You’re trying to choose diamond studs, but you are not sure what type of setting to select for them? Let’s see what kinds of diamond stud settings are available, as well as which you should choose and when.
Types of Settings for Diamond Studs
Diamond stud settings can be classified depending on how the stones in them are held and how the setting is shaped or styled.
Diamond Stud Settings According to How the Stones Are Held
The most common earring settings you are likely to see are made with either prongs or bezels:
Prong settings hold the diamond with 3 prongs or more (3 and 4 prongs are popular for diamond earrings).
This type of setting provides great visibility for the stone, but the fewer prongs there are, the less safe the mounting is, as the diamond is more exposed to damage and can also fall out more easily.
Bezel settings hold diamonds with a band of metal that surrounds the stone, fully or partially.
This setting is safer than the prong setting, but some people find that bezels hide a greater portion of the diamond compared to prongs.
Diamond Stud Settings According to Style
In terms of shape, there are three most common types of earring settings, also referred to as styles:
Martini-style settings are shaped like a cone, and their V-shape resembles a martini glass when looked at from the side.
The diamond in this setting is set close to the ear, and as a result, the earring is less likely to droop.
Some people don’t like the conical shape of this setting, as they feel that it digs into their ear holes and stretches them.
Basket-style settings have a flat bottom, and the stones in many of them are set farther from the ear compared with martini-style settings.
This type of setting is a good choice if you are concerned that martini-style studs could dig into your ears.
Crown-style settings are also made with a flat bottom, but their construction is more solid, as they are made with more metal compared with basket-style and martini-style settings.
This, however, results in less visibility for the diamond. Stones in crown-style settings also sit farther from the ear, making the stud more likely to droop when put on.
Many online retailers offer the option to design your own diamond earrings – for example, check out the earring customization options here.
Metal Choices for Diamond Stud Settings
Diamond studs are usually made with white gold, yellow gold, or platinum. Let’s see what purposes each of these metals is most suitable for:
Yellow gold is relatively soft, and the higher its karat, the more easily the gold is to scratch and bend.
This metal is good for earrings that you will not wear every day. It is also a good choice for diamonds of lower color grades, as the yellow gold tends to mask the yellowish tints in such stones.
White gold is relatively more durable than yellow gold because white gold is covered with rhodium, which provides additional hardness and protection.
This material is good for earrings that you will wear more often and for diamonds that are colorless or nearly colorless, without visible tints.
Platinum is more durable than both yellow gold and white gold, and is one of the best choices for studs that you will wear every day due to its durability.
It is, however, more expensive than gold. Just like white gold, platinum is not suitable for diamonds with visible yellowish hues, as its white color will make them stand out.
The Best Diamond Stud Settings
Now that you know what types of earring settings there are, let’s see which of them are best for different purposes:
Best setting for stone visibility and positioning: The martini-style earring setting is the best choice if you are looking for studs that will sit well on your ears, without drooping, especially if the stones are bigger.
It is also the setting that provides the most visibility for the diamond, and if you choose a model with prongs, they will leave more of the stone visible compared to bezels.
Best earring setting if you are looking for the lowest price: Regardless of style, a low-karat yellow gold setting made with prongs is the most affordable choice for diamond studs. (There are cheaper metals, but they are used less often in diamond jewelry.)
Yellow gold also allows you to pick cheaper stones, of a lower color grade, because the yellowish tints in them will not be as noticeable in the yellow metal.
Best diamond stud setting for durability: A platinum setting is one of the best choices if you are looking for durability, whether you are buying a martini, basket, or crown setting.
This metal can be scratched, but it wears down much more slowly compared with gold.
Best diamond earring setting for safety: If you are looking for a setting that will best protect your diamonds from accidental hits and will make them less likely to fall out of the mounting, go for a bezel setting. If safety is your priority, this is a better choice than a prong setting.
There are martini-style, basket-style, and crown-style settings that are made with bezels.
Where to Buy Diamond Earrings?
For diamond earrings and studs, we highly recommend James Allen (read our review) because it shows real photos and videos for each diamond so you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before having it set in the earrings of your choice.
For colored diamonds, we recommend Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy color diamonds (use code JewelryNotes200 at checkout to get a 5% discount).
Also read our Diamond Buying Guide and check out our selection of eye-clean diamonds that we've vetted for quality.