Buying Earrings: Consider Your Personal Style

 

Earrings date back to ancient times, where they were used for distinctive ornamentation, made of precious metals and sometimes with coral, stones, or glass. It wasn't until the Renaissance period when people started wearing their hair shorter, that earrings took off as a cultural trend. Today, earrings come in a variety of styles, shapes, and materials and are worn by people all over the world.

 
8-9mm Cultured Pearl Double-Hoop Earrings in 14kt Yellow Gold. #877575 Sterling Silver Medium Byzantine Hoop Earrings. #871722 1.00 ct. t.w. Diamond Stud Earrings in 14kt Yellow Gold. #429642
8-9mm Cultured Pearl Double-Hoop Earrings in 14kt Yellow Gold. #877575
 

Styles

Stud earrings are one of the most popular earring styles, and nearly every woman has at least a few pairs of studs in her jewelry box. Studs usually feature a stationary ornament, such as a solitary stone or singular metal shape, and typical backings include post/clutch, post/clip, or pierced screw. A fabulous jewelry basics essential, they radiate a more refined, sophisticated look. Stud earrings are available in a variety of precious metals, gemstones, and designs. Classic options often include a single diamond or gemstone. But, other options include clusters of tiny stones or small gold or sterling silver shapes such as hearts, knots, or balls.

Hoop earrings are just as the name expresses — a hoop that circles from front to back, around the ear. Our hoop earrings most often close with a snapbar, hinged post, or leverback. Hoop earrings come in all sizes and designs. You can find simple designs made from gleaming precious metal or encrusted with diamonds and gemstones. Small basic hoops are perfect for everyday wear, and larger embellished hoop earrings are great for special occasions and bold style.

Drop earrings fall below the ear and often include a bale. They appear in various styles such as dangle, chandelier, and tassel and can come on post/clutch, post/clip, ear wire, leverback, or hinged post backings. Drop earrings gently sway as you move; they add an elegant touch to any outfit. If you are looking for something a little dressy, drop earrings are a great choice; of course, there are some casual drops, as well.

Huggie earrings are small hoops that gently hug the ear. Many use a post and hook type closure rather than earring backs. Because of their small size, huggies work well for casual, business, or nighttime wear. Huggies earrings are available in various metal types, plain or embellished with gemstones or intricately designed patterns and scrollwork.

Bead earrings can be found in a wide range of styles, from single beaded studs to hoops and drops with multiple beads. Bead options include colored glass, yellow or white gold, sterling silver balls, and beautiful cultured pearls. Bead earrings look great alone or paired with other earring types.

Vintage earrings and estate earrings are pre-loved pieces that are 20 or more years old. These one-of-a-kind earrings make ideal gifts for almost anyone. You can find vintage studs, drops, chandeliers, and more from iconic eras such as Victorian and Art-Deco.

 

Earring Backs

Graphic showing eight different earring back styles.

Earring backs are an essential part of any pair of earrings, as they may be able to give you insight into how a particular pair of earrings will look and feel on your ear without trying them on. Post/clutch backings are perhaps the most popular style of earring backs for pierced ears. A thin post slips through the piercing and is secured into a separate piece: the clutch backing. Clip/post backings are also worn with pierced ears, but unlike the post/clutch, this earring is a self-contained piece where the post slips through the piercing and clips shut with a hinged back securing the post.

A clip backing is also a self-contained design and gently clips shut to the ear without a post. For this reason, these earrings can be worn on pierced and non-pierced ears alike. Snap-bar backings are self-contained, usually seen on hoop earrings, where a thin post slips through the piercing and secures by snapping firmly into place. Hinged posts work similarly to snap-bars; only these earrings are a hinged, self-contained piece, much like clip earrings. Leverbacks are also self-contained pieces and do not have a traditionally straight post. Instead, their "post" is part of the rounded earring itself. Earwires have the look of a hook; they slip through the piercing, and the excess "wire" hangs unnoticeably behind the ear. Earwires are a feature of drop earring designs. A pierced screw (not shown) is a self-contained piece where the backing requires you to gently screw the earring back into place. A non-pierced screw works similarly but does not have a post and instead sits flatly against the ear when secure.

 

Materials

Our earrings are made with quality metals to ensure their beauty and longevity. Precious metals, including platinum, yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold, are used in more luxurious and high-end pieces. Gold karats range from 10kt-18kt.

For a luxurious look at a more affordable price, we also offer earrings in sterling silver and gold over silver (also known as vermeil or gold-plated). This gold comes in yellow, white, or rose tones and ranges from 14kt-24kt.

Some of our earrings may also include sections of stainless steel or rhodium plating, though it is not as common.

 

Ornamentation

Our earrings are decorated with almost any ornamentation imaginable. This includes diamonds and CZ stones, genuine precious and semi-precious gemstones, pearl and shell, crystal and enamel, and even engraving and texturing.

For a bold, fresh look, go for colorful cabochons and multi-gemstone styles. If you're in need of a little sparkle, diamonds, CZ stones, and crystals are the way to go. Looking for something classic? Try pearls or basic texturing.

When buying earrings, consider your wardrobe and other items of fine jewelry you own. The metal and gemstone used and the earring style should complement and highlight your clothes and fashion accessories. If you're going for a refined, understated look, consider diamond stud earrings and matching them with a brilliant diamond tennis bracelet. Women with distinctive styles can also easily create their signature looks by pairing stud, drop or hoop earrings with engagement rings with complementary, or even contrasting, designs, colors, and materials.

For a cohesive personal style, buy earrings with similar finishes as other pieces of jewelry you commonly wear. White gold, sterling silver, and diamond earrings go well with fashion accessories made of the same precious metals and gemstones. Opt for earrings with colored diamonds if you prefer rose gold and yellow gold accessories.

If you decide to go with an all-diamond ensemble, make sure to match the diamond quality in the accessories worn. The carat weight of the diamonds indicates the quality and determines its price. You may mix quarter-, third- and half-carat diamond fine jewelry. However, a 1-carat diamond bracelet or engagement ring should only go with a pair of diamond earrings of an equal or higher carat.

 

Wear Comfortable Earrings that Complement Your Face

If you have sensitive skin or a rare allergic reaction to jewelry (likely caused by Nickel), we suggest hypoallergenic jewelry. These metals include stainless steel, sterling silver, platinum, and 18kt gold and higher. Jewelry allergies can make wearing pieces of fine jewelry uncomfortable after repeated contact with the skin, and these metals should help alleviate dermatitis.

In addition to comfort, make sure to buy earrings that complement the shape of your face. Usually, these are earrings that soften sharp features and make round faces look slimmer. If you have a square and heart-shaped face, opt for long dangle and drop earrings. For a round face, a pair of medium-sized drop or big oval earrings look great. Hoops and big ovals also complement narrow faces.