Your Guide to Choosing the Right Size Diamond Studs

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Your Guide to Choosing the Right Size Diamond Studs

Diamond stud earrings are regarded by many as an essential staple in a woman's jewelry collection. Popular as much for everyday wear as for an evening out, diamond studs can blend with a range of occasions and styles, adding just the right touch of elegance and sparkle. When choosing a pair of diamond studs, there are many variables to consider, including size. However, there are no absolutes when it comes to choosing the right size, and size must be considered together with other factors, namely, the diamond's cut, clarity, and colour. The so-called "four C's" of evaluating a diamond, carat weight, cut, clarity, and colour, each contribute to the gem's overall brilliance. Additional factors include the setting metal and type and the diamond's shape.

These considerations need to be carefully weighed together with one's price range to find a beautiful set of studs in a size that is right for the individual wearer.

How Diamond Size Is Measured

Diamonds are sized according to weight, which is measured in carats (ct). The term carat comes from the consistently-uniform carob seed, used in ancient times to balance the scales when weighing diamonds. One carat is the equivalent of approximately 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams. Carats are also divided into points, with one carat equalling 100 points.

Differences in diamond weights are perceived differently by the eye: a 2-carat diamond, for example, does not appear twice the size of a 1-carat diamond.

It is important to note that the weight of diamond studs expresses the total weight of both diamonds. In other words, a 1-carat pair of diamond studs has two 0.5-carat stones.

The Relationship Between Diamond Size and Price

Diamonds are formed under very specific and rare conditions, and larger diamonds are especially unusual. In addition, mining diamonds is quite difficult. All of these reasons factor into the diamond's high value, and also explain why larger diamonds are more expensive than their weight in smaller individual stones. For example, a 2-carat diamond is more costly than two 1-carat diamonds of like quality.

Other factors also play a role in price, however, including cut, clarity, and colour. These aspects affect a diamond's appearance, and should also be taken into consideration when choosing the size of a diamond stud.

Further Considerations When Selecting a Diamond Stud Size

There are no hard-and-fast rules about what size diamond studs are appropriate. However, in addition to price, there are a few more considerations that may help consumers as they decide what size is right for them.

Intended Use

Diamond studs can be quite versatile, easily fitting in with both casual outfits and formal occasions. For consumers looking for an earring that can be worn everyday, smaller sizes like 1.5- to 2-carat studs may be a good choice. Larger sizes are better for attracting attention on dressy occasions.

Body Type

The right stud size is also relative to the wearer's proportions. Smaller studs may be more flattering for more petite or slender frames, while larger studs are well-suited on taller or more full-figured wearers. If larger studs are desired but beyond one's price range, a larger setting is another option.

Diamond Stud Settings

The setting for diamond stud earrings plays a large role in their overall impact. There are two types of settings: prong and bezel. With prong settings, three or more metal prongs hold the stone in place with a minimum of obstruction, letting the stone sparkle. Bezel settings by contrast surround the stone in a metal frame, which provides extra security for everyday, active use, and also creates the illusion of a larger diamond.

The metal for a setting should be selected to match the wearer's other jewelry. These choices include silver, yellow gold, white gold, and platinum.

Diamond studs usually come with either threaded or friction backs. Threaded backs are more secure, but take slightly longer to put on and take off. Friction backs are convenient for everyday use, and notches along the post make it unlikely that the earring would slip off.

Diamond Cut

The cut of a diamond is a critical factor in that it determines how brilliantly it sparkles. Diamonds are cut by master craftsmen; ideally, the cut maximises its reflectiveness. This involves cutting facets into it, as well as finding the ideal proportions, since being either too shallow or too deep results in a reduction of reflected light. Diamond cuts are graded according to their quality: excellent, ideal, very good, good, and fair. These terms are explained further in the chart below.

Cut Grade

Explanation

Excellent

The highest grade possible; the diamond reflects even more light than the ideal standard; approximately one percent of all diamonds are "excellent"

Ideal

The standard for maximum reflection; brilliant and fiery; three percent of diamonds fit this category

Very Good

May have many of the characteristics of an ideal cut; priced slightly lower than "ideal" cuts; comprises 15 percent of diamonds on the market

Good

Reflects most of the light that enters it; proportions may deviate from preferred range to optimise the stone size, rather than make a smaller, very good cut; 25 percent of diamond cuts are graded as "good"; much less expensive than "very good" cuts

Fair

While still quality, "fair" cuts are generally made to maximise size rather than brilliance; 35 percent of diamonds are fair cut

For many, cut is the most important factor when choosing a pair of diamonds. Buyers should keep this in mind when considering what size diamond studs to purchase. Even large, clear diamonds are not very reflective if they have a poor cut. On the other hand, small, well-cut studs are likely to be more beautiful than a larger pair with an inferior cut. Therefore, most gemmologists suggest that cut is the one area buyers should not compromise on.

Diamond Clarity

Diamonds are also evaluated according to their clarity, which expresses the presence of surface or internal marks or flaws. These marks may occur naturally during the stone's formation, or during the cutting process. Surface marks are referred to as blemishes, while internal marks are called inclusions. All diamonds have flaws, but the rarest stones' flaws are not visible even under magnification. Some flaws interfere with the passage of light through the diamond, reducing its brilliance.

Diamond clarity is graded on a scale from "flawless" to "included", as outlined in the following chart.

Clarity Grade

Description

Flawless (F)

When magnified ten times, no inclusions or blemishes are evident; extremely rare

Internally Flawless (IF)

When magnified ten times, no inclusions are evident; may have slight blemishes; extremely rare

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2)

Has miniscule inclusions that are difficult to perceive magnified by ten

Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2)

Small inclusions such as clouds, feathers, or small crystals may be observed with effort when magnified by ten

Slightly Included (SI1, SI2)

Has inclusions such as clouds, feathers, or knots, which are visible when magnified by ten

Included (I1, I2, I3)

I1 has inclusions that may be larger and obvious when magnified by ten; with I2 and I3, inclusions are visible to the naked eye and may affect brilliance

Choosing a clarity level depends partly on one's budget; diamonds graded F or IF are much more expensive than those with VVS or VS ratings. SI diamonds are still more affordable, and even many I1 stones may appear flawless to the naked eye.

Diamond Colour

The last factor according to which diamonds are evaluated is colour. The present of nitrogen in a diamond gives it a yellowish tinge. The more colourless the diamond, the more light can pass through it. Therefore, colourless diamonds have the highest grade and value. Gemmologists regard colour as the second most important factor in choosing a diamond, since it affects brilliance and fire.

Diamond colour is rated on a scale from D to Z. Many of the differences are not detectable to the naked eye. The rating breaks down as follows: colourless (D, E, F), nearly colourless (G, H, I, J), faint yellow (K, L, M), very light yellow (N, O, P, Q, R), and light yellow (S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z).

Buyers should keep in mind that some colour can be concealed by a yellow or rose gold setting, and a superior cut can maximise the transmission of light.

Diamond Stud Shapes

When choosing which size diamond studs to purchase, consumers also need to think about which shape they prefer. Most diamond studs come in the round brilliant cut, with 58 facets radiating from its centre, while the square princess cut is also popular. Other shapes include the radiant cut (square shape with cut-off corners), the oval shape, the marquise shape (oval with tapered ends), the pear shape (teardrop), the emerald cut (rectangular, step-cut diamond, fewer facets for less brilliance but bold, intense clarity), the Asscher cut (similar to the emerald cut, but square), the cushion shape (square with rounded corners and sides), the heart shape, the triangular trilliant shape, or the baguette cut (long and rectangular).

Look for Certified Diamond Studs

Certified diamonds have been inspected by a professional not involved with the sale or purchase of the gem. Certificates are proof of the diamond's "four C" ratings: cut, clarity, colour, and carat weight. The certification may be issued by one of a few different internationally recognised bodies: the International Gemological Institute (IGI), the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), or the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL).

In order to be certified, diamonds must be at least 0.25ct each, with a colour rating of G. For colour ratings of H or I, they must be at least .30ct.

Conflict-Free Diamonds

An important issue in the diamond industry is the question of ethical and legal mining and trading practices. Diamonds that are certified to be conflict-free have been sourced responsibly.

How to Buy Diamond Stud Earrings on eBay

eBay has an extensive selection of diamond stud earrings at competitive prices. To begin your search, go to eBay ' s home page and type keywords, such as "2-ct diamond stud earrings" into the search bar. Then, you can limit your search results by selecting a setting metal, price range, seller location, and more. For additional information on efficient searching, visit eBay's Search Tips page.

Once you've found earrings you're interested in, be sure to read the item description carefully. It should contain important details about the colour, cut, and clarity ratings, as well as weight, condition, and seller's return policy. Verify the postage conditions and fees, as well.

Diamond stud earrings are an investment, and you want to make sure you're buying from a reliable seller. Check the seller's feedback rating and look through comments left by previous customers. Top-rated sellers have completed a high-volume of transactions with excellent customer service.

Conclusion

A beautiful pair of diamond stud earrings can be a simple, elegant staple in a jewelry collection. Finding the right size studs can be a matter of finding a balance between weight, cut, and clarity, as well as colour, shape, and setting type. Diamond studs should be sized to complement the wearer's proportions, and also so that they work for the intended use, be it everyday wear or strictly formal dress. Size needs to be balanced by a quality cut, which ensures the diamond sparkles, and adequate clarity. Colour is another factor which affects the diamond's transparency, so this too should be taken into consideration.

Shape and setting type are additional factors that affect the appearance and style of the studs. Women may opt for classic shapes like the round brilliant or the princess cut, or they may choose a less traditional shape such as pear or emerald.

By informing themselves of the various diamond ratings and options, consumers can find a set of diamond earrings in the right size to match their style and budget.

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