Buying Diamond Earrings – Styles, Costs and Our Top Tips


Buying diamond earrings is always a special event, whether you’re making a purchase as a gift or treating yourself to a twinkling new accessory. You’ll want to keep a set of diamond earrings that you love for a lifetime, and these sophisticated, timeless pieces can be worn by both women and men to lift an outfit and elevate confidence. If you want to ensure you buy the right diamond earrings for the occasion and are keen to learn more about this classic item of jewellery, read on for style, quality and pricing advice.

An Enduring Charm

Historians believe we’ve been wearing earrings for around five thousand years. In ancient Rome, the use of gemstones ignited our passion for a sparkling glint at the ear. The Romans used the likes of emeralds and rubies, and by the 16th century we started to see diamonds appearing in the earrings of those who could afford such a rare stone.

During the 19th century, the highly reflective solitaire cut of diamond earrings became incredibly popular thanks to the increased mining of these precious stones in South Africa. Enhanced cutting methods and open-claw settings really allowed diamonds to shine to their full extent. Thanks to the clever marketing slogan ‘A Diamond is Forever’, created for De Beers in 1948, diamond jewellery became highly emotive.

We buy diamond jewellery for the people we love, or for ourselves when we’re dressing for an extra-special occasion or simply feel like we deserve a treat. It is the highly attractive way in which a diamond catches the light, glittering without being gaudy, that makes diamond earrings such an enduring classic of the jewellery world. Whether you wear diamond studs because you like to keep your look sleek and subtle, or a chandelier diamond earring to really catch the eye, your purchase is an investment thanks to the innate value held in natural diamonds.

Finding the Perfect Pair

Jewellers can use different earring designs to showcase the wonders of a beautifully cut diamond. Diamond earring styles vary from the demure to the decadent, and when it comes to buying the right pair you need to consider several factors.

1. Budget

Today, jewellers are able to offer diamond earrings to suit a range of budgets. With lab-grown diamonds soaring in popularity, a smaller budget can buy you attractive earrings of excellent colour and clarity. Those with more to spend can opt for multi-stone earrings or choose a pair that dazzle with generously sized, high-quality stones.

The metal used in earrings affects the price but again, the modern jeweller ensures that their diamonds look the part in the more affordable carats and colours of gold, while offering more expensive platinum settings for those with a higher budget.

If you have a good budget for your earrings, you may prefer to choose your stones first and then decide on an earring style and metal type. Buying diamond earrings will always represent a personal investment, and one worth protecting with jewellery insurance.

2. The 4 Cs

When discussing diamonds, the 4 Cs refer to colour, clarity, cut and carat. These are all factors that you need to consider when choosing your earrings, because they affect not only the price of the jewellery but the appearance, too.

You always buy unique diamond earrings because no two diamonds are exactly alike. When a jeweller comes to craft diamond earrings, they need to choose two stones that match up in terms of the 4 Cs, to create a uniform pair.

When you look at diamonds in a set of earrings, you can see various colours. The colours don’t necessarily come from the stone itself, but rather from the facets cut into them, which reflect the colour of the metal setting and any objects around them – including you! Completely colourless diamonds are usually preferred when creating high-end pieces. The colour of a diamond is rated from D to Z, with D diamonds being completely colourless, while those rating closer to a Z have hues of brown and yellow within them. Naturally, the more discolouration there is within a diamond, the less expensive it becomes.

A jeweller is able to rate the clarity of a diamond by looking at it through a magnifying glass. They look for blemishes and imperfections, both on the surface and within the stone. High-clarity ratings mean a more costly diamond, but once a stone is cut, polished and set in earrings, even those with a lower rating can still make a stunning (and ultimately more affordable) jewellery set.

The cut of the stone will help the earrings to make the impact you want. Earrings are usually fashioned using smaller stones, so jewellers are wise with their choice and number of facet cuts, which they execute to maximise sparkle. The princess cut and the round brilliant cut are popular choices for earrings, as is the teardrop (or pear-shaped) cut.

Finally, the carat of a diamond refers to its weight, rather than its size. Higher carats are more expensive, but they tend to cut better and can therefore make more of an impact.

3. Metal Preferences

If the diamond earrings price is no issue and you’re looking for an investment piece, you may already have your heart set on high-carat gold or platinum earrings. However, it’s worth putting some more thought into your metal choice.

The colour of the metal impacts the appearance of the diamonds within an earring because, as you know, their facets reflect the colours around them. If you want to celebrate the icy look of a diamond, white metals such as platinum and white gold will help to achieve this aesthetic when set with high-clarity stones. Meanwhile, yellow and rose gold pair well with lower colour-rated stones that feature tinges of yellow, as the metals curate a softer, harmonised look.

Allergies should be taken into consideration when choosing your earring metal. Gold alloys contain some of the most common culprits, including nickel and copper. The most hypoallergenic option is platinum.

4. Settings

When you’re wearing diamond jewellery, you want to feel happy that the precious stones are securely set. Settings not only hold onto the diamond tightly, but they also affect the overall appearance of the earring.

Jewellers usually opt for settings that minimise the coverage of the stones when they make diamond earrings. Three or four slim prong settings work nicely for showing off as much of the diamond as possible, but if you’ve chosen earrings that feature very valuable diamonds, you may prefer the added protection of a bezel setting. Here, the diamond is held in place by a raised metal rim which overlaps the stone’s edges and holds it securely in place.

Stunning Styles

Different diamond earring styles are available to complement personal tastes, outfits, hairstyles and occasions. We’ll talk you through five of the key styles to help you find a set that you’ll enjoy wearing time and time again.

1. Studs

An absolute classic in the jewellery world, stud diamond earrings are effortlessly chic and understated. You can choose the shape of the diamond to suit your personality or the outfit you’re wearing, but these are an excellent choice if you want versatility from your earrings. Simple studs are perfect for day-to-night wear, making you feel stylish throughout the day and then working perfectly with elegant or contemporary evening attire.

2. Hoops, Huggie Hoops and J Hoops

The diamond-studded hoop style of earring can be chosen in the size you prefer, from understated 10mm hoops, to 70mm flamboyant statement hoops. Smaller hoops tend to work well for a daytime look, while larger versions can add flair to evening and party wear.

Huggie hoops are so named because they ‘hug’ the earlobe. The band of the hoop tends to be thicker than the classic diamond hoop earrings. Meanwhile, J hoops are not full hoops, hence the reference to a J shape. They also tend to have a thicker band and have been made popular among the younger generations thanks to celebrities and influencers.

3. Drops

Drop earrings are those that fall just below the earlobe. They tend to be stationary and can be considered a stud earring with a decorative extension. Drop earrings come in a range of styles and often feature a larger diamond (such as a teardrop-shaped stone) as the final element.

Drop diamond earring tyles range from demure to ornate, and suit those who want to add subtle sparkle to an outfit. These are great for individuals with shorter hair, or those who are wearing their hair up for an event.

4. Dangles

Dangle earrings are mobile and again, fall below the earlobe. They come in various lengths and styles and work well if you’re wearing your hair down but still want your earrings to be visible.

Their length means they can have several component parts and design elements, so there are plenty of different styles to suit individual tastes.

5. Chandelier

Chandelier earrings are usually larger, statement pieces that are ideal for evening use, though you can buy smaller and simpler styles for daytime wear. This design comes in a variety of lengths, and chandeliers are usually considerably wider than drop and dangle earrings.

There may be numerous dangling elements to a chandelier earring, allowing for movement and setting the light dancing on the diamonds. Styles vary from ornate and vintage to contemporary.

If you think you know which style of diamond earring you want, your next step is finding a retailer who can work within your budget and meet your expectations when it comes to style and quality.

The Right Retailer

The best places to buy diamond earrings are those that can offer you a GIA diamond report to verify the 4 Cs and authenticity of the diamonds used within your earrings. You can use this paperwork to properly insure your jewellery and to prove your ownership.

There’s much to be said about making an important purchase such as this from a jewellery shop, as you can view the earrings in person and have that one-on-one interaction with a jewellery expert. Arguably, this is the best route to take if you’d like to choose your own diamonds and design unique diamond earrings.

However, online retailers can offer the same level of professionalism and diamond accreditation. Look for an established online jeweller with good reviews, who will be able to provide reliable answers to any questions you have. Check an online retailer’s return policy. Make sure you can return your earrings for a full refund if you’re not happy with them.

If you’re making an online purchase, make sure the website has plenty of images of the earrings, or contact the seller and request more shots to allow you to get the best overall impression of the piece.

Buying vintage diamond earrings from an online jeweller? Ask for an in-depth description of the piece, backed up with photographic evidence. Although documentation isn’t always available, you should feel satisfied with the history and provenance of the piece supplied to you by the seller.

More and more jewellers are working with lab-grown diamonds, and you should be aware that these too should hold their own certification.

Protecting Your Investment

When buying diamond earrings, price will vary according to the quality and number of diamonds used, the type of metal, the size of the piece and the intricacy of the manufacture.

Diamond studs can start from the lower three figures, but larger earrings can easily reach six figures. Whatever your budget, natural, mined diamond earrings are an investment that you should seek to protect.

TH March are the experts in specialist jewellery insurance. With over 130 years’ experience, we can protect your earrings against theft, loss or damage. We understand that beautiful jewellery pieces represent more than just a financial investment – they hold great sentimental value, too. As well as thoroughly assessing your jewellery paperwork to ensure comprehensive coverage, we’ll always endeavour to send you back to the original jeweller should you face the loss of an item.

Get in touch with our friendly team today if you’re ready to find the best cover for your diamond jewellery.