Stud Earrings: Your Guide to Options & Settings

Woman wearing lab grown diamond stud earrings

Stud earrings make a wonderful gift for yourself – or for someone else. 

 Stud earrings typically consist of a single diamond mounted on a narrow post that passes through a piercing in the ear or earlobe and held in place by a secure backing on the other side. Studs can be the most striking and classiest of earrings, but they are also versatile enough to appeal to just about anyone. You can wear them with anything from jeans to a little black dress. They can be elegant and glamorous or, if you prefer, downright cool and fun – and they come in a variety of different looks and options which can appeal to just about anyone’s taste. You will see them worn most often as single earrings or in multiples with different-sized diamonds to create a cool, street-chic look. 

 Whether you choose a simple, round brilliant cut diamond stud or a halo setting, which consists of a ring of smaller stones encircling a larger center diamond, chances are your stud earrings will soon become your favorite pieces of jewelry. Pop them on for a flash of brilliance - and wait for the compliments to pour in. 

 So, what do you need to know before making your choice? Well, we have your back. Quite literally.

 The way the diamond is set in precious metal, and the way your diamond studs are attached to a type of backing to secure them in place on your ear - are critical decisions you will need to make. You have a choice of multiple prongs to hold your diamonds in place – typically three, four, six or even more, if you do not mind the setting overpowering the look of the stone. As a rule of thumb, the more prongs you have, the more secure the diamond is, but you lose its appeal and brilliance if you have too many prongs, so you will need to weigh the advantages of security vs. beauty. If you do not choose a secure backing that is comfortable, you will not enjoy wearing your stud earrings and you can also risk losing them altogether. 

 There are several different types of stud backs and settings available. Here are some terms you need to know:

 pushback diamond stud earrings


 Also known as a butterfly, this is a popular backing for stud earrings. It consists of a post that inserts into a butterfly shaped metal piece behind the ear. You push the post so that it fits snugly into the butterfly, holding the earring in place on your ear. This type of backing can work loose, however, so it is not always the most secure choice unless you push it hard against your earlobe. The pushback works well for lab-grown diamonds of less than 1 carat weight.  


screwback diamond stud earrings



 This type of backing uses a post that acts as a screw which moves up towards your ear. You simply screw the post until it fits against the ear in as comfortable a position as possible. The screwback is not always a good choice for someone with very sensitive ears, but it is a very secure type of back and holds your earrings securely in place if you do not mind the pressure on your lobes. Taking the earrings on and off also takes a little more time than other types of backing. 

 Friction back 

 This is a setting with a post that has an indent in it. When the backing presses against the post of the earring, it slips and locks into the indent securing it into place. 

Guardian Back 

 This is a straight, notched post with a locking back. When you squeeze the two sides of the post, the back slides overthe notch holding the earring securely in place. This is a popular setting for lab-grown diamonds over 1 carat weight. 

martini lab created diamond earring


 The martini style earring setting is shaped like a cone, so that the bottom of the setting becomes gradually narrower, giving it the look of a martini glass. This is a comfortable setting because it sits flush against - and almost inside - the ear piecing, and it is a good choice when you are considering larger diamond studs which typically sit higher on the ear and require stronger hardware.


four prong lab created diamond earring



This is perhaps the most popular setting for stud earrings, and it consists of 4 precious metal prongs cradling a center diamond or halo, anchoring it securely in place. The 4-prong is called a basket setting, because it looks as if the diamond is sitting in a basket of prongs. It is a great choice if you are looking for a good balance between security and surface area visibility. The 4-prong gives your diamond stud a balanced and symmetrical look, and it can be used on a variety of different diamond shapes. It is also perfect for everyday wear. 


3 prong lab created diamond earring


3-Prong (Martini)

This setting, in conjunction with a Martini back, gives the lab-created diamond stud more of a triangular look, because it consists of 3 prongs holding the stone in place. The 3-Prong allows more of the circumference of the diamond to be seen, giving the illusion of a higher carat weight. The 3-prong setting is easier to clean than the 4-prong. The 3-prong is also better suited to diamonds under 1.5 carat weight as it is a slightly less secure setting, but on the other hand, it is extremely comfortable on the ear. 


lab diamond bezel earrings in 14k yellow gold



Another way to secure your lab-created diamond onto its backing is to choose a bezel setting. Instead of using small prongs to hold the stone in place, a bezel setting has a strip of precious metal encircling the stone. This is a very secure setting, ensuring that your diamond will not fall out – and, as it does not have prongs, it will not snag in your hair or clothing. Bezel settings do not suit everyone’s taste from an aesthetic standpoint, and they tend to conceal a large portion of the gemstone, making them appear smaller than they really are. They are also more expensive to mount than prong settings.

There you have it. 

Your choices will be governed by three main factors – the comfort, security and looks of your stud earringsand you may decide to sacrifice one or even two of these to get what is most important to you. We recommend, however, that you balance all three to get what will be the best buy for the long term. 

After all, you will want to wear your studs for many years to come. Shop Stefano Navi's stud earring collection