to hoop earrings. The main difference is the post closes into the back of the earring without sticking out. These make ah-mazing earrings for every day wear and even for sleeping in. Due to their extremely well crafted design and construction, you will typically find huggies in smaller sizes, worn close to the earlobe.

These huggie earrings from Birks are a classic example, so well crafted by skilled artisans in Italy.

white gold diamond huggie earrings with three rows of diamonds

Dangle Earrings

We love dangle earrings for their drama!! Think special occasions, celebration & heirlooms to pass on to future generations. Dangles definitely hold their place for making her feel special. If we may say so, Birks has some gorgeous options for fun yet practical drops.

white gold diamond dangle earrings with 4 diamonds on each earring

Birks Splash Earrings in 18K white gold

diamond dangle earrings by birks

Diamond dangle earrings by Birks

In Summary:

Diamond earrings are such a fun way to memorialize a special occasion. Whether a momentous anniversary, a push present, wedding day gift or an unexpected gift at an unexpected time, diamond earrings are always a very good idea! They are a piece of jewelry that will bring her back to that moment every time she puts them on...because isn’t that what it’s all about?

With Love, Perrara

Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor

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