How to Choose Diamond Pairs for Diamond Earrings | Rare Carat

Never Fully Dressed Without a Pair of Diamond Earrings

Look, you’ve got the rock on your finger. The date’s been set. Now all that’s needed is a pair of matching diamond earrings, amiriiiight?

So, what are the main rules for choosing loose diamonds for stud earrings? Well let’s start off really simple –

Don’t expect to find identical twins.

As you should darn well know by now if you’ve been reading our hilarious yet informative blogs, no two diamonds are the same. Each one is like a delicate little snowflake (except this ‘snowflake’ can cut glass and bust some stuff to pieces), so trying to find two perfectly matched diamonds is just going to drive you loco. This being said, you still want them to look similar in size and shape.

Choosing your two perfect little partners is also quite different from choosing a single stone for an engagement ring. For one, unless you are in a rather strange situation indeed, nobody is really going to be inspecting your diamond earrings up close.

This is very different from an engagement ring, where peeps tend to grab your hand and bore their eyes into the stone like they are looking for the Eye of Sauron. With earrings on the other hand, it is likely that they will be at least partially covered by your hair.

Are you now thinking to yourself, “YAS! I can go buy any old crap and nobody will notice”?! Of course you’re not, because you are a Rare Carat aficionado who knows that there are always some basic 4C’s rules to follow in order to get the biggest bang for your buck. Shall we go through some of them now?


The rule about color when it comes to buying diamond stud earrings is pretty simple. Go low(ish). Forking out a wad of cash for D color diamond studs makes about as much sense as buying insurance against Kanye West stealing your VMA. Unless you are Taylor Swift, well it’s just a waste of money.

Your earrings will be far enough away from people’s eyes that the diamond color grade will really not be noticeable (even with a diamond engagement ring it’s often difficult to tell the color!), so why pay over and above what’s needed for a stunning pair of diamonds? Our advice is to skip the D-G range and search in the H-K range (*whispers* - or lower) for the best value. These color grades can still give you some absolute stunners, but for significantly less money. Nous approuvons! (that’s ‘we approve’ in French).

So, when it comes to color we give you permission to run to the lower end of the scale…. But on two VERY important conditions:

  1. You buy two diamonds of the SAME color. Why the hell would you buy one J color and one L color? You would not. You should not. N’approuvant pas!!
  2. You avoid buying two diamonds with different levels of fluorescence. Get both with strong, or slight, or medium fluorescence. No mixy-matchy here please.


Clarity is a big deal when buying an engagement ring. You worry that there will be a little inclusion that will ruin your life and give your snotty neighbor Helen something to chatter about behind your back. Not with earrings! That mouthy gossip Helen won’t know a thing about the clarity of your earrings, so just like color grade above, we say go low.  
Forget the IF – VS range and have a look for two stones sitting in the SI range (or lower if you are brave). Just like color above though, stick to the same grades (both SI1, or at least one SI1 and the other SI2 for instance) – don’t buy an SI1 with an I2.

The small little flaws in the SI ranges simply will not be visible once those earrings are sitting pretty in those lobes of yours, so why not save some cash here so you can really go to town on the other two C’s – Carat and Cut? It’s a no-brainer. Just two points to remember here though, before you run to purchase those lower graded stones:

  1. Look at photos of the actual diamonds, just to make sure that there are not any crazy inclusions that are easily visible from the table (the top). You want the stones relatively ‘eye-clean’, and by that I mean that any issues cannot be seen from a few feet away – which is where most people will be envying them from.
  2. Get certified stones. Make sure they come with a GIA certification so that you KNOW an SI1 is in fact an SI1 and not an I3 with some great lighting and a photoshop genius behind the scenes.


Want some great news? Of course you do! If you have followed our advice above and gone a little lower on the diamond color and clarity scale, you will now have far more budget to play around with the good stuff; SIZE. We say go big. Go as big as your budget allows (or your taste can stand). There are very few restrictions here, but we do want you to remember that the bigger the stone, the more the color tints and clarity flaws will be noticeable. It will be your own personal preference and tolerance level that will determine how you want to play this, but if you don’t mind a tiny flaw or two (or a teeny bit of a yellowish tint to your stones), then jump up in size as much as you want!

This all seems easy and fun right?! NOT SO FAST. Just like poor little Cinderella and her magical night at the ball, there are some important limitations when it comes to larger carat weight, and we certainly don’t want to see you stranded on the highway with a pumpkin and a few talking mice, so listen up buttercup.

Buying two diamonds with the exact same carat weight WILL NOT mean that they will look the same size. We cannot stress this enough people! They may weigh the same, but their dimensions could be very different indeed – leaving them looking like you picked them up at the local car boot sale. Not cute. That said, there really shouldn’t be too much of an issue with buying diamonds of slightly different weights, as long as the dimensions match up well. So you could buy one diamond that’s .5ct and the other that’s .53ct, and not one person will notice the difference. Bottom line? Worry about the dimensions matching rather than the weight.


We can enjoy playing around with color and clarity, but when it comes to diamond cut, we really need to make sure you understand how important cut is when it comes buying two matching diamonds for earrings.

A poorly cut diamond is really the only thing that you can easily notice from a pair of stud earrings. If a diamond is badly cut, then you are going to have very little in the way of sparkle and fire. Instead you will risk having the equivalent of two lumps of coal dangling from you ears. Well-cut diamonds will look bigger, brighter and more brilliant than their low cut quality counterparts.

When choosing your two rocks, be sure to get excellent cut stones. This will ensure that the dimensions are optimal, therefore avoiding a diamond that is too shallow (leaving the diamond looking flat and without shine) or too deep (leaving the diamond looking darker, smaller and without brilliance). Both are rubbish outcomes that should be avoided like the plague.

Let’s get down to some nitty gritty here. When it comes to the diameter of the diamonds, we suggest getting as near to identical as you can without driving yourself into an early grave with the stress of it all. You want to end up with two diamonds that look pretty much identical from face up – even if that means that they are slightly different weights. To ensure this, try to match the table size and the depth as closely as you can.

That said, your beautiful head will be sitting in between these two stones, so there won’t be a person on earth who will be able to see a slight difference in the dimensions from afar. The ‘industry’ suggestion for the difference in diameter is no more than one tenth of a millimeter. That means if you found stones that have diameters of 5.03mm and 5.10mm respectively, you are absolutely fine! Following this rule of thumb means that you cannot go too far wrong in your quest for the perfect pair.

A Final Word…

So far we’ve covered the need-to-know stuff when it comes to picking the perfect loose diamonds for earrings; go lower on color and clarity, bigger on size and don’t compromise on cut. Now I want to finish off on a few small notes regarding shapes and settings. First rule of diamond earring shapes is this; K.I.S.S - Keep It Simple, Stupid. Avoid going rogue with heart or pear shaped diamonds; it’s sooooo much harder to find two stones that will look even vaguely similar enough to pass as matching earrings.

You are better off sticking with the round diamond or square shapes like princess/asscher/emerald cuts of the world… basically the shapes that will be easier to match. It ain’t rocket science people. 

As for settings? Well as far we are concerned here at Rare Carat, you can set your beauties however you please! There are plenty of setting options, from martini to crown, and bezel to basket. Go nuts. Get creative. You deserve it.

Dr. Rian Mulcahy
Dr. Rian Mulcahy
Rian is officially a Diamond PhD - just ping us if you’d like to read her fascinating 200-page thesis, titled Facets of Value: An Investigation into the Formation of Worth in the Diamond Market. She has consulted various firms all along the pipeline, from the rough diamond market to the recycled diamond industry. She holds an MA in Globalisation and Development from University College Cork and a PhD in the Sociology of Diamond Valuation from the London School of Economics.