Diamond stud earrings have a fairly simple design. This utterly classic jewelry staple has just two design elements: diamonds and stud earring settings. But though diamond studs are minimalistic in their design, you’ll find that there are thousands upon thousands of different diamond stud earrings to choose from. This is because there are dozens of stud earring setting styles to choose from, thousands of diamonds to choose from, and an almost endless number of ways to mix and match stud settings and diamonds. 

With so many diamond stud earring designs to choose from, we know that shopping for diamond studs can sometimes get overwhelming. How do you understand all your options and find the perfect diamond stud earrings for you? In this post, we’re here to answer this question and help you find your dream pair of diamond studs! Read on to see our definitive, step-by-step guide to choosing your perfect diamond stud earrings. 

Step 1: Choose Your Diamond Shape

Diamond shape is the shape a diamond has been cut into, such as round, princess, or oval. Diamond shape has the biggest impact on the overall style of your diamond stud earrings, since each shape has its own unique style and your diamonds will be the main focus of your studs. Because diamond shape has such a large impact on your studs’ style, we generally recommend picking your diamond shape first before moving on to thinking about the other elements of your studs. 

So, how do you choose your diamond shape? There are three things to consider when searching for your perfect diamond shape: style, brilliance, and your face shape. 

Diamond Shape Style 

Each diamond shape has its own style. You may find yourself inherently drawn to a particular diamond shape’s style just from looking at it. However, if you’re not quite which shape’s style would be right for you, check out our style notes on the different shapes below:

  • Round: Round is the most popular diamond shape. Round brilliant cut diamonds are loved for their classic look and their high brilliance. 
  • Princess: Princess cut diamonds, which have a square shape when viewed from above, feature sharp lines and modern look. 
  • Cushion: Cushion cut diamonds are a vintage shape with a highly romantic style. 
  • Asscher: Asscher cut diamonds have a unique look and an Art Deco era vintage style. 
  • Emerald: Emerald cut diamonds have a Retro era vintage style that is glamorous and elegant. 
  • Marquise: Marquise cut diamonds are highly unique, with a stand-out beauty. 
  • Oval: Oval shaped diamonds have a classic, chic, and timeless style. 
  • Pear: Pear shaped diamonds, also known as teardrop diamonds, have a distinctive, highly sophisticated style. 

Diamond Shape Brilliance 

“Brilliance” is a term for how a diamond reflects light. The more brilliant a diamond is, the more light it reflects (so, more brilliant diamonds are more sparkly). All cut diamonds will have some level of brilliance. However, some shapes are inherently more brilliant than others, due to the way diamonds are cut into their shapes

If selecting a highly brilliant diamond is important to you, you will want to consider the brilliance of the different diamond shapes as you pick your diamond shape. Wondering which diamond shapes are the most brilliant? See our list of diamond shapes ordered by brilliance below. 

Diamond Shapes By Brilliance

  • Most Brilliant: Round 
  • Exceptionally Brilliant: Oval, Marquise, Pear
  • Highly Brilliant: Princess and Cushion 
  • Brilliant: Emerald and Asscher 

Diamond Shape and Face Shape 

Many people like to choose their diamond shape based on which is the most flattering on their face shape. For example, those with wider faces sometimes prefer diamond shapes that can add an elongated look, such as oval, marquise, and emerald cut diamonds. Then, to give another example, those with longer faces often prefer symmetrical diamond shapes that do not elongate the face, such as round cut diamonds, asscher cut diamonds, or princess cut diamonds. 

Note: For an in-depth look at which diamond shapes are flattering on which face shapes, check out our guide to Selecting the Best Diamond Studs for Your Face Shape

Step 2: Choose Your Diamond Stud Earring Setting

After you’ve chosen your diamond shape, it’s time to choose your setting style! You have three stud earring setting styles to choose from: prong settings, bezel settings, and halo settings. Each of these setting styles has its own advantages, which we’ll go over below. 

Prong Settings 

Prong settings hold your diamonds in place with slim prongs of metal. Four prong basket settings are the most common type of prong setting, though three prong settings (also called martini settings) are also quite common. 

Style-wise, prong settings are classic and elegant. So, many people opt for solitaire prong settings because they look timeless and chic. Then, prong settings also have a brilliance advantage. In a prong setting, the sides of your diamonds are exposed to more light, which can help them sparkle to maximum effect. So if you want to maximize your diamonds’ brilliance, prong settings are an excellent choice. 

Bezel Settings 

Bezel settings hold your diamonds in place with a solid ring of metal that fully surrounds each diamond. Bezel settings have a sleek, modern look that many people adore, and they’re also very secure. Bezel settings hold your center diamonds in place quite securely and offer excellent protection against bumps and drops. 

Halo Settings 

Halo settings, which are decidedly glamorous, feature smaller diamonds that surround your center diamonds. Halo settings add brilliance to your diamond studs (thanks to the accent diamonds on the settings) and also give the impression that your center diamonds are a bit larger than they actually are. 

Step 3: Choose Your Precious Metal 

After you’ve selected your diamond stud setting style, you’ll also need to select your choice of precious metal. Many people already have a favorite precious metal. If you’re one of those people, you can of course simply go ahead and choose your favorite precious metal for your studs. But if you’re a bit unsure about which precious metal to choose, check out our notes on your four precious metal options below. 

Yellow Gold 

Yellow gold is a highly traditional precious metal that is loved for its classic look. Yellow gold tends to be most flattering on people with warm skin undertones. 

Rose Gold 

Rose gold is a rosy precious metal that is loved for its highly romantic look. Rose gold tends to be flattering on people with both warm and neutral skin undertones. 

White Gold 

White gold is at once classic and modern, and it is loved for its sophisticated look. White gold tends to be flattering on people with cool skin undertones, since this precious metal is cool in tone. 


Platinum looks very similar to white gold, yet has different practical advantages. Like white gold, platinum is chic and sophisticated, and it tends to be the most flattering on those with cool skin undertones. However, platinum is harder and more durable than white gold, which some people consider an advantage. Platinum is also a hypoallergenic precious metal. So if you have any metal allergies (or are shopping for someone with a metal allergy), know that platinum is an excellent, allergy-friendly choice. 

Step 4: Select Your Diamonds (Pick Your Diamond Quality)

After you’ve chosen your diamond shape, setting style, and precious metal, it’s time for the final step in the diamond stud shopping process: choosing your diamonds. 

When it’s time to pick the specific diamond gemstones you’ll have set in your diamond studs, you’ll want to think about diamond quality and the Four Cs. If you aren’t familiar with the Four Cs of diamond quality, here is an overview: 

  • Diamond Color: A measurement of how colorless a white diamond is. 
  • Diamond Cut: A measurement of how well a diamond was cut. 
  • Diamond Clarity: A measurement of how flawless a diamond is. 
  • Diamond Carat: A weight measurement that can give you an idea of a diamond’s size. 

Each of the 4Cs has an effect on the beauty of your diamond studs, as they do with every piece of jewelry that contains diamonds. However, when you’re buying diamonds for stud earrings, we generally recommend putting the highest priority on diamond cut. 

Diamond cut is always the most important of the 4Cs (in our opinion and in the opinion of most GIA gemologists and jewelers). This is because diamond cut has the largest impact on the brilliance of a diamond. If a diamond is well cut, it will sparkle beautifully in diamond jewelry. If a diamond is poorly cut, it will look dull and dim. But though diamond cut is always very important, it’s particularly important for diamond stud earrings. Since diamond earrings are viewed from a distance, you want to make sure they are beautifully brilliant, even when viewed from far away. So, we generally recommend selecting diamonds with a cut that is Very Good or Excellent for your diamond earrings. 

Diamond color and diamond clarity are also important for the diamonds you choose for your studs, though somewhat less so. Since diamond earrings are viewed from a distance, you can often get away with going a bit lower in color and clarity than you could for, say, a diamond engagement ring. As a general recommendation, we would suggest that you could go as low as G, H, or I in color grade and as low as VS2 or SI1 in clarity grade for your diamonds studs. Of course, if you would like to go higher than these recommendations, you certainly can. But if you would prefer to put more of your budget toward a higher carat weight, know that you can still get beautiful diamond studs if you opt for diamonds in these lower, but still recommended, ranges. 

Finally, when it comes to carat weight, we recommend that you choose your desired cut, color, and clarity first. Then, select the highest carat diamond possible within your budget. 

Note: To learn even more about picking high quality diamonds and understanding the 4Cs, view our 4Cs Education Page

Find The Best Diamond Stud Earrings For You

This concludes our definitive guide to choosing your perfect pair of diamond stud earrings! We hope that this guide has been helpful as you search for your ideal pair of studs. 

Ready to find your dream diamond studs? Shop our wide collection of diamond stud earrings