Every woman craves the largest diamond, and when it comes to earrings a pair of 2 carat diamond studs has become the standard for luxury. This article contains 7 valuable tips on how to buy the most beautiful, brilliant diamond earrings for the lowest price.
Tip #1: What should a pair of 2 carat diamond studs cost? If you make a smart buy, you should be able to get a pair of beautiful 2 carat earrings for about $4,200. Of course, you can pay less. A Poor Cut, K Color, I-3 Clarity pair of studs can be had for about $1600. These earrings will have a milky grey-yellow appearance with fractures and some obvious dark crystals. You can also pay more, for example a pair of Ideal Cut, D Color, VVS Clarity earrings will set you back about $48,000. These will be a dazzling pair of earrings that can only be truly appreciated under a 30-power microscope.
Tip #2: Diamonds on the Ear are More Forgiving than a Diamond on the Hand: there is always a balance to be considered between diamond quality and cost. A solitaire diamond ring on the hand is usually viewed from a distance of about 2 feet in full daylight. On the other hand, a pair of 2 carat diamond stud earrings are often partially covered by locks of hair and viewed from 3 or 4 feet away. Minute flaws like white crystals and fine white needles are not likely to detract from the beauty of diamonds worn on the ear. Also, because of the skin and hair tones surrounding diamonds worn on the ear, a single drop in color grade will be most difficult to detect.
Tip #3: Don’t be a Slave of the GIA Grading Scale: first, you should buy diamonds that are certified from a reputable gem lab such as GIA, IGI, EGL or IGL. Second, you should be aware that the GIA Grading Scale rates diamonds based on their rarity, and not necessarily on their beauty and brilliance. In other words, it is possible to pay a higher price for an ugly pair of diamonds if you use the GIA scale alone as a guide for your purchase. The most common mistake is to buy a Poor or Fair Cut grade with a high Color and Clarity grade. For example, a pair of D Color, VVS Clarity diamonds with a Poor Cut Grade will cost you about $26,000. These diamonds will be milky and dull in appearance because the Cut Grade allows very little light to return to the eye of the viewer.
Tip #4: The Cut Quality is what makes a Diamond Beautiful and Brilliant: an Excellent Cut diamond will return about 4 times the white light to the eye of the viewer. Today, most rough crystals are cut for the greatest yield without regard for the proper angles to return a shower of white light to the viewer’s eye. It is estimated that about 90% of the diamonds on the retail market today are graded Poor, and Fair Cuts. In the trade, these diamonds are called Swindled Cuts, and they lack the beautiful white light, fire and scintillation of an Excellent Cut Diamond.
Tip #5: How to Choose a Lower Diamond Clarity Grade without sacrificing Brilliance: the most important fact about diamond Clarity is that every grade including SI and above is considered “eye-clean”. This means that unless your friends have a magnifying glass handy, any grade SI and above contains inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye. When shopping for your 2 carat diamond earrings, consider this: a pair of G-H Color VVSI Clarity diamonds will cost you about $15,000. The same diamonds in SI Clarity will cost you about $7,000. The difference in price is for a finer clarity grade that can not be discerned with the naked eye.
Tip #6: How to Balance Diamond Color against Cost: the difference between Colorless diamonds (D-E-F) and Near Colorless diamonds (G-H-I) is actually very minute. A gemologist grades diamonds for body color loose and in the inverted position against a master set, because it is so difficult to see the difference. When a well cut diamond is set face-up you are viewing mainly the refraction and return of light through the table, which is more the Cut and less the body Color of the stone. This is all the more true when diamonds are worn on the ear, because the ambient skin and hair tones surrounding them also affects the perception of Color. A G-H Color for your diamond earrings is a wise balance of lower cost for a minute difference in quality. An I Color may refract a very slight yellow cast, but most people will not perceive the difference. On the other hand, a J-K Color stone will refract a noticeable yellow cast. However, the Color does not affect the brilliance of the diamond. If you like a warm diamond tone, you can save a considerable amount of money on your 2 carat earring purchase by choosing the lower color qualities on the GIA scale.
Tip #7: Choose the Right Diamond Stud Settings for a Better Fit: a pair of 2 carat studs are heavy enough to droop on a the ear lobe, which of course ruins their elegance. The secret is to choose a setting style that allows the earrings to fit straight and forward. The three most common types of diamond earring settings are a crown setting, a basket setting and a 3-prong martini setting. Don’t buy a crown setting because it places the diamond too far forward and these will droop on your ears. Basket settings are the most common, and they can be set low or high. If you choose a basket setting, look at it from the side and make sure that the bottom tip of the diamond (the culet) rests as close to the ear as possible. Finally, the 3-prong martini style is a superior setting for earrings because the diamond rests closer to the ear lobe. In a martini setting, the center of gravity is as far backward as possible, so your diamonds will rest straight and forward on the ear. Also, if you have very soft ear lobes order a disk back to secure a larger area behind the ear.