Earring jewelry is an art that has been refined through millennia and can be found in almost every culture. An essential part of any jewelry collection, earrings can add the finishing touch, or provide the statement piece, to any look.
Favored for their simple aesthetic, studs are designed to conceal the earring using a small push back closing, giving the appearance of a floating detail on the earlobe. However, despite their simplicity, they are one of the most versatile styles. Suitable for virtually any occasion, studs can be understated and complementary, or they can provide an elegant base for gemstones to be admired.
A highlight to any look, hoops are a timeless style that stands out. Constructed from a metal band that attaches to a thin wire, hoops range from simple sleepers to classic, elegant designs that are a statement piece for special occasions. Because of their size, they’re often adorned or inlayed with precious stones or fine metalwork. In particular, the pavé hoop—from the French word for paved—is an opulent style that features rows of small gems inlayed to create a dazzling finish.
Earrings that fall below the earlobe, usually suspended on a chain or wire from the post, are referred to as drop, droplet or dangle earrings. Because they’re usually suspended from fish hook closures or lever backs, almost any type of design can be incorporated in this style, providing more movement than studs and making them an eye-catching accessory.
For those unforgettable moments; no jewelry collection is complete without a pair of chandeliers. Chandeliers are a hanging style, much longer than droplet or dangle earrings. Dazzling and dramatic, these earrings are a statement piece with lots of movement. Because of their size, they’re ideal for showcasing finer details such as the luster of precious metals, in particular white gold and platinum, as well as the brilliance of precious gemstones and pearls.
Clip-ons are the oldest type of earring. These work using a hinged mechanism that secures the earring to the earlobe. This style was very popular before ear piercing became commonplace in the ‘70s. Clip-ons are an easy way to enjoy the benefits of earrings—but they’re not only for people who haven’t had their ears pierced. Because of the way they attach to the ear, clip-ons can hold larger designs that sit higher for a more pronounced, glamourous look, making them an ideal choice for special occasions where making an impact is important.
Huggies are a type of studded earring for women with a hinge closure on the back, and are named for the way they hug the earlobe. Available in many styles from hoops to shapes, huggies are popular for their comfortable and practical design.
Sleek and glamourous, threads are a modern take on the earring and are an increasingly popular style. Ear threads slide through the piercing and are left to hang freely with no closure. Because they’re a slim, light style, threads are usually crafted in metal, though many feature small details such as gemstones or charms. Available in varying lengths, ear threads can be understated and simple, or they can add a touch of cool elegance to an outfit.
When looking to buy earrings online, it’s important to know the different types of closures and backings available, as this will change depending on the type of earring, occasion, or the lifestyle of the wearer.
This type of closure is found on the back of all stud earrings. It is comprised of a small post, sometimes referred to as a butterfly, which is pushed over the wire to secure the earring in place. Push backs are simple to use, comfortable, and they mean the actual earring is hidden from view. However, depending on the style, they can slip off. To prevent this, some push backs, especially those found on designer earrings, lock into place for an added layer of security.
The fish hook backing is named for its long, thin, curved shape that resembles a fish hook. Because of this they usually don’t require a backing to keep the earring in place. Fish hooks are the perfect choice for earrings that have some weight to them and this will secure them in place.
Screw backs are very similar to the post or pushback. The essential difference is that the backing or closure can be screwed on. This is typically found in high-end designer earrings as it helps prevent the loss of valuable gemstones and precious metals while still providing the subtle aesthetic that makes studs an enduring style.
The lever back features a small hook that is placed through the earlobe which is then secured at the back using a hinged lever. This style was designed especially to stop the earring falling off, while still allowing for maximum movement. Because of this, lever backs are a popular base for showcasing the brilliance of gemstones and diamonds.
Named so because it resembles the Greek letter Omega: Ω, this style is an adaptation of the classic clip-on style. Instead of clipping onto the earlobe, the hinge connects to the wire that passes through the ear on this type of earrings for women. Like the lever back, this style is one of the safest and easiest to wear.