See our Jewelry Size/Weight Comparison Page for help visualizing sizes and weights.
Jewelry Information: Earring Types & Closures, Earring Jackets
(See also our helpful Jewelry Tips and Tricks page)
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Earrings: Here, we help you with the terminology and sizes of the many styles of earrings; some of the more popular styles which you will find in our extensive Earring Collection are listed below: click the underlined text to see an example. See also helpful information to visualize size and weight of earrings.
- Ball: Earrings that are ball-shaped. Sizes and composition vary.
- Bar: Rectangular, stationary earrings that may or may not drop below the earlobes (i.e. do not move like dangle earrings). Length varies.
- Button: Earrings that do not dangle are sometimes referred to as button earrings. Some button earrings are actually shaped like buttons. Earrings vary in size and composition.
- Chandelier: An earring with a dangle that suspends (and looks somewhat) like a chandelier.
- Clip-on: Not for pierced ears, these earrings are attached to the earlobe by means of a hinged clip on the back of the earring.
- Cluster: Cluster earrings are decorative earrings composed of gemstones and/or beads, glass, and metal, grouped together in a cluster.
- Creole or Shrimp: An oval-to-round hoop earring broader at the bottom than at the top, popular since the 1850's
- Dangle or Drop: Earrings that fall below the earlobe
- Ear Pin (also Ear Trim): A curved ear-jewelry piece with a wire clip on its back that can be worn on both pierced and non-pierced ears. For pierced ears, the back wire is inserted through the pierced ear lobe and the piece is rotated up to rest in the helix of the ear, with the wire clip behind the ear holding the pin against the ear. For non-pierced ears, the back wire slides onto the back of the earlobe, holding the pin against the ear, though in this case the pin could easily be lost.
- Earring Jacket: Scroll down past "Earring Closures" for explanation.
- Hinged: Earrings that spread apart at an actual hinge and snap into place with a snap closure--see How to Fix/Adjust a Hinged Earring if you need help. (see also "Hinged Snap Back" under "Earring Closures" below).
- Hoop: Metal tube earrings formed in the shape of a circle--charms may be hung from the hoop. Half-Hoops are C-shaped, half-circle hoop earrings.
- Hooplet or Earring Charm: A small charm-like decoration with a small loop or central hole, allowing it to hang from a hoop earring.
- Huggie: An earring (usually hinged) for a pierced ear in which the setting closely "hugs" the earlobe, hiding the earring post. Note that the wearer's earlobe size will limit how small the diameter of the huggie earring can be in order to enable it to fit around the earlobe.
- J-Hoop: Hoop earring in which the hoop is elongated into a "J" shape rather than a circular shape.
- Post or Stud: Simple earring design for a pierced ear usually consisting of a single stone or metal shape which is held to the earlobe by a single wire post fitting through the piercing and secured with a push-on clip at the back of the earlobe. These are popular as Diamond Stud and Pearl Stud Earrings.
- Threaders: A long, thin metal (gold or other metal) chain "threads" through the pierced earlobe, holding the earring in place. Threader earrings are generally very long dangle earrings, sometimes with several strands, that are held in place by threaders.
Earring Closures: Earrings are attached to the earlobe in various methods. Listed below are some of the more common ones.
- Continuous Hoop: For hoop earrings. The earring post slides into the hoop end, which is hollow, for a seamless appearance.
- French Wire: A curved wire resembling a fish hook passes through the pierced earlobe and holds the earring in place. It is primarily used with dangle earrings.
- Hinged Snap back: Hinged earrings that spread open at the hinge. A curved post on the inside of the earring top snaps into a latch to secure the earring--see How to Fix/Adjust a Hinged Earring if you need help.
- Lever back: This style earring has a hook that goes through the pierced earlobe and is held in place by a hinged lever that is attached to the back of the earring.
- Omega Back: A hinged, "O" shaped lever on the back of the earring, near the bottom, which closes over the post to hold the earring in place.
- Post or Stud, Push-Back Clips: The single wire that juts out the back of an earring is the post or stud. The post goes through the pierced earlobe and is held in place by a separate push-on clip that slides onto the post--these clips are called push-backs, push-back clips, friction-backs or tension-backs.
- Snap Post: A curved or straight post on the back of the earring snaps into a "v" shaped latch to secure the earring to the earlobe.
- Threaders: A long, thin metal (sterling or gold) chain "threads" through the pierced earlobe, holding the earring in place. Threader earrings are generally very long dangle earrings, sometimes with several strands, that are held in place by threaders.
Earring Jackets: An earring jacket is a small piece of diamond ear jewelry with a hole in the center, through which a stud earring's post is inserted, thus "jacketing" the earring. The same earring jacket can be worn with different post earrings, just as a blouse can be worn with different scarves. Likewise, the same post earring can be worn with different earring jackets. See our selection of Diamond Earring Jackets in our Diamond Earring section!
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