The Complete Guide to Buying Diamond Earrings

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The Complete Guide to Buying Diamond Earrings

Diamond earrings are a timeless and elegant fashion accessory, and an ideal gift for birthdays, anniversaries, and major milestones. Prized throughout history, diamonds have an unmatched ability to reflect light, giving them a brilliant, sparkling appearance. Buyers can choose from a wide variety of diamond earrings, ranging from simple studs to elegant drop earrings with multiple stones.

Before making a purchase, buyers should learn about styles of diamond earrings, and how to identify good quality diamonds. This involves understanding the Four Cs and common diamond shapes. Also important when choosing diamond earrings are the metals used for the settings. Gold is the most traditional, but other options include silver, platinum, and palladium. Many buyers visit traditional bricks and mortar jewellers to buy diamond earrings, but shopping online is a convenient option. eBay, for example, offers a large selection of diamond earrings at a range of prices to suit every buyer.

Styles of Diamond Earrings

Diamond earrings can be divided into three simple categories: studs, hoops, and drop earrings. Each category has many variations, but there are fundamental characteristics that can be described.

Diamond Studs

Studs are the simplest and most classic style of earring, with diamond stones placed in a metal setting and mounted to earring posts. Studs a good choice for every occasion. Diamonds used for studs can vary in size and shape.

Diamond Hoops

Diamond hoops have stones set into the metal and are the ideal choice for a more prominent style. Diamond hoops can range from large and slim to small and chunky. Simple diamond hoops are the ideal choice for accessorising a little black dress. Choose a bold design to pair with a casual outfit.

Diamond Drop Earrings

Drop earrings, or dangly earrings, fall below the earlobes. They add a touch of sophistication and elegance to any look and vary in style from complex chandeliers to simple solitaire designs. Tear drop earrings are also a popular design, with a single gemstone in a pear shape.

Four C’s of Diamonds

Diamond experts evaluate diamonds on four key criteria: carat, colour, clarity, and cut. The best diamonds are those with perfect colouring, no flaws, and an exceptional cut. These are extremely rare. However, buyers can purchase good quality diamonds with minor imperfections that do not detract from the overall beauty of the earrings. Often, lower grade diamonds are used in earrings because they are not studied as closely as other pieces of jewellery, such as wedding and engagement rings. However, it is important to research the diamonds used for a pair of earrings to ensure they are good value for their quality.

Carat of Diamonds

Carat refers to a diamond's weight. It is the equivalent to a fifth of a gram, a measurement that was standardised in 1913. Carats are often given in increments of a quarter. Buyers should note that that the sizing of diamonds is not proportional, so a 1 carat diamond will not always appear to be twice as large as a 0.5 carat diamond. Also bear in mind that sellers often list the carats for the pair of earrings, rather than for a single stone or earring. Always check before making a purchase.

Colour of Diamonds

Diamonds are not always colourless: they are graded on a spectrum of colour. Perfectly colourless diamonds are given a rating of D, but E and F ratings are also considered colourless. Diamonds rated G to J are labelled as near colourless, and K to M have a faint yellow tint. Slightly coloured diamonds can still be attractive if they have a good clarity and cut.

Buyers can also choose from an array of fancy diamonds, or those with bright and bold colours such as red, blue, green, or even black. Natural fancy diamonds can be quite rare and expensive, as only one in 10,000 diamonds have a colour. Fancy diamonds have their own scale that rates the purity and brightness of the colour.

Clarity of Diamonds

Most diamonds have some sort of flaw, or a marking on its exterior or interior. Flaws can be divided into two categories: blemishes that appear on the surface of a stone and inclusions, which are on the interior of the diamond. Flaws can affect the diamond's ability to reflect light, which is referred to as brilliance. Flawless diamonds are quite rare and expensive. Clarity is graded on a scale described in the table below.

Diamond Rating





No inclusions or blemishes

Internally flawless


No inclusions

Very very slightly included


Inclusions and blemishes are few and quite small

Difficult to distinguish even under 10x magnification

Very slightly included

VS1, VS2

Slightly more or larger flaws than VVS1 or VVS2

Only visible under 10x magnification

Slightly included

SI1, SI2

Small flaws are readily distinguished under 10x magnification

Difficult to distinguish with the naked eye

Included 1


Flaws are seen under 10x magnification

Visible to naked eye

Have no effect on brilliance

Included 2


More and larger flaws visible to naked eye than in I1

Some effect on the diamond's brilliance

Clarity affects the brilliance of the diamond. Perfectly flawless diamonds are given a rating of FL and any diamond with no interior flaws is rated as IF, or internally flawless.

Cut of Diamonds

Cut is often used to describe the shape of the diamond. However, it actually defines the quality of the diamond's shape and how well it reflects light. Proportion and symmetry play a significant role in evaluating a cut. Carat, colour, and clarity are controlled by nature in conjunction with some external factors, but cut is entirely dependent on the skills of the gemcutter.

Diamond Certification

Diamond certification indicates that a diamond has been inspected and evaluated for characteristics such as size, shape, colour, clarity, and occasionally, cut and polish. Although the certificate is not an appraisal, it can be used to verify the authenticity and quality of a diamond and may be helpful for insuring the item. Buyers should look for earrings with certified diamonds that have been verified by a reputable, independent organisation.

Diamond Origin

Many buyers may be interested in the origin of the diamonds in the earrings. Blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds, are sourced from places around the world where unfair or illegal mining practices continue. Many nations that export diamonds have begun to work in cooperation with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a campaign to track where a diamond is mined to prevent the international trade of blood diamonds. The seller ought to have some information regarding the diamond's origin.

Diamond Shapes for Earrings

Diamonds are available in numerous shapes that are used for earrings. Most buyers are familiar with round and princess shapes, but there are a variety of others, including asscher, emerald, oval, marquise, pear, heart, radiant, and cushion.

Round and Princess Diamonds for Earrings

The round brilliant and princess diamonds are two of the most popular shapes. A round brilliant stone is circular with 57 individual facets, which are optimised to reflect the most light. A princess diamond is square, with many facets that also allow it to reflect a large amount of light. With their simple and elegant shapes, both of these are a good choice for studs.

Asscher and Emerald Diamonds for Earrings

Asscher and emerald diamonds are very similar. They both have octagonal facets, which are cut in a way that gives them a unique step like appearance. However, an asscher is square and an emerald is rectangular. Asscher and emerald diamonds are good for highlighting the clarity of the stone.

Oval and Marquise Diamonds for Earrings

An oval diamond is similar to the round brilliant, but more elongated. It delivers much of the same sparkle. A marquise diamond is similarly elongated, but the ends taper off into points. It has a brilliant cut, so it maximises the light reflected. It also appears larger than a round diamond of the same carat.

Pear and Heart-Shaped Diamonds for Earrings

The pear shape has a single point and a rounded edge, making it a fusion of the oval and marquise. Its distinctive teardrop shape makes it an ideal choice for anyone seeking a remarkable diamond for drop earrings. Heart-shaped diamonds are a romantic choice. However, the diamond's symmetry should be precise, and smaller diamonds of less than half a carat are not always suitable because it can be difficult to distinguish the shape, especially after the earring has been set.

Radiant and Cushion Diamonds for Earrings

A radiant diamond can be square or rectangular, and like asscher and emerald cuts, it has cropped corners that make it octagonal. However, it has a brilliant cut that reflects a large amount of light in contrast to the step cut used for asscher and emerald diamonds. The cushion cut, also called a pillow cut, is square, but has rounded corners. It is not as brilliant as round or princess diamonds, but it does have a romantic feel.

Diamond Earring Settings

Earrings are set in a variety of metals, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Gold is the most traditional and silver is the most affordable, but platinum and palladium have their own advantages.

Gold Settings for Diamond Earrings

Gold is soft, so it is rarely used in its pure form to make jewellery. Instead, it is combined with other metals to give it strength, such as silver, nickel, zinc, or copper. The most common purities for jewellery are 14 carats, 58.3 percent purity, and 18 carats, 75 percent purity. Gold is available in three colours: yellow, white, and rose. Yellow is traditional and is gold's natural colour. White gold is created by mixing pure gold with other white metals and plating it with rhodium. Rose gold has a reddish tint that is created by adding copper to pure gold.

Silver Settings for Diamond Earrings

Like gold, silver is too soft to be used in jewellery in its pure state. Instead, silver is often combined with copper to create sterling silver, which is 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Sterling silver is a good choice for those who have nickel allergies, but it can tarnish over time, so it requires care.

Platinum Settings for Diamond Earrings

Platinum is a white metal more expensive and stronger than gold. It does not wear away over time. Platinum is commonly used in a 95 percent pure form and mixed with metals such as iridium, ruthenium, or palladium. Platinum is denser than gold, so a piece of jewellery made of platinum weighs more than the same piece made with gold. It is also hypoallergenic and a good choice for people seeking a high-end alternative to gold.

Palladium Settings for Diamond Earrings

Like platinum, palladium is a white metal and it shares many of the same qualities. It is heavy, hypoallergenic, and resistant to tarnishing. It is also used in a 95 percent purity. Palladium can be more expensive than gold.

How to Buy Diamond Earrings on eBay

To start searching for diamond earrings, simply enter a keyword, such as "princess cut diamond studs" or "gold diamond hoops" in the search box on the eBay homepage, or any other page on the site. You can use keywords such as the metal used for the earrings or the total carat weight. Read the seller's listing carefully, looking for information about the Four Cs, whether the diamond is certified, its origins, and the metals used for the setting. Also check the seller's returns policy. If you have any questions about an item then contact the seller using the "Ask a question" feature.

Tips for Convenient Shopping on eBay

eBay provides a variety of sorting functions on the results page to help you to narrow down your search. Diamonds can be quite expensive, so you can use the sort functions to specify a price range. If you have a preferred way to pay on eBay, you can look for sellers who accepted PayPal, for example. In addition, you can choose to display only items for sellers within a particular geographical region. If the seller is local and both parties are comfortable, you may be able to arrange to collect your purchase in person, rather than having it delivered.


Diamond earrings are an sparkling addition to a jewellery collection. Studs are simple and elegant, while hoops can be more casual. Drop earrings are a statement of sophistication. Before buying diamonds, buyers should be familiar with key terms, such as the Four Cs, carat, colour, clarity, and cut, to enable them to determine good quality gemstones. Diamond earrings are less scrutinised than engagement rings, so buyers can choose lower grade diamonds as a more affordable option. Buyers should find out whether the seller offers a diamond certificate or any information about the diamond's origin, as this can ensure peace of mind for the purchase.

When selecting a pair of diamond earrings, buyers should consider the shape of the diamonds. Round and princess cuts are the most popular, but there are many more options such as emerald, cushion, pear, and heart shapes. Finally, buyers should consider the material used to set the earrings. Gold is traditional, but silver, platinum, and palladium are also elegant options. eBay has a selection of beautiful diamond earrings to flatter any wearer.