How Much Do Diamond Earrings Cost?
The most expensive pair of earrings in the world are a set of blue and pink earrings, which sold at auction for $57.4 million dollars. The earrings were named Apollo and Artemis. That’s right, somebody named their earrings.
Nine out of the ten most expensive earrings in the world are diamond earrings (the outlier is a pair of emerald earrings). That said, the cost of diamond earrings ranges wildly. You can buy a pair of real diamond studs for under $140, and even less if you buy a single diamond stud earring.
So how much are real diamond earrings on average? How much does a good pair of diamond earrings cost? To help you figure out diamond earrings price per carat and other factors, we’ve put together a guide.
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Diamond Earring Cost Factors
In Medieval Europe, women covered up their ears with strange bonnets and men didn’t pierce their ears—if they did, they’d probably get some brutal infection. Today, the opposite is true; more people are interested in wearing earrings than ever.
If you’re working from home, earrings are the perfect accessory to elevate your outfit, even if you’re on a video call and are only visible from the neck up. It’s a great time to buy earrings, but if it’s your first time buying diamond earrings, or you haven’t shopped for them in a while, it can be tricky figuring out a good price.
There are many different factors that go into the cost of diamond earrings. Brand, popularity, and demand have a lot to do with it, but the main factors are the following.
For centuries, jewelry-makers and experts have considered precious metals as the best metal for diamond earrings. There are some diamond earrings set in alternative metals, such as stainless steel, but for the most part, diamond earrings are set in gold, platinum, or sterling silver.
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Sterling silver diamond earrings are the cheapest metal option. Sterling silver is a precious metal, so it retains its value and is easy to repair and resize. Pure silver is too soft for jewelry, so sterling silver was invented in the Middle Ages.
Sterling silver contains an alloy with a small percentage of mixed metals. Real sterling silver will be marked with 925, or .925, designating that it is real sterling (92.5% pure silver).
Silver-plated and silver-filled earrings are much cheaper, but they’re of poorer quality, and you won’t typically find high-end diamond earrings made of silver plating. Even stainless steel is better than silver plate.
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Gold diamond earrings are a great metal choice; they’re the second cheapest option for precious metals. The higher the karat weight, the purer the gold, and the more expensive it is. You can determine gold price per weight and karat number using a gold price calculator online. You’ll want to use this rather than charts on websites because the prices of gold fluctuate regularly, and not all charts are up-to-date.
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Platinum diamond earrings are considered the most expensive metal for earrings, followed by gold, then silver. However, the price of gold and platinum fluctuate.
You can always check gold vs platinum prices on sites that provide a comparison chart which they update regularly if you want to compare 24K gold with platinum. Let’s compare the cost of diamond stud earrings for each metal.
- Platinum .25ct Diamond Stud Earrings: on sale for $420
- 18K Gold .25ct Stud Earrings: on sale for $240
- Sterling Silver .25ct Diamond Stud Earrings: on sale for $138.
All three options have the same total carat weight. The gold and platinum earrings both feature the same size princess cut diamonds (this is important for comparison because the cut and shape of a diamond can affect its price).
The platinum earrings are the most expensive. You might be wondering if gold is currently more expensive than platinum, why does platinum jewelry cost more?
The answer is that the price of gold per ounce is determined by 24K gold, or pure gold. Even 18K gold is cheaper than platinum, which is of higher purity. That said, 24K gold doesn’t make the best gold for earrings, since it’s too soft. 18K gold is much more popular, and it will cost less than platinum.
Diamond Carat Weight
Another factor that influences the cost of diamond earrings is the carat weight of the diamonds. There are two measurements of carat diamond weight: the total carat weight and the individual carat weight of the individual diamonds.
- Typically, the higher the carat weight of an individual diamond, the bigger its size on the earrings (although different diamond cuts and shapes can affect its diameter measurements).
- Total carat weight refers to the sum of each of the diamonds’ carat weights. This gives you an idea of the total diamond carats for a diamond earring that has multiple diamonds, or the total carat weight of two solitaire diamond studs.
A one-carat diamond weighs 200 mg. This is the individual carat weight. Three one-carat diamonds would have a total carat weight of 3 carats or 600mg. Like gold, the price of diamonds varies, and its grade (color, cut, clarity, carat) can affect its price significantly. Here is a current chart with estimates for diamond prices per carat.
|Diamond Carat Weight||Price Per Carat||Total Price||Average Price of a Good Diamond for the Carat|
|0.5 Carat||$1,100–$7,690||$550 - $3,845||$1,000|
|0.75 Carat||$1,810–$8,800||$1,360 - $6,600||$2,400|
|1 Carat||$1,910–$15,650||$1,910 - $15,650||$4,280|
|1.5 Carat||$2,985–$22,330||$4,480 - $33,500||$9,360|
|2 Carat||$4,025–$42,180||$8,050 - $84,360||$15,280|
|3 Carat||$6,190 –$50,070||$18,580 - $150,220||$40,830|
|4 Carat||$7,575 –$68,130||$30,300 - $272,520||$70,320|
|5 Carat||$8,430–$70,370||$42,150 - $351,850||$105,010|
For example, 14K diamond stud earrings with .25 total carats cost $249. The same pair of diamond studs with .33 total carats costs $280. A cluster diamond stud earring with .35 carats costs $202.Both the total carat weight and the carat weight and grade of individual diamonds will affect the price of a diamond earring.
Despite having a higher total carat weight, it costs less, because as diamonds go up in carat, they cost more. Cluster diamond studs have many smaller diamonds, making them more affordable.
Diamond Clarity Grade
Clarity is another grade that factors into the price of a set of diamond earrings. Absolutely clear diamonds are extremely rare and therefore are most expensive. However, there are many clarity grades that provide a cheaper 9-carat diamond with inclusions that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
Here’s the scale for measuring the clarity of 9-carat diamonds:
- FL – Flawless No internal or external flaws; incredibly rare and valuable in natural diamonds.
- IF – Internally Flawless No internal flaws, but some surface flaws; still very rare and valuable.
- VVS1, VVS2 – Extremely slight inclusions Slight internal flaws; difficult to see even with 10x magnification.
- VS1, VS2 – Very slight inclusions Slight internal flaws that are just barely visible with 10x magnification. Flaws are not typically visible to the naked eye.
- SI1, SI2 – Slight inclusions Slight internal flaws that are visible with 10x magnification; they may be visible to the naked eye.
- I1, I2, I3 – Inclusions You can see these inclusions with the naked eye. These Inclusions may affect the diamond’s brilliance and clarity. They’re not worth as much.
Here’s a price comparison of two similar earrings, each with 2.0 total carats, but with different diamond clarity grades:
- VS: $10,800
- SI: $8,300
The higher up you the grade in color and clarity, the bigger the difference in price for the diamond. It’s good to figure out which grades are the most important to you to get the perfect diamond earring for your budget.
Diamond Color Grade
Along with the clarity and cut, color is an important grade for a diamond earring. Diamonds are graded on a color scale from D to Z, which indicates how much of a tint is noticeable in the diamond.
D is the highest color grade, indicating a completely clear diamond without any yellow or brown tint. A diamond with a color grade of Z has a noticeable yellow or brown tint to it. Here are the color grades of a diamond in more detail:
- D, E, and F – colorless diamonds (all appear colorless to the untrained eye)
- G, H, I, and J – near-colorless (most common diamond choices; they still appear colorless to the eye)
- K, L, M – faint (these diamonds have a slightly visible tint)
- N, O P, Q, R – very light (a more noticeable tint)
- S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z – light (brown or yellow tint is very noticeable)
Even more valuable than D color diamonds are rare fancy colored diamonds: with reds, blues, and green being typically worth the most. Fancy colored diamonds are graded on a different color scale than white diamonds.
Popularity and rarity play a role in the price of fancy colored diamonds. For example, a black diamond is a very rare color, but its demand is lower than white, so black diamond earrings are cheaper per carat.
- 14K gold 0.5-carat white diamond stud earrings cost: $595.
- 14K gold 0.5-carat black diamond stud earrings cost: $195
If you like black diamond earrings, you’re in luck, because they’re very rare, but more affordable.
In addition to shape, there are different cut grades for diamonds. The GIA cut grading scale applies to the most popular diamond cut—the standard round brilliant (the round brilliant and princess cut are the most popular shapes for diamond stud earrings).
There are five cut grades: Excellent (EX), Very Good (VG), Good (G), Fair (F), and Poor (P).
- Excellent Cut: The diamond is very bright. It’s cut in an even pattern with good contrast between light and dark spaces, making its reflections appear crisp and balanced. This means that the person who cut it used the best part of the rough diamond.
- Good Cut: The diamond isn’t as bright. Its reflections aren’t as crisp and there are more dark/dull areas in the dia
- Poor Cut: The diamond shows prominent dark areas or dullness throughout. Most people would prefer EX cuts or G cuts to this cut.
Typically, diamonds with excellent cuts have more value. Sometimes, it’s hard to achieve an excellent cut with certain shapes, so a Very Good or Good cut is sufficient. GIA provides a picture to show the differences in appearance for a diamond at the three main cuts.
Here are the other terms used to describe diamond cuts:
- Shallow cut: the light is lost out the sides and the diamond loses its captivating brilliance.
- Deep cut: When a diamond is cut deep, the light escapes out the bottom and the diamond appears dark.
- Ideal cut: The ideal cut allows the light to travel freely through the diamond and exit in a rainbow of sparkles.
Not every diamond lab certificate uses the same scale as GIA’s, so it’s useful to know both. We recommend buying diamond earrings with an Excellent or Very Good cut grade. All of the diamond earrings at ItsHot have an ideal cut.
How to Save Money When Buying Diamond Earrings
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It’s important to get the best deal for your diamond earrings. You want to prioritize the factors in diamond and metal that matter most to you. If you care more about clarity than color, for example, you can opt for good clarity and a lower color grade, to save money.
- Carat weight matters more than the individual carat. Diamond prices increase significantly with carat count. You can give the impression of very expensive diamond jewelry while paying less by opting for numerous smaller diamonds that provide a higher carat weight. Clustered diamond earrings are more affordable but just as brilliant as high-carate solitaire diamonds.
- If buying a lower color grade, choose a warmer metal: The setting can affect how colorless a diamond appears.
- For lower color grade diamonds, opt for tinted/darker metals, such as rose gold or yellow gold.
- For high color grade diamonds, you can use white gold or platinum for the setting to make the high-quality color really pop.
- When choosing clarity: Avoid inclusions that you can see with the naked eye. To save money, a diamond with slight inclusions or very slight inclusions is a great choice; it will cost less and no one will be able to see the flaws unless they look at it under 10X magnification.
- When choosing shape: Decide what you value more: the diamond’s brilliance or the appearance of its size. Most people opt for the round brilliant cut or princess cut in diamond stud earrings, but marquise cuts and pear cuts are popular for drop earrings and chandelier earrings.
- Choose prong settings to make diamonds look larger, bezel settings for lower-quality diamonds. Prong settings will make even low-carat diamonds appear bigger than they are. Bezel settings are great for hiding diamond inclusions and flaws, and pave settings can make multiple diamonds appear endless. Other settings are also good, specific settings maximize unique designs in diamond earrings and diamond qualities.
- Consider black diamond earrings for affordability and durability. Black diamond earrings for men are really popular, and they’re growing in popularity for women. Some people think black diamonds are cursed, but if being cheaper is a curse, we’re all for it. As an added benefit, back diamonds are the strongest material on Earth, even stronger than white diamonds.
- Shop online stores that manufacture earrings. Brick-and-mortar stores rarely offer the same discounts on diamonds, so opt for buying online from a store that manufactures their own diamond jewelry. This will cut out the cost of the middleman stores that provide an upcharge on jewelry since they had to buy it from a manufacturer first.
Where to Buy
The best place to buy diamond earrings online is in stores that manufacture diamond earrings, in particular, ItsHot. Our massive online inventory provides search filter tools, so you can sort diamond earrings by price, gold karat, category, men’s, women’s, and unisex jewelry, diamond carat weight, and more.
We offer a variety of inexpensive diamond earrings. We also provide wholesale diamond earrings. To assure customer satisfaction, we offer 30-day money-back guarantee returns, as well as a 1-year warranty. Our online store has diamond earrings for women and diamond earrings for men for sale at great prices and reliable quality.
Founder of ItsHot.com
Denis Stepansky is a founder of ItsHot, a diamond jewelry and watches store based in NYC. He has been in the jewelry business for about 20 years and owns such high-end jewelry brands as Luccello and Luxurman. As a jewelry expert, he has citations on well-known magazines and newspapers like Insider and Daily Mail.
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