Diamond Stud Earrings the Ultimate Buying Guide for Light Performance

Diamond stud earrings are the classic gift because they are versatile and go with everything! Whether you want to know how to buy diamond stud earrings for yourself or present them as a gift, this in-depth tutorial will guide you through the process.

Every woman wants diamond studs that look incredible and sparkle like crazy. Unfortunately, the majority of diamond stud earrings seem dull and lifeless and sit up in the ears like rocks. Diamonds are a mineral capable of delivering mind-blowing brilliance if appropriately cut. There is no excuse for buying diamonds that look dead (which is the official industry clarity term for that frosted glass look).

The easy steps in this diamond stud earrings buying tutorial will guide you through the process of selecting diamonds that are bright and lively!

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

Step 1: Preset diamond stud earrings.

“Just Say No to DREK

The first thing to realize is that the majority of diamond stud earrings assembled by jewelry stores for quick sales do not offer the light performance you desire.

Most people match diamonds for earrings quite sloppily with little regard for the measurements, proportions, or the light performance that results from it.

I’ve seen matched pairs of diamonds for earrings that look entirely different from each another. One diamond from the set might exhibit broad-spectrum sparkle, while the other diamond offers pin-fire type sparkle. You will discover the surprising reason why two diamonds with seemingly identical proportions will sparkle differently in just a minute. But first, let me explain why I never use things like the Build Your Own Diamond Stud Earrings on Blue Nile or any other site.

Build your own diamond stud earrings on Blue Nile

How Not to Build Diamond Stud Earrings:

The simple truth is that you’re capable of matching up diamonds better than a few lines of code or script. The majority of build your own diamond earrings wizards do a lousy job of matching up diamonds beyond the most basic criteria.

Thus the way not to buy diamond stud earrings is to rely on a script because it’s not likely to take all the necessary considerations into account. With this in mind, let’s use the Build Your Own Diamond Earrings on Blue Nile script to search for diamond earrings weighing 0.50 – 0.60 carats total weight. We’ll focus on diamonds that are I-color and VS-2 in clarity within my preferred range of proportions. Follow along and set the Advanced Search Parameters as follows:

How to build your own diamond stud earrings on Blue Nile using advanced settings

Be aware that the carat weight of diamonds stud earrings represents the combined weight of the two diamonds. The matched pair of diamonds highlighted in red seems like a good option because they both have a 60.5% total depth. This pair of diamonds is Blue Nile SKULD09510700-LD09543281.

I’m somewhat excited to see that both diamonds have a total depth of 60.5% and a 59% table diameter. The diamonds measure 4.33 – 4.34 x 2.62 millimeters and 4.31 – 4.32 x 2.61 mm respectively. When matching diamonds up for earrings, it is the average outside diameter that you want to consider. The two diamonds in this example have an average outside diameter of 4.335 and 4.315 millimeters which seems close enough for earrings.

Blue Nile build your own diamond stud earrings, LD09510700-LD09543281

All things considered, these diamonds seem like a pretty good match for diamond stud earrings, right?

Blue Nile Build Your Own Diamond Stud Earrings, LD09510700-LD09543281-clarity

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

But then why do they look so different in the clarity photograph?

Notice how the diamond on the left appears to be darker and less lively than the diamond on the right. The reason is due to a difference of proportions and probably the degree of optical precision that each diamond is cut to exhibit. Let’s compare the characteristics of these diamonds in more detail:

CharacteristicsLD09510700LD09543281~
Cut grade:GIA ExcellentGIA Excellent
Report #227410675226271172675~
Carat weight:0.30 carats0.30 carats
Measurements:4.33 – 4.34 x 2.624.31 – 4.32 x 2.61
Clarity grade:VS-2VS-2
Color grade:I-colorI-color
Fluorescence:NoneNone
Total depth:60.5%60.5%
Table diameter:59%59%
Crown angle:33.5 degrees35.0 degrees!
Pavilion angle:41.0 degrees40.6 degrees!
Lower Girdle Facets:75%75%
Star Facets:50%50%
Girdle edge:M-SK-FM-SK-F
Culet size:NoneNone

The difference between the crown and pavilion measurements of these diamonds prevent them from being a good match. A crown angle of 33.5 degrees may produce a lot of brilliance, but it is at the expense of dispersion.

The crown angle of 35.0 degrees should create a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. At the same time, the 41.0-degree pavilion angle is not likely to produce as much light return as the 40.6-degree pavilion angle. Thus, these two diamonds are not that good a match in my opinion, and this is where a script falls short.

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

The Right Way to Build Diamond Stud Earrings:

From my perspective, the best way to build diamond stud earrings is to select them individually. The one exception to the rule seems to be Brian Gavin’s matched pair diamond search engine. I find it much easier to match-up diamonds for earrings using Brian’s builder and the diamonds are more likely to meet my selection criteria. However, right now we’re learning how to search Blue Nile for diamond earrings so click that link and follow along. Set the Advanced Filters so that the page looks like this:

Search Blue Nile for diamond stud earrings

Right-click your mouse on the links for all of the diamonds available and open them in a new tab. At the time this diamond stud earring buying tutorial is being written, there are 31 diamonds available within the criteria above.

Open the GIA diamond grading report for each option by clicking on the icon that appears on the details page. The fastest way to do this is to go from tab to tab, clicking on the GIA icon and proceeding to the next page while that report loads.

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

Crown and Pavilion angle offset:

For the moment, the only thing to focus on is the offset for crown and pavilion angle. In other words, you only need to look at the section of the diamond grading report highlighted in green:

Search Blue Nile for diamond stud earrings, GIA 6252968893

The top measurement is the crown angle and you want it to be between 34.3 – 35.0 degrees. If the crown angle is 34.0 degrees or shallower, or 35.5 degrees or steeper, just close the page. You want the pavilion angle to be between 40.6 – 40.9 degrees. If the pavilion angle is 40.5 degrees or shallower, or 41.0 degrees and steeper, just close the page.

The total depth and table diameter measurements should be within the preferred range if you set the parameters like the example above. Thus, the next thing we’ll look at is the Clarity Characteristics and you want to eliminate any options that contain the following types of inclusions:

  • Cavity
  • Chip
  • Etch Channel
  • Knot
  • Laser Drill Hole

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

Finding the Best Pairs of Diamond Stud Earrings:

When all is said and done, I have five GIA Excellent cut round diamonds remaining from this search. Let’s look at the details and determine whether any of these diamonds are a good match for the others.

CharacteristicsLD08921170LD09098678LD09171317LD09457321LD09119901
Cut grade:GIA ExcellentGIA ExcellentGIA Excellent GIA ExcellentGIA Excellent
Report #62529688931268467115326550277012694718423265475292
Carat weight:0.30 carats0.31 carats0.32 carats 0.35 carats0.36 carats
Measurements:4.32 – 4.34 x 2.664.33 – 4.36 x 2.664.38 – 4.40 x 2.71 4.53 – 4.55 x 2.784.58 – 4.60 x 2.82
Average Diameter:4.33 mm4.345 mm4.39 mm 4.54 mm 4.59 mm
Clarity grade:VS-2VS-2VS-2 VS-2
Color grade:I-colorI-colorI-colorI-color
Fluorescence:NoneNoneFaintNone
Total depth:61.4%61.3%61.7% 61.2%61.5%
Table diameter:55%55%57%58%57%
Crown angle:34.5 degrees35.0 degrees35.0 degrees 35.0 degrees35.0 degrees
Pavilion angle:40.6 degrees40.6 degrees40.8 degrees40.8 degrees40.8 degrees
Lower Girdle Facets:75%75%80%75%75%
Star Facets:50%50%50% 55%50%
Girdle edge:M-SK-FM-SK-FM-SK-F M-SK-FM-F
Culet size:NoneNoneNoneNoneNone

I think you’ll agree that the first two diamonds (LD08921170-LD09098678) represent the best match. They look pretty good, right?

How to Search Blue Nile for Diamond Stud Earrings, LD08921170-LD09098678

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

Pairing Up Individual Diamonds on Blue Nile:

The problem is that Blue Nile does not offer an easy way to buy these diamonds as a pair and set them in earrings. Not to worry, there is always a way to work around the system. Take the link for any matched pair of diamond stud earrings from Blue Nile, such as this:

https://www.bluenile.com/build-your-own-earrings/diamond-details/LD09510700-LD09543281

And replace the numbers on the end with the numbers for the diamonds you pair up for earrings, like this:

https://www.bluenile.com/build-your-own-earrings/diamond-details/LD08921170-LD09098678

Click refresh on your screen and double check that the correct SKU numbers now appear. Then click the button “add to your earrings” that appears beneath the price for the pair of diamonds.

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

How to Build Diamond Stud Earrings on James Allen:

How to Build Diamond Stud Earrings on James Allen.The same principle applies whether you want to build diamond stud earrings on James Allen or any other site. The odds are that the preset pairs of diamond stud earrings will not meet my selection criteria. It also is not likely that the diamonds will match-up really well unless you take the time to do it yourself. Although this may be true, the process for designing your own diamond stud earrings follows the same steps.

  • Choose the Earring Style.
  • Choose the Diamonds.
  • Complete the Order.

Let’s begin by selecting this pair of 18k white gold four prong settings from James Allen. Click the button to “select these diamonds” and then “add a pair of diamonds” from the next option. You’ll notice that when I do this that there is no option to set the advanced filters:

How to build your own diamond earrings on James Allen, search results for December 01, 2017.

Which means that you’re going to want to select the diamonds and pair them up manually for the best results. But before we set-off to search for diamonds on James Allen, you’ll want to right click on one of those links and copy the URL so that we can replace the SKU numbers later. We’ll use this URL as an example:

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.31-carat-g-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-pair-3566827,3571884

Once again, the SKU numbers for these diamonds from James Allen is highlighted in yellow at the end of the URL. We will replace those numbers with the SKU number for the diamonds we select for diamond earrings. One thing is for certain, we definitely don’t want to buy these:

James Allen diamond stud earrings review, SKU 3566827 and 3571884The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

James Allen Matched Pair Diamond Stud Earrings Review:

Let’s put the characteristics of this pair of diamond stud earrings from James Allen into a table:

CharacteristicsSKU3566827SKU 3571884~
Cut grade:GIA ExcellentGIA Excellent
Report #12498573831182355228~
Carat weight:0.31 carats0.30 carats
Measurements:4.32 – 4.34 x 2.694.28 – 4.31 x 2.67
Average Diameter:4.33 mm4.295 mm
Clarity grade:SI-1SI-1
Color grade:G-colorG-color
Fluorescence:NoneNone
Total depth:62.3%62.2%
Table diameter:58%57%
Crown angle:34.5 degrees35.0 degrees
Pavilion angle:41.4 degrees41.2 degrees!
Lower Girdle Facets:80%80%
Star Facets:50%45%
Girdle edge:M-SK-FM-SK-F
Culet size:NoneNone

Obviously, the pavilion angle is not within the range I prefer and we can see the effect in the clarity images above. That doesn’t really matter however since we’re not going to use these diamonds to build our own diamond stud earrings on James Allen. We only want the URL format so that we can replace the SKU numbers with those for the diamonds we select.

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

Manually Build Diamond Stud Earrings on James Allen:

All right, so the first thing we’re going to do is run a Diamond Search on James Allen using the same presets.

Search James Allen Build Your Own Diamond Stud Earrings manually.

In the same way, we ran the previous search, we will right-click on each listing and open the details page in a new tab. Second, we will click on the icon for the diamond grading report and look at the offset for crown/pavilion angle. Just close the page for any diamonds without a crown angle between 34.3 – 35.0 degrees. Also, close the page for any diamond with a pavilion angle that is not within 40.6 – 40.9 degrees. Look over the clarity characteristics on the diamond grading report and eliminate anything with a cavity, chip, etch channel, knot or laser drill hole.

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

After all of that, I was left with seven options remaining to consider. A quick glance a the measurements reveal that one of them is considerably smaller than the rest, so I’ll just get rid of that one. Then we can compare the characteristics of the remaining six diamonds in a table:

Characteristics#3733115#3549312#3667492#3314265#3606953#3522571
Cut grade:GIA 3XGIA 3XGIA 3XGIA 3XGIA 3X GIA 3X
Report #22743885767276143796627227277362623475211279243526 6261988247
Carat weight:0.32 carats0.32 carats0.34 carats 0.34 carats0.34 carats 0.34 carats
Diameter:4.38 – 4.414.36 – 4.384.49 – 4.504.47 – 4.494.48 – 4.48 4.48 – 4.50
Average:4.395 mm4.37 mm4.495 mm4.48 mm4.48 mm 4.49 mm
Clarity:VS-2VS-2VS-2VS-2VS-2VS-2
Color:I-colorI-colorI-colorI-colorI-colorI-color
Fluorescence:NoneNoneFaintNoneNone None
Total depth:61.8%61.7%61.8%61.0%61.6% 61.3%
Table %57%58%55%58%55% 57%
Crown angle:35.0°35.0°34.5°34.5°34.5° 35.0°
Pavilion angle:40.8°40.8°40.8°40.8°40.6° 40.8°
Lower Girdle:75%80%80%80%80% 80%
Star Facets:55%55%50%50%50% 50%
Girdle edge:M-SK-FM-SK-FM-SK-FM-SK-FM-SK-F M-SK-F
Culet size:NoneNoneNone NoneNoneNone

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

Which Pair of Diamond Stud Earrings Should You Pick?

While all of these diamonds might have measurements that are close enough for earrings, I am most likely to pair up the ones in the middle. The 40.8 degree pavilion angle should produce a high volume of light return. The 34.5 degree crown angle should produce a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. There is a slight difference in table size, but that’s not as important as the offset for crown and pavilion angle.

Since we are manually building pairs of matching diamonds for earrings, we’ll need to build a link to purchase them. Just take the link from the James Allen Diamond Earring Builder:

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.31-carat-g-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-pair-3566827,3571884

And replace the SKU numbers on the end with the ones for these diamonds: 3667492,3314265 so it looks like this:

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.31-carat-g-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-pair-3667492,3314265

When you click the link above, you’ll see that the diamonds are now available to buy as a pair and you can proceed with selecting settings for them.

How to choose diamond stud earrings on James Allen, SKU 3667492-3314265The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin

The Best Place to Buy Diamond Stud Earrings:

In my experience, the best place to buy diamond stud earrings is Brian Gavin. In the first place, every Brian Gavin Signature diamond is cut to the right proportions. Thus, you start off knowing that the diamonds are going to look amazing! The diamonds will exhibit the highest degree of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. Not only that, but Brian’s script does a pretty good job at matching up pairs of diamonds for earrings:

Search Brian Gavin matched pairs diamond stud earrings

All you need to do is enter the range for total carat weight, color, clarity, and price and the script will take care of the rest. The search above gave me seven pairs of Brian Gavin Signature hearts and arrows diamonds to choose from:

Brian Gavin search matched pairs diamond stud earrings

All seven pairs of diamonds match-up really well for outside diameter and proportions. Thus, in the blink of an eye, I have seven great pairs of diamond stud earrings to choose from! There is no need to waste a bunch of time trying to match up diamonds individually. You can buy diamond stud earrings from Brian Gavin with the full confidence of knowing they will look fantastic! All of these diamonds meet my selection criteria and exhibit the highest degree of optical precision. As a result, these diamonds are going to sparkle like crazy and demand attention from across the room. Under those circumstances, you’re going to look like a hero while saving yourself a lot of time and anguish.

The Most Beautiful Diamond EarringsMatched pairs of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds by Brian Gavin