Diamond Studs

Written by Serena Berger
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What goes better with a new diamond engagement ring than a pair of diamond stud earrings? Maybe you had the brilliant idea that you would give your girlfriend diamond earrings just before proposing to her, so that the pieces would complement each other. The only problem that most men have is that they know very little about how to select jewelry and, if left to their own devices, will likely miss the flaws in fine jewelry.

It's common to refer to the four C's of diamonds. These are cut, color, clarity and carat weight. The cut of the diamond refers not to its shape (i.e. princess, marquise, brilliant, or emerald cut), but rather to how well the diamond is cut into that shape. The better the cut, the nicer the sparkle. Diamonds that are cut too shallow or deep do not reflect light as well. Rings and stud earrings can be purchased in any of these standard cuts. If you've noticed your girlfriend's jewelry, take a cue from the pieces she owns when selecting the cut of the diamond, unless something else completely grabs your eye.

Characteristics of Diamonds

Though colored diamonds are a celebrity trend, most people prefer colorless diamonds. Diamonds are rated on a scale of D through Z, where a D rating indicates that the diamond is absolutely colorless and Z ratings indicate traces of color and hence a lower quality. As you would expect, the higher-rated diamonds command a higher price because they are more rare.

Diamonds may have inclusions--scratches or trace amounts of other minerals--that detract from the appearance of the diamond. Clarity decreases with these inclusions, as does price. If you do not have an eye for jewelry, you should bring a friend along to examine the diamond. Make sure you trust your friend's taste, however. If you really trust your jeweler, you can ask him to point out any flaws in the diamond.

The most obvious measure of a diamond is its carat weight, which reflects the size of the diamond. Whether you are purchasing an engagement ring or diamond studs, some would argue that larger is better. Others might recommend that you stick with something more tasteful and elegant, as at some point a huge diamond may look gaudy--especially if the only way you can afford one so big is by getting one with an inclusion that mars its perfection and sparkle.

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