Fashionable men have been wearing earrings since the time of Ancient Egypt, when upper class men wore them to show off their status. Different styles of men’s earrings have come in and out of fashion over time, but one has been enduringly popular since times of antiquity: the solitaire stud earring. Stud earrings– and diamond stud earrings in particular– have been a top choice among stylish men for hundreds of years. And in recent years, single diamond studs have become increasingly trendy. 

If you’re considering joining the ranks of stylish men who sport a diamond stud, it’s time to shop and find your perfect style. If you’ve never purchased a diamond stud before, you may not know which stud would be right for you– or how to narrow down your incredible number of options. A stud earring has a simple design, but there are thousands of style variations for you to choose from. So, how do you sift through the noise and find your perfect stud earring? Just follow our simple, five step guide to buying a single men’s diamond stud earring. 

Step 1: Decide on Your Diamond Color 

A black diamond stud earring has a unique and bold style. 

The first thing you should do when shopping for a single diamond stud is decide on your desired diamond color. The most popular color option for a single diamond stud earring is a colorless diamond, also known as a white diamond. White diamonds have a classic style and an eye-catching brilliance, so they’re an excellent choice for anyone looking for traditional elegance. 

Note that while white diamonds are a very popular choice for single studs, they’re far from your only stone color option. Diamonds come in virtually every color of the rainbow, so you have many hues to choose from. Within the colored diamond category, men usually select one of four colored diamond options: black diamonds, brown diamonds, yellow diamonds and blue diamonds. A black diamond earring is a boldly handsome choice that can add an element of mystery to your look. Then, a brown diamond stud can add warmth, a yellow diamond stud will add eye-catching color, and a blue diamond stud will add a uniquely luxurious element. 

When picking out your diamond color, consider what you’re looking for in terms of style, when you’d like to wear your stud earring, and how flattering each color would be with your skin tone, hair color, and eye color. 

Step 2: Consider Your Diamond Shape 

After you’ve decided which color you’ll choose for your diamond, it’s time to select your diamond shape. Diamonds come in many shapes and the shape you choose will have a large impact on the overall style of your diamond stud. 

Round diamonds are the most popular option for men’s stud earrings, as they have a classic look that makes them versatile and timeless. The second most popular center stone shape for men’s diamond earrings is the princess cut diamond, which has a sharp square silhouette that gives it a clean and modern look. 

In addition to these more popular diamond shapes, you can also go with a lesser-chosen fancy shaped diamond if you’d like a highly unique look for your stud. Cushion cut, asscher cut, and emerald cut diamonds are excellent options for those who love a more vintage look, while marquise and pear shaped diamonds are ideal for those who want a striking, stand-out look. 

Step 3: Select Your Diamond Stud Earring Setting Style 

This 1 carat single diamond stud features a streamlined bezel setting. 

We recommend choosing your stud setting style after picking out your diamond shape, since your choice of diamond shape can sometimes affect your setting style options. 

An earring’s setting is the metal frame which holds your center gemstone in place. Typically, diamond solitaire stud earrings can be made with one of two setting style options: prong settings and bezel settings. 

Prong settings feature tiny pieces of metal that hold your center diamond in place. Prong settings have a classic look and a shimmer advantage. Since the open sides of a prong setting allow for excellent light entry, a prong setting can help maximize a diamond’s brilliance. 

Bezel settings hold diamonds in place with a smooth, seamless ring of metal. Bezel settings are loved for their sleek, modern style and their protective quality. Since a bezel setting fully surrounds its enclosed center stone, it offers more protection in the event of a bump or a drop. 

Step 4: Choose Your Ideal Precious Metal Color

After you’ve selected your setting style, it’s time to choose your stud earring setting’s precious metal type. While many men’s jewelry designs are crafted from sterling silver or stainless steel, men’s diamond earrings are typically made out of one of the following precious metals: yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, or platinum. 

People usually select their precious metal based on their style preferences. Yellow gold is a classic option, white gold and platinum are both quite sophisticated, and rose gold is a trendy and fashion-forward choice. Consider which precious metal has a style that appeals to you. Additionally, you may want to consider which precious metal’s tone will look the best with your skin, hair, and eyes. 

Step 5: Select Your Diamond Size and Quality 

This infographic from our Men’s Single Diamond Earring Size Guide can help you understand which diamond carat weight will work best for your diamond jewelry. 

Now, you’ve picked your diamond’s color, your diamond shape, your setting style, and your precious metal, so it’s time to move on to the final step in picking out a diamond stud: choosing your specific diamond. When selecting your diamond, you’ll need to decide what you want in terms of size and in terms of quality. 

To determine a diamond’s size, look at its carat weight. Though carat is a weight measurement, it can give you an excellent idea of a diamond’s size. See the chart pictured above to get an idea of the measurements of round diamonds in different carat weights. If you’re unsure which size would be right for you, know that most men prefer the look of a 1 carat diamond stud earring. If you’d like a more understated stud, you could go with a diamond that’s under one carat. If you’d like a more bold and striking stud, you may want to select a diamond that’s over 1 carat. 

To determine a diamond’s quality, you’ll need to look at three of the 4Cs: diamond cut, diamond color, and diamond clarity. Diamond cut is a grading of how well a diamond was cut, which affects how well it captures and reflects light. Diamond color is a grading of how colorless a white diamond is. Diamond clarity is a grading of how flawless a diamond is internally and externally. 

What you want for your diamond’s cut, color, and clarity is ultimately very personal. However, note that most jewelers and gemologists recommend prioritizing diamond cut for a diamond stud earring. Diamond cut has the biggest impact on your diamond’s sparkle, an element that’s particularly important for the attractiveness of studs, which are viewed from a distance. As a general rule of thumb, we’d recommend going with a diamond cut of Very Good or Excellent if you want your single diamond stud earring to have the best impact.