Considering the Four C’s When Buying Diamond Studs

Diamond studs are the Little Black Dress of your jewelry cache and for good reason. They’re timeless, elegant, and truly complement every occasion (whether it’s an athleisure occasion or a true LBD occasion is up to you)…

With their universal appeal, diamond studs are a no-brainer gift option. Color, Cut, Carat, and Clarity are your guide points for diamond-buying, but when it comes to buying diamond studs, your considerations are going to differ a bit from when you’re buying a diamond for a ring. Think of it this way: there is a lot more going on near your face to distract the eye from the diamond than there is on your hand. So, you have a little more wiggle room in terms of grading.


  • Color: Diamonds pick up the color of their surroundings, whether it’s the setting in which it sits or your hair color. This means that your diamond studs will pick up color regardless of their natural tone. A more expensive colorless grade simply won’t convey in your diamond studs, so it’s best to save your money by choosing a diamond on the lower D-to-Z color scale.

  • Cut: Think about what you want your diamond studs to do. Sparkle? Shine? Draw the light? All of these effects come from a well-cut stone, which will ensure that the proportions and facet symmetry generate the greatest light refraction and scintillation in the stone. Thus, the cut grade for your diamond studs is actually quite important. Aim for a cut grade of Excellent if you can, or Very Good if you need to compromise a little. Don’t go any lower than this.



  • Carat: Deciding on the proper size for your diamond studs is a completely personal preference. You might be surprised by how many clients actually don’t want the largest size possible, opting instead for a more subtle effect. If you’re looking for a starter pair of diamond solitaire studs with no halo or adornment in the setting, my personal suggestion is to aim for a minimum of .50 carat total weight per diamond – anything smaller will probably go unnoticed when you’re wearing them. If you’re looking for an “upgrade” set from your first pair, I would encourage you to look for diamonds at around 1.5ct each in order to see a real difference between the two pairs. And, avoid setting a minimum size for your purchaser. You can usually save a bit by choosing gems that are a few points below the “magic” weights of .75ct, 1ct, etc., and you won’t notice the effect of the sizing difference in the studs. From there, the sky is the limit!



  • Clarity: Clarity is another factor for which you have a bit more wiggle room. Again, the gems are in your ears, not on your finger, meaning that it will be next to impossible to notice much effect from blemishes or inclusions. Diamonds on the lower end of the clarity scale can be a good value, but beware: inclusions can affect the fire and transparency of the stone, so it’s important to examine them in person to see the effect for yourself.

Now that you have the diamonds picked out, picking the settings is the easy part. We’re happy to walk you through your options and considerations (metal allergies are a key factor here), so if you’re in the market for a pair simply set up an appointment and we’ll walk you through them. We look forward to seeing you!


  • The latest from Meaghan
Creative Director & Co-Owner | Alexandria & Company
I came to join Alexandria & Company by way of love: my husband Tim has owned the stop for nearly ten years, and I started by helping him on Saturdays so that we could spend more time together. Eventually, I quit my other life in the legal field to become Alx&Co’s Creative Director and co-owner with Tim. Now, we run our small business together in Old Town and I haven’t looked back.

Alexandria & Company is an Old Town-based workshop and design studio specializing in creating and restoring fine jewelry and silver hollowware. They are the in-the-know jewelers of Alexandria and have been serving clients out of their small workshop for decades. Tucked in their historic building on South Royal Street, the team at Alx&Co. brings a personalized, modern approach to their craft – this is not your average stodgy jeweler or antique shop. Visit them during their walk-in hours or online to view their collection of handmade fine jewelry or to drop off a repair project; or, if you’re feeling creative, make an appointment to talk about that custom design project you’ve been imagining.  |

121-B South Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314


Design Studio Walk-In Hours (all jewelry services): Wednesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Silver Workshop Walk-In Hours (all silver repair and restoration services): Wednesday or Friday 12-6pm, or by appointment

Appointments encouraged for custom design.

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