Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Min. quality for stud earrings

baylee

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
3
Hello all, I am new here and hoping for some advice. I plan to buy a pair of diamond stud earrings between 1.25 - 1.50 ct. tw.

I notice that pre-made earrings from places like Costco and Blue Nile have fairly low quality. (I1 clarity, and I color). I am happy to shop for specific diamond pairs and obviously its personal preference but I am curious what minimum level of clarity and color make a difference for stud earring of that size?
 

James L Hinnant

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
13
Hello all, I am new here and hoping for some advice. I plan to buy a pair of diamond stud earrings between 1.25 - 1.50 ct. tw.

I notice that pre-made earrings from places like Costco and Blue Nile have fairly low quality. (I1 clarity, and I color). I am happy to shop for specific diamond pairs and obviously its personal preference but I am curious what minimum level of clarity and color make a difference for stud earring of that size?
I made mine by buying a couple of engagement rings from pawn shops. Better quality and at the time way cheaper.
 

RunningwithScissors

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
1,143
I am personally not comfortable with I clarity for any jewelry, earrings or otherwise. It could have structural integrity issues and there's a good chance it won't be eye clean. So I agree with mommy lawyer and say SI1 minimum (or SI2 only if it is from one of our trusted venders and certified).

Color is much more subjective. Some people prefer warmer, some prefer cooler, its completely personal preference. I would however suggest not buying a diamond that is a significantly different color than the other diamonds you plan to wear at the same time. It just looks off to my eyes if there are many different tints flying around all over your body.
 
Last edited:

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,479
Major chains usually offer their lower quality bargain studs in small sizes and do huge volumes of sales. They tend to be J/K-I2 to I3. The definitely sell better ones, but not in huge numbers like the junk. I expect we'll see more Lab Grown diamonds in these price points sooner than later.

If you are color conscious, but have a budget restraint, G/H is a very good choice. If you are worried about inclusions, then Si1 or better clarity should be safe. If you are very cut aware, then you have a problem going even down to GIA 3EX. Most people are well served by GIA 3EX or Very Good in earrings. Everyone has their own minimums and budget.

The complex problem is how much you wish to spend on top of your grading minimums. I suggest you take a long look at several levels and decide what works best for you. The advice you will get here will help you know way more than the average happy, but uninformed, shopper.
 

Big Fat Facets

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2019
Messages
1,450
a few factors to consider for diamonds studs:

cut, color, clarity ...

which of these you prioritize most will determine where you are willing and where you are unwilling to compromise, especially so, if you have budgetary constraints

each person has their own criteria of how they went about selecting a pair of diamond studs

as an example, personally, i selected a pair of h color ideal old european cut diamonds after years of wearing d color gia xxx round brilliants.

for carity, i personally stay in the vs range or higher

color is highly subjective. some will insist on colorless while others happily embrace warmer diamonds and will further enhance that warmth with a warm gold or rose gold setting

if your are looking for a pair of round brilliant diamond studs, i encourage you to have a look at the ags 000 super ideal vendors. you can start at your comfort level and then upgrade from there.

as a side note, many of us aren't on our first pair of diamond studs. if you are newer to diamond studs, it might be of benefit to purchase from a business that offers an easy upgrade policy.
 

Lookinagain

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
1,081
well, my first question would be what your budget is. That will help determine a lot. I have a pair of ACA 1.7 ctw SI1, color I from White Flash and I'm very happy with them. I had a smaller pair of ACA H, SI1's that I upgraded and I really don't see any difference in color. If you are set on size, then budget will determine a lot.
 

baylee

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
3
Major chains usually offer their lower quality bargain studs in small sizes and do huge volumes of sales. They tend to be J/K-I2 to I3. The definitely sell better ones, but not in huge numbers like the junk. I expect we'll see more Lab Grown diamonds in these price points sooner than later.

If you are color conscious, but have a budget restraint, G/H is a very good choice. If you are worried about inclusions, then Si1 or better clarity should be safe. If you are very cut aware, then you have a problem going even down to GIA 3EX. Most people are well served by GIA 3EX or Very Good in earrings. Everyone has their own minimums and budget.

The complex problem is how much you wish to spend on top of your grading minimums. I suggest you take a long look at several levels and decide what works best for you. The advice you will get here will help you know way more than the average happy, but uninformed, shopper.
Thank you this is a very helpful advice. I agree that I wont necessarily stay at my minimums and will explore the price differences to get something rated higher but its helpful as I shop to have guardrails that define what is not worth buying.
 

baylee

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
3
I do not have a super set budget, which is partly why my size ranges. I
a few factors to consider for diamonds studs:

cut, color, clarity ...

which of these you prioritize most will determine where you are willing and where you are unwilling to compromise, especially so, if you have budgetary constraints

each person has their own criteria of how they went about selecting a pair of diamond studs

as an example, personally, i selected a pair of h color ideal old european cut diamonds after years of wearing d color gia xxx round brilliants.

for carity, i personally stay in the vs range or higher

color is highly subjective. some will insist on colorless while others happily embrace warmer diamonds and will further enhance that warmth with a warm gold or rose gold setting

if your are looking for a pair of round brilliant diamond studs, i encourage you to have a look at the ags 000 super ideal vendors. you can start at your comfort level and then upgrade from there.

as a side note, many of us aren't on our first pair of diamond studs. if you are newer to diamond studs, it might be of benefit to purchase from a business that offers an easy upgrade policy.
This is not my first pair. I currently own a smaller pair (.75 ct. tw.) that were a gift. I love them and have worn them daily for the better part of a decade. Now that I am more established I am ready to buy a pair that I dont plan on upgrading. I wouldnt go any bigger than 1.4-1.5 ct. tw. bc anything bigger would, for me, feel like special occasion-only.
 

headlight

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
2,598
I really think you should decide your budget and then come back here so we can help you make the best choice for your price-point.
 

Snowdrop13

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
2,157
Find the best cut stones you can afford! That is what makes the diamonds sparkle, which is the whole point, no?

After that, I’d consider the colour and clarity of your e ring and current studs to help make the decision.
 

lihoo

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
7
For that size I would select G+ (if you want it very white), SI1+, and the highest cut grade (no compromise for the cut).

The highest spec I have is D/VVS and the most 'generous' pair is H/VS2. Personally I prefer brighter whiter diamonds and VS1+ is my mind-clean zone. The H/VS2 was a kind of my first trial when I did not know my taste yet. But I am happy with this pair, too! Now I am more open in selecting spec (particularly color...for clarity I am still seeking for VS1 or higher just to have a piece in my mind but my brain says SI1 is also fine :lol:). As long as the cut is excellent, any color looks gorgeous, just they express different mood...warm, icy, deep calm...etc.
 
Last edited:

RunningwithScissors

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
1,143
I do not have a super set budget, which is partly why my size ranges. I


This is not my first pair. I currently own a smaller pair (.75 ct. tw.) that were a gift. I love them and have worn them daily for the better part of a decade. Now that I am more established I am ready to buy a pair that I dont plan on upgrading. I wouldnt go any bigger than 1.4-1.5 ct. tw. bc anything bigger would, for me, feel like special occasion-only.
We all start out thinking a certain size is the highest we'd feel comfortable wearing. Then after having that size for awhile, most of us realize we'd like to go larger. Its all about what we get accustomed to seeing/wearing. Tha's why buying a diamond from someplace with a good upgrade policy is so important, it gives you flexibility down the road.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
42,054
Regarding stud earrings I feel it depends on one's ears as to the size that looks best. Some of us have petite lobes and smaller looks (IMO) better. I don't like seeing the diamond overlap the edges of the ears. Personal preference to stay within the lobe. And I hate ear droop so a big back helps take care of that.

I wouldn't do I clarity for any diamond (just my opinion) and would always go for the best cut stone over all else. If doing MRBs I like white and bright. If doing old cuts I feel a little bit warmer is most beautiful. I prefer VS clarity even for earrings. For me it's a mind clean thing.

I second getting a great upgrade policy if you can as preferences can change over time.
 

MMtwo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,080
Hello all, I am new here and hoping for some advice. I plan to buy a pair of diamond stud earrings between 1.25 - 1.50 ct. tw.

I notice that pre-made earrings from places like Costco and Blue Nile have fairly low quality. (I1 clarity, and I color). I am happy to shop for specific diamond pairs and obviously its personal preference but I am curious what minimum level of clarity and color make a difference for stud earring of that size?
The last I checked, Costco had nice diamonds with a lower clarity to VS2. Did something change?
 

vintageinjune

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
290
Like most everything, this has so much to do with personal preference!

I had started with moissanite studs, my first pair were 5.5mm each, approx. 1.33 cttw, and they were perfect for every day wear, but they were the old material with the yellow/green tinge and one had a fish eye effect, so after 5 or 6 years I upgraded to the colorless material, 6.5mm each, approx 2 cttw and wore those for years until I lost one, and some time after that decided I was ready for diamonds.

Honestly, the 6.5mm felt a little too big, and I felt myself yearning for my old 5.5 and decided to split the difference and go for 6mm as my happy medium.

Having lived with too big but nice and white, and the right size but too tinted, I decided my minimum for studs would be G, VS2, and ideal cut because I refuse to sacrifice sparkle. Having VS2 as a minimum is a mind clean for me - I do NOT want to be able to see inclusions in my stones with the naked eye. While you cannot spend as much time admiring your earrings as you do your rings, I felt it was important to me to get the best I could because every time I walk by a mirror and glance at them, they make my heart sing!

Ultimately I ended up with F/VS1 and F/VVS2, that are 6.2mm and every once in a while they feel a smidge too big still, which is weird because for rings I keep thinking "I could go a little bigger next time".

That said, I would have been perfectly content with G/VS2 stones as well, and definitely could have gone for a larger carat weight for my budget (which, like you, wasn't set in stone and was more about finding the right pair).

Do you have any idea what your current studs are graded as for color/clarity?
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,280
My blue nile studs are 1.4 ctw F si1 that I chose within GIA excellent parameters. They are near super ideal numbers.

It took me about 3 weeks and a notebook where I kept all my “ciphering” (as DH called it) of the pairs with their crown, depth, pavilion, and table plus HCA.

I was upgrading, so more or less just keeping an eye on things because I also had to go double my previous price, and if I saw the right pair, I would jump.

I was about to start looking for 2 separate stones, when the perfect pair popped up that also happened to be within $25 more of what my minimum had to be for an upgrade!

Of course, DSS (diamond shrinking syndrome) came quickly, so I added a pair of Brian Gavin cushion shaped jackets.

I wouldn’t hesitate again to do SI1 (mine are clear inclusions)— I cant even see them with my glasses on and no one gets that close to your ears anyway.

For me, I would have easily gone down to H color, but these just happened to be F (which I absolutely don’t complain about) and I was ready to buy and they fit all of my requirements.
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,280
Or you could also work with various vendors we recommend such as whiteflash, high performance diamonds, Brian Gavin (all have great upgrade policies) or ID jewelry and diamonds by Lauren and have them pick you a pair of bright sparkly diamonds within your budget.
 

MamaBee

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
8,481
The last I checked, Costco had nice diamonds with a lower clarity to VS2. Did something change?
I’ve never seen an I1 grade at Costco either at the store or on their site. I have seen that grade at BJ’s which is a different warehouse store. Costco’s minimum specs are vs2 and I color. I’ve had a few things come out actually better than that when they were apraised.
 

Anne93

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
97
I’ve never seen an I1 grade at Costco either at the store or on their site. I have seen that grade at BJ’s which is a different warehouse store. Costco’s minimum specs are vs2 and I color. I’ve had a few things come out actually better than that when they were apraised.
Same here. I’ve purchased a few things from Costco, and they always seem to promise minimum VS2 clarity and I color , as @MamaBee posted.

I always have pieces evaluated before keeping, and most times the grading significantly exceeded the base minimum.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    A Perspective on Pearls- Vol. I
    A Perspective on Pearls- Vol. I
    Quarter Century Anniversary Upgrade
    Quarter Century Anniversary Upgrade
    Diamonds and the Movies – Watchlist (Part 1)
    Diamonds and the Movies – Watchlist (Part 1)

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top