Few pieces of jewelry can equal black stud earrings in giving a look of understated elegance to the wearer. Studs are appropriate in any setting, from the most formal to the very casual, and are never considered out of fashion, unlike other styles. They are perennially popular, and by combining studs with black, the ultimate neutral color, they can be worn with any outfit.

Those traveling should always pack a pair of black diamond stud earrings. In fact, no other pair needs to be packed, because they are so very versatile, going from business meetings to operas to elegant soirees with ease. No other piece of jewelry quickly becomes so essential, or such a favorite, no matter the season or occasion.

Black pearl stud earrings may be simple, but they are not boring. The setting, stone material and shape, and size can be chosen to reflect the individual’s unique taste and style. The stone or material used as the focal point of the earring can evoke so many different feelings, from playful to unmistakably chic.

When considering buying studs, consider choosing the following gemstones, crystals, or manmade materials:

Nothing matches Tahitian black pearls or professionally dyed cultured pearls for timeless, classic appeal. Pearls give an instant air of sophistication to the person wearing them. There are pearls to fit every budget, too. Baroque pearls, which are freeform in shape, add old-fashioned appeal, while mabe pearls are classic half-spheres. Inexpensive tiny round pearls add delicacy, and impact far beyond their size.

Obsidian and onyx are two famed types of black stones greatly valued for jewelry. Both are opaque stones that can be polished to a high shine. They are usually formed into half-domes for stud earrings, giving a smooth, reflective surface.

Hematite is also favored for smooth studs, but instead of a deep black, it has a metallic sheen that is highly reflective. It is formed into many geometric shapes and lends itself beautifully to use in stud earrings, especially for those searching for a modern look. Both naturally occurring and lab-made hematite are used in jewelry.

Jet is an opaque semi-precious gem that has been used in jewelry since ancient times. Although it is a delicate stone, this does not affect its use in earrings, which are not subject to the wear and tear of rings and pendants. Jet is most often faceted, which gives it a liveliness and vibrancy, perfect for studs worn to fancy occasions or when a touch of glitz is desired. Jet, being an old-fashioned stone, is especially attractive when placed in an ornate stud setting.

Black tourmaline, often called schorl, is a gemstone prized for its durability and ability to be ornately faceted. It is a beautiful, deep black that is polished to a very high shine. For studs featuring elaborate faceted cuts, such as pillow cuts, emerald cuts, or octagon cuts, tourmaline is an excellent choice.

Of course, black diamonds are the ultimate gemstone when searching for studs that capture every eye. The unmatchable fire of a diamond, coupled with the rarity of the perfectly transparent black hue, means even a very small stone can make an impact when set as a stud.

Glass crystals can rival the fire and flash of a black diamond, for a fraction of the cost. While they can be created to imitate fine gemstones, they are also valued in their own right. Vintage German glass crystals are highly sought by collectors, and many modern jewelry designers work in modern glass crystals, especially those featuring a matte (or frosted) finish, or those with specialty coatings. Some crystals are an opaque black, some are translucent, and some, as mentioned, are matte. All can be permanently coated or half-coated with various reflective finishes, such as “aurora borealis,” which flashes back a myriad of colors in different lights.

For a modern, playful look, vintage black plastic cabochons, set in simple settings, make distinctive, unique black ball stud earrings. Plastic and Lucite© are lightweight materials, and bold studs can be worn with little pulling to the earlobe.

A recent trend is the rediscovery of Japanese “sugar beads” made into studs. These tone-on-tone plastic beads and cabochons feature a sprinkling of tiny round spheres on them (“frit”), like sugar, and often date from the 1950s. Surprisingly, these vintage plastic studs can be more expensive than gemstone earrings, as they are in very limited supply and are considered collector’s items as well as wearable jewelry.

No matter the type of material used, black square stud earrings are a fashion essential. Whether placed in ornate settings, or just featuring a small stone on a post, these studs are the perfect choice for versatile, classic beauty.

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