There may be plenty of diamond earring styles out there but nothing beats the simplicity of diamond studs. Effortless, timeless, and elegant—there’s a reason why a pair of dazzling diamond stud earrings are a staple for so many people. Like a perfectly worn-in leather jacket or the little black dress of your jewelry box, diamond studs go with anything and everything.
But if you’re shopping for a new set to add to your rotation, you might be wondering: how much are real diamond studs?
In truth, the answer can range dramatically, from a few hundred dollars to eye-popping figures of over $35,000. To find the perfect pair of sparkling studs for your budget, it can help to consider the various factors of diamond stud earring pricing—including how the stone ranks among the 4C’s of diamond quality, the setting that the stone is placed in, and how the diamond is produced.
The 4C’s of Diamonds
One way that jewelers determine a diamond’s value is by using a set of standards known as the 4C’s which stands for clarity, color, carat, and diamond cut. Whether this is a mined diamond or lab grown diamond, the 4C’s provide a way to holistically judge the stone’s value based on the following qualities:
Cut doesn’t just refer to the diamond shape—it also has to do with how well the diamond reflects light.
Diamonds are cut into small, faceted faces that help light pass through the stone and make it sparkle. The diamond cut is rated from ideal to poor based on a ranking system made by the American Gem Society. The most ideal diamonds (and therefore the most costly) boast cuts that are symmetrical and allow for maximum brilliance and shine.
Different cuts also require different shapes and sizes of rough diamond, which can ultimately impact the price.
You can see how different cuts can alter the cost of these timeless basket set studs, which come in round brilliant cut diamond, princess cut diamond, cushion cut, or oval diamond shapes: they range from $550 for the round brilliant diamond cut to $650 for the same carat weight in other cuts.
The ideal color for a diamond is actually the complete absence of color. Diamonds can range in color from a brilliant crystal clear to yellows, browns, blues, and pinks. Colorless diamonds are the most sought-after and the most valuable.
The Gemological Institute of America ranks diamond color on a scale from D (very colorless and clear) to Z (visible yellow coloring). Anything more pigmented than a Z-grade diamond (like those blue and pinks we mentioned above) is deemed a “fancy diamond.”
Some color differences may not be perceptible to the naked eye. However, because diamonds with slight differences in coloring are considered less “pure,” they tend to be lower in cost.
The diamond clarity is determined based on the number of flaws in the diamond. These flaws are known as blemishes if they are on the external surface of the stone and inclusions if they are found in the interior structure.
Whether it’s grown in a lab or mined, tiny crystals can form in a diamond as it grows, which lead to these flaws. No diamond is perfect, but diamonds with a flawless rating show no blemishes or inclusions, even when examined under 10x magnification by a diamond grader. The more impressive a diamond’s clarity, the more it may ultimately cost.
Carat weight is usually the first factor people think of when considering how much a diamond costs. Carat weight refers to how much the diamond weighs—and the heavier the stone, the more you can expect to pay.
For example, these eye-catching martini set round cut earrings range from $550 for 0.5 total carat weight diamonds to $11,900 for 4 total carat weight diamonds.
As you shop for your next pair of glittering diamond studs, keep in mind that all four of these factors work together in determining the final price. Regardless of the cut, color, clarity, and carat of your chosen diamond earring studs, there are also other facets to consider—like your diamonds’ settings, and where the stones come from in the first place.
Diamond Stud Settings
Another element to consider when searching for the perfect diamond studs is the setting that the stone is placed in. To keep them secure without damaging the stone, gemstones are usually placed in a setting made of precious metals like gold, sterling, platinum, or palladium.
Depending on the type of metal used, the setting can change the cost of your diamond studs significantly. Your options when considering a pair of diamond earring studs usually include:
- Gold – Gold will typically be your most expensive choice for metal, but with that comes a timeless warm-toned appearance and tarnish-resistance. You’ll also have your pick of color—gold jewelry can come in the forms of yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold.
- Sterling silver – With its moonlit cool tone and hardiness, sterling silver makes for an elegant option that is often more affordable than gold. While sterling silver does require some upkeep to prevent tarnishing and signs of wear, it’s another timeless option that beautifully offsets the brilliance of a diamond.
Mined vs Lab Grown Diamond Studs
The source of your diamond stud earrings can also influence their cost—in more ways than one.
Diamonds mined from the earth can be extremely expensive, as finding a diamond of ideal clarity and carat weight in nature can be rare. In addition, mined diamonds can come with hidden ethical and environmental costs that affect our planet and its people.
On the other hand, lab grown diamonds are every bit as beautiful, high-quality, and long-lasting as mined diamonds, without the humanitarian concerns or extreme price tag. Virtually indistinguishable from natural diamonds, lab grown diamond can cost up to 80% less than mined diamonds, making them an affordable and gorgeous option.
For an equally enchanting pair of studs that’s better for your budget and the earth, lab grown diamond studs make a clear choice.
Find Affordable, Beautiful Diamond Stud Earrings with 12FIFTEEN Diamonds
Whether you’re searching for the perfect gift or your next favorite piece, a pair of diamond studs can suit almost every style. But how do you find the perfect combination of characteristics, setting, and price to suit your needs?
At 12FIFTEEN, we believe you can have it all. Our lab diamonds offer only the best in quality, beauty, and price, with no diamond below an S12 diamond clarity, a J color, or a Good cut.
To find some sophisticated sparkle that you’ll feel good about, visit 12FIFTEEN for your next treasures.
The Diamond Pro. Best Places to Buy Diamond Stud Earrings in 2022. https://www.diamonds.pro/education/stud-earrings/
American Gem Society. The 4Cs of Diamonds. https://www.americangemsociety.org/4cs-of-diamonds/
International Gem Society. Diamond Cuts 101: What You Should Know Before You Buy. https://www.gemsociety.org/article/diamond-cutting-before-you-buy/
Gemological Institute of America. Diamond Color. https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/diamond-color/
Gemological Institute of America. Diamond Clarity. https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/diamond-clarity/
International Gem Society. Is Growing Diamonds a Sustainable Alternative to Diamond Mining? https://www.gemsociety.org/article/sustainable-alternative-to-diamond-mining/