While you may know exactly what you’re looking for when you shop for an engagement ring, you may not know what you want or even what options are available to you when you shop for diamond earrings. And there are just as many, if not more, options to choose from.
Diamond jewelry other than your engagement ring, such as a pendant necklace or bracelet, isn’t necessarily a lifetime commitment or something you’ll wear every day. Diamond earrings, though, are a staple piece of fine jewelry that many women do wear every day. If you’re looking for a pair of stud earrings to wear with everything, or a pair of statement earrings to wear on special occasions, you will probably pick out two very different sets of diamond earrings.
So, what should you choose? We’re here to help you determine the best cut for diamond earrings whether you’re wearing them on a daily basis or for your wedding jewelry, or another special day.
Also see our blog on how to clean diamond earrings.
Selecting a Cut for Diamond Earrings
Almost any diamond cut is suitable for a pair of earrings. Here are a few of the most popular cuts and how they compare:
Round Brilliant Cut: The round brilliant cut is a classic diamond cut that has incredible fire and brilliance and hides color and inclusions well. However, this is the most expensive of diamond cuts given its incredible popularity and wide use in all forms of diamond jewelry.
Princess Cut: Princess cut diamonds have four sharp corners, giving them a pyramid-like shape that is modern yet timeless. This cut sparkles beautifully and hides inclusions well. It is the second most popular diamond cut but far more affordable than the round cut diamond.
Cushion Cut: The cushion cut diamond comes in a variety of types from the modified brilliant to crushed ice. This cut is a mix between the round brilliant cut and the princess cut and resembles a pillow cushion, which is how it got its name. It tends to look more feminine and vintage and can appear smaller than other diamond cuts.
Oval Cut: This is an elongated round cut diamond that appeals to the trendy woman but is also timeless. Oval diamonds can appear larger than other cuts because of their elongated shape, which, depending on how you wear them, can also elongate the appearance of your ears, so keep this in mind.
Pear Cut: The pear cut is a distinct shape that resembles a round cut diamond on one half and a marquise cut diamond on the other. This cut can feel vintage, refined, and unique.
Emerald Cut: The emerald cut diamond is elongated and rectangular, which makes it a great fit for dangle earrings. While this cut sparkles less than other diamond shapes, it can look just as radiant in a halo setting.
What should I look for when buying diamond earrings?
When shopping for diamond earrings, you should remember the 4Cs of diamond quality – cut, color, carat, and clarity. However, you should consider them much differently than you would when shopping for an engagement ring.
Cut: While the type of diamond cut i.e. round, cushion, or emerald, is important for style, the quality of the cut is crucial for overall beauty. Prioritize well-cut stones for your diamond earrings and they will appear more symmetrical and sparkly, and overall more beautiful.
Carat Weight: While many people want a stone with a large carat weight when shopping for a diamond ring, bigger is not always better for diamond earrings. The surface area of your ear is much smaller than that of your finger, and so, a much smaller diamond will be perfectly sufficient. However, if you want your earrings to pop, go for at least 0.50 carat for each earring. Carat weight for earrings is often listed as the total carat weight(tcw) between both stones. Keep this in mind as you shop so you don’t accidentally choose a much smaller stone than you anticipated.
Clarity: Because diamond earrings are most often made with much smaller stones, inclusions and flaws are far less visible. For these reasons, it’s not necessary to select a stone with a higher clarity grade than SI1.
Color: Diamond color is rated on a D to Z scale, but the colorless or even the near colorless diamonds (D-I) aren’t necessary for diamond earrings. This is because the diamond will reflect the color of anything nearby; in the case of earrings, this means the color of your hair, skin, other earrings, and the metal the diamonds are set in will all influence how it appears. For this reason, opt for a lower color grade.
How much does a pair of 1-carat diamond earrings cost?
The cost of a pair of 1-carat diamond earrings will vary greatly depending on the quality of the diamonds. However, given that you can settle for lower clarity and color grades with diamond earrings, cut is the most important determinant of price to consider. 1-carat round brilliant cut diamond earrings will be the most expensive because of the popularity of this cut. You can expect to pay well over $1,000 for this cut and carat weight.
However, if you opt for a diamond alternative, the cost of 1-carat earrings is dramatically less, even 80% less.
Selecting a Style for Diamond Earrings
The cut is an important aspect of your diamond earrings, but so is the style, and the style you love may just influence the cut you decide is best. Consider the setting and the cost of the earrings, as well as the occasions you intend to wear them.
The setting is a crucial component of diamond earrings, mainly because you want these precious jewels to stay safe and secure. There are a few settings that are particularly great for everyday earrings. The most popular diamond earring setting is a prong setting. This is where a number of prongs, typically four, come over the edge of the diamond and clasp it in place. This allows for maximum fire and brilliance because the diamond is exposed to light from many angles.
Some of the best diamond earrings have a beautiful bezel setting, which is where the metal surrounds the edges of the stone completely. Not only does this protect the stone from damage, but also from dullness, because it won’t come into contact with as much product, bacteria, and dirt or trap it in the crevices of its setting.
A halo setting is another popular setting for everyday diamond earrings because it can make the center stone appear larger and more brilliant. In this type of setting, smaller diamonds or accent stones surround the center stone in a halo-like fashion. This style sparkles beautifully, however it is less subtle than the other settings, so if you’re looking for a simple pair of earrings to wear every day, keep that in mind.
While there are a variety of settings to choose from, you may have a particular design in mind. If so, it’s worth considering custom jewelry services to create or modify a pair of earrings to your exact specifications.
What are the most popular diamond earrings?
Princess cut diamond earrings and round cut diamond earrings set in a prong setting are the most popular. These solitaire stud styles are simple, elegant, universally flattering, and sparkle beautifully. Additionally, both of these cuts hide color and inclusions well, which makes it possible to achieve the same stunning appearance with lower color and clarity grades.
Just because these earrings are the most popular, though, doesn’t mean they are what you are looking for. These styles are wonderful if you have classic style and want a pair of diamond stud earrings you can wear every day. If, however, you love a vintage or trendy design, you may prefer heart-cut or pear-cut diamond earrings.
These classic styles, although beautiful and fit for any occasion, may not be what you’re looking for if you want a bold or unique design for a big event or even for your wedding day. For these occasions, consider an eye-catching pair of drop earrings.
What Is the Best Cut for Diamond Earrings?
So, what is the best cut for diamond earrings? The answer is it depends. Given the varying cost of different diamond cuts, styles, and intentions, only you can decide what cut is best for you. If you can’t wait to wear your earrings every day and your budget allows, you can’t go wrong with a pair of round brilliant cut earrings.
If, however, you are shopping for a special occasion, don’t be afraid to opt for a bigger and bolder cut and style. With lab diamonds and diamond alternatives, it’s possible to find any diamond shape and setting you’re looking for at a more affordable price point. For the best lab-created diamond earrings, browse the selection at 12FIFTEEN Diamonds. And for diamond simulant earrings, shop our extensive selection at Diamond Nexus.