This Is Why Diamond Earrings Are Cheaper Than Rings

Diamond earrings are a timeless symbol of beauty and luxury. But why are they usually cheaper than diamond rings?

Diamond earrings are cheaper than rings because the diamonds used in earrings tend to be smaller in size and lower in clarity. Furthermore, unlike diamond rings, earrings are not examined closely and intensely, as they’re seen from a much greater distance.

This article will investigate why diamond earrings are less costly than diamond rings. I’ll also delve into what makes diamond price points vary, the pros and cons of owning each diamond jewelry, some diamond alternatives to consider, and why you should consider buying diamonds online.

The Price Difference Between Diamond Earrings and Rings Explained

Diamonds are a classic option for both earrings and rings, but when it comes to cost, there can be quite a difference between the two. Many factors contribute to the difference in price for both diamond earrings and rings.

The 4-C’s of Diamonds

You may have heard of the 4-C’s of diamonds. They include carat, cut, clarity, and color. Aside from rarity and market demand, these four factors have the most significant impact on a diamond’s value.

  • Carat: Carat is directly proportional to price; a one-carat diamond is much less expensive than a two-carat diamond. Larger diamonds are also rarer. Rings usually require larger diamonds with higher carats due to their design, so they are often more expensive than earrings.
  • Cut: Diamonds used for rings are usually cut into shapes that maximize their sparkle and brilliance, such as round or princess cuts. These are more costly because they waste most of the raw stones. A larger original diamond is needed to produce a round brilliant-cut diamond for a ring. On the other hand, diamonds used in earrings are usually small with simpler cuts.
  • Clarity: The clarity of a diamond ranges from Flawless to Included, with varying grades in between. Few flawless diamonds exist; however, fewer inclusions equate to a higher price. Diamonds used in rings tend to be higher in clarity than diamonds used in earrings because they’re examined more closely.
  • Color: For a diamond to be considered higher quality, it must be nearly transparent with little visible tint or hue. Colorless diamonds are frequently used in rings, which drives up their price.

As you understand what drives diamond prices, you can determine which factors are most important to you. For example, a more expensive cut may be worth sacrificing in favor of a higher carat. And while diamond earrings may not be as expensive as a diamond ring, they are still valuable pieces that should be treated with care.

Comparing the Value of Diamond Earrings and Rings

Purchasing a diamond ring feels like an entirely different experience than buying a pair of diamond earrings. There is so much sentiment associated with purchasing a diamond ring, as this jewelry often symbolizes the love between two people.

A lady may usually be asked to see the diamond on her engagement ring, but it is rare for people to request to see the stone in her earrings. Additionally, people tend to observe diamond earrings from a greater distance, so many stones used in earrings aren’t considered “eye-clean” compared to those used in diamond rings.

Due to the difference in how people assess rings and earrings, diamond quality for earrings can be relaxed compared to the high standard for rings. Additionally, there is less sentimentality attached to diamond earrings, making them less expensive than diamond rings. 

Pros of Owning Diamond Earrings

  • Always in style: Diamond earrings have stood the test of time. Throughout history, they have always been a symbol of prestige. From granddaughter to grandmother, diamond earrings are alluring at any age.
  • No rules: Classic diamond earrings can never go wrong for dressing up a simple look or adding an element of sophistication to a formal gown. They are the “little black dresses” of gemstones. Any ensemble will look great with this timeless piece. 
  • Improves mood: A little sparkle and glam from diamond earrings can instantly boost any woman’s spirits. It doesn’t take much to lift the mood when you wear diamond earrings!
  • Perfect gift: Many women would be thrilled to receive diamond earrings as a gift. There is no substitute for this gift, which symbolizes love and appreciation and will be cherished forever.
  • Excellent investment: Diamond earrings do not usually depreciate. If you buy a diamond today, your return will likely be more remarkable when you sell it.

Cons of Owning Diamond Earrings

  • Pricey: Diamond earrings come with a hefty price tag. It costs approximately $20 to buy a one-carat cubic zirconia and about $1,500 to buy a one-carat diamond. You should also keep in mind that one-carat diamond earrings equal half a carat per ear.
  • Practicality: Spending a month or more of your salary on a piece of jewelry can be impractical for those on a tight budget. It’s especially true for young couples trying to buy a house and start a family.
  • Earring lost: There is always the risk of losing an earring. Unless the earring is insured, this can be an expensive loss, not to mention the emotion tied to the piece.

Pros of Owning a Diamond Ring

  • Tradition: The most traditional and beloved way couples express their commitment to each other is by owning a diamond ring. This jewelry symbolizes stability and security and will be a cherished heirloom for a lifetime.
  • Classic: Diamond rings can never go out of fashion or be deemed trendy. Creating your style is possible, so you can be as creative as you like.
  • Generational: Each generation can inherit a diamond ring. Diamond rings can be a gift a mother can give her daughter, granddaughter, and so on.
  • Versatility: You can select from a wide range of cuts and sizes for diamond rings. There are a variety of shapes to choose from, including rounds, princesses, and emerald cuts. It is just a matter of personal taste.

Cons of Owning a Diamond Ring

  • Expensive: A diamond ring will be costly, even on a smaller scale. If it doesn’t fit your budget, it is best to do without or choose a diamond alternative until you can better afford the ring.
  • Allergic: The metal on the band might cause you or your spouse discomfort if you are allergic to it. This is a huge disappointment, especially if you react to all precious metals.
  • Separation: If you and your spouse separate or divorce, you may not want the ring as a reminder. Although you can sell the diamond, there may be a dispute over who should receive the proceeds. This case will quickly erode the sentimental value of the ring.

Below is a chart showing the price for diamonds by carat weight. There are many factors to consider when pricing a diamond, but this is an easy guide to follow and provides a general guideline.

Diamond Carat WeightPrice Per CaratTotal PriceAverage 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

Knowing that diamond earrings are less expensive than diamond rings, are there ways to reduce the cost of both? The answer is a surprising yes, and I will present some alternatives below.

Alternatives to Traditional Diamonds

If you think that a diamond isn’t for you, there are several alternatives you can choose from. Let’s take a look at them. 

Lab-Created Diamonds

Lab-created diamonds are identical to natural diamonds at an atomic level. However, they’re made in a lab instead of being formed underground and extracted in a mine. Their brilliance and color are on par with any diamond and perfect for everyday wear. They cost 20-50 percent less than diamonds because they do not go through the expensive mining process. They are genuinely lab-created.


Natural moissanite is said to be from space, earning it the nickname of the Space Diamond. This stone differs from a natural diamond because its refractive index is much higher. Moissanite can be more yellowish or grayish than a diamond, and a high-quality moissanite can range from $300 to $1,500.

Cubic Zirconia

Zirconium dioxide is a lab-grown gemstone and a good substitute for diamonds in appearance. Its color can be controlled in the lab, allowing the stone to have a colorless appearance, much like a D-rated diamond. However, cubic zirconia can chip or scratch much more easily than a diamond. 

In comparison to cubic zirconia, which costs about $20, diamonds with excellent cuts, flawless clarity, and D color cost over $11,000. The difference is incredible!

White Topaz

White topaz is a great alternative for diamond earrings or rings. However, this stone is much softer and prone to chipping and scratching, so it may not be the best choice for a ring. White topaz is a colorless gem but almost has a glassy look.

It would only cost $100-$150 to buy a white topaz equivalent to a 1-carat diamond, which is nearly 110 times cheaper.

White Sapphire

White sapphire has a Mohs’ hardness rating of 9, making it much harder than cubic zirconia and white topaz. It’s ideal for an engagement ring that’s worn daily and easily exposed to scratches and damage. However, white sapphire’s brilliance cannot compete with that of a diamond.

In most cases, mined diamonds are 15 times more valuable than white sapphires of similar size. 


This beautiful mineral displays gorgeous color spectrums, including red, green, blue, violet, and anything in between. There’s no such thing as a duplicate opal. Opals cannot match the scintillation and fire of diamonds, and they look nothing like diamonds. They’re also one of the softest gemstones.

You can equate a pair of 14K opal earrings in white gold to 1-carat diamond studs in 14K white gold. It’s not surprising that diamond studs are many times more expensive than those with gems weighing nearly the same amount in terms of total carat weight.

I prefer lab-created diamonds because they are actual diamonds. They look, feel, and behave like diamonds that have gone through the mining process but with a lower price tag. Lab-created gems are not the least expensive alternative, however.

It comes down to a matter of personal preference. A sound decision for you may mean looking for a cost-effective option with plenty of colors, such as an opal. Or maybe your goal is to find a gem that perfectly mimics the look and value of a diamond without the exorbitant price tag. Alternatives to diamonds are best suited to your taste, budget, and lifestyle.

Buying diamond jewelry online is growing in popularity. There are several reasons for this.

Advantages of Buying Diamond Earrings and Rings Online

  • Lower prices: Online retailers have hardly any overhead costs, which allows them to offer lower prices.
  • Take your time: Shopping online lets you shop at your own pace. You will not have the pressure of a salesperson. You may also do your research.
  • Cash refunds: Online retailers typically offer a full cash refund if you are unsatisfied with your purchase.

Final Thoughts

Diamond earrings are less expensive than diamond rings because they do not use the most expensive stones. People examine a diamond ring closely, unlike earrings observed from a distance. Several factors drive a diamond’s price, but the 4-C’s are the most important.

There are advantages and disadvantages that come with buying and owning a diamond ring or earrings. Several alternatives are available if your budget does not allow for the expensive cost of a diamond. One of the easiest ways to save money on a diamond purchase is to buy online.

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