Fine Vintage Gold Earrings
are the most popular form of jewelry today and many styles are available. While earrings
are relatively smaller in size than other types of jewelry, to some they are the lipstick of jewelry; without them one can feel naked.
Simple earring styles tend to be the most enduring. These types of earrings often defy fashion, and are suitable for the context of everyday life. Fancy earrings, on the other hand, can evoke glamour and a sense of style. Earrings
can be useful as a finishing touch for a simple outfit, to make it look expensive or sophisticated, or simply to add color and fun.
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Sapphire Diamond 18K Gold Vintage Earrings[/caption]
Earring's components may be made of any number of materials, including gold
, platinum, silver, metal, glass, precious stone, wood, bone, and other materials. Designs range from small loops and studs, to large plates and dangling items. The size is ultimately limited by the physical capacity of the earlobe to hold the earring without damage to the ear. One should also take into account that heavy earrings worn over extended periods of time may lead to stretching of the earlobe and the piercing.
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Antique Swiss Enamel Yellow Gold Earrings[/caption]
Brief History of Earrings
first made their debut in the Middle East as early as 3,000 B.C. and were intended to provide strangers with a quick and easy clue to the wearer's religious, political, or tribal identity. Earrings were also an indicator of the individual's social status in the community and were worn as a matter of choice and pride by those who were in power and as a label of inferiority and shame by those who were enslaved.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, the fad of fancy ear lobes that had caught on with society's elite was pushed aside in the excitement of gigantic hats, towering wigs and high collars - a combination that would either completely obscure any ornamentation dangling from one's earlobes or cause it to get tangled in fabric and voluminous locks of hair.
Fashion and Earrings
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Patricia Von Musulin 18K Yellow & Rose Gold Earrings[/caption]
With the transition in necklines and more subdued hairstyles at the seventeenth century Italian courts, earrings were once more back in vogue and part of a well-heeled lady's bragging rights that her husband could keep her in frivolous luxury. A century later, however, earrings went back into hiding with the advent of bonnets that framed the face and hugged both sides of the head with wide sashes. With the arrival of 1900, elegant hair piled on top of the head or brushed back into a sleek chignon not only delighted jewelers once more but also led to the subsequent invention of clip-on earrings that were considered more sanitary.
The rise of both the movie and the modeling industries put the allure of the earring on its biggest platform ever, with women of all ages wanting to emulate the fashion sense of film stars and cover girls who clearly knew how to accessorize. As for men, the option of wearing an earring dates back prior to Biblical times and in later centuries came to be associated with rogues such as pirates and explorers.
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Chandelier Gold Diamond Earrings[/caption]
There are so many earring styles to choose from! Here are the most popular types of earring types and closures:
Earring Type: Hook
This closure has a form of a little hook. The hook can be inserted in the ear without a backing, or it can be fixed by a small loop. The hook lies behind the ear and repeats the contour of the earlobe, thus ensuring a refined and delicate look. A hook with a lock has a small loop at the base of the earring which helps to keep the earring in place. This type of closure is often used in business style and everyday jewelry.
Earring Type: Hoop
Hoop earrings are circular or semi-circular in design and look very similar to a ring. Hoop earrings
generally come in the form of a hoop of metal that can be opened to pass through the ear piercing. They are often constructed of metal tubing, with a thin wire attachment penetrating the ear. The hollow tubing is permanently attached to the wire at the front of the ear, and slips into the tube at the back. The entire device is held together by tension between the wire and the tube. Other hoop designs do not complete the circle, but penetrate through the ear in a post, using the same attachment techniques that apply to stud earrings.
Earring Type: Drop
attach to the earlobe and feature a gemstone or ornament that dangles down from a chain, hoop, or similar object. The length of these ornaments vary from the very short to the extravagantly long. Such earrings are occasionally known as droplet earrings, dangle earrings, or pendant earrings. They also include chandelier earrings, which branch out into elaborate, multi-level pendants.
Earring Type: Stud
The main characteristic of stud earrings
is the appearance of floating on the ear or earlobe without a visible (from the front) point of connection. Studs are invariably constructed on the end of a post, which penetrates straight through the ear or earlobe. This closure firmly fixes the earring in its place. Usually it serves as a platform for one or more stones. There are two styles of stud closures. It can be a push-back where a tiny groove prevents the backing from slipping off. The second style has a grooved end on the earring’s post that screws into a backing and holds the earring in place. Stud earrings are comfortable to wear, they are small, and they elegantly and naturally showcase the beauty of the gemstones.
Earring Type: English Lock
This is the most popular type of earring closures. This closure is best suited for large or heavy earrings. The earring hook is secured to a thin hinged lever which folds out of the back of the earring. When you hear the typical clicking sound, you can be assured that the earring is securely fixed in the ear. Reliability is the main advantage of a lever-back closure.
We hope that this guide has informed you about the world of vintage and antique earrings. For more inspiration, ideas, and possibly your next earrings, visit our ever-growing collection at DFS Antique Jewelry