(Last Updated on : 16-12-2013)
Earrings were conceived as the most important type of jewellery since prehistoric times. The types of earrings vary depending upon the requirements of a wearer. The main class of earrings is available in two basic types- the pierced and clip-on. From these two types a wide variety of shapes and styles of earrings have branched out. There are some commonly used types available nowadays. They are- stud earrings, hoop earrings, dangle earrings or 'jhumka', slave earring, clip-on earrings, ear cuff, magnetic earrings, stick-on earrings.
Both women and men wear stud earrings as an everyday wear. Stud earrings seem to float on the ear or earlobe without a visible (from the front) point of connection. Studs are perpetually constructed at the end of a post. It gets across straight through the ear. After that, the post is secured by a removable frictional method, by pushing the screw back and forth to clutch in the ring to the earlobe. Once in a while, the stud earring is fabricated so that the post is threaded, which allows a screw back to its original position in a secure manner to hold the earring in place. This method has proved useful in preventing the loss of expensive earrings that may contain precious stones or precious metals.
Hoop earrings are very commonly known as 'baali' or 'baliyan' (in Hindi) in India. They are designed in circular or semi-circular shapes. The shape of the earrings is very similar to a finger ring. With a thin wire affixation, these kinds of earrings are manufactured from metal tubing. At the front of the ear the hollow tubing is attached to the wire permanently and at the back it slips into the tube. The entire device is held together by latent hostility between the wire and the tube. Hooped earrings consist of five types. Sometimes, the design of a circle is left incomplete, but it penetrates through the ear in a post. This is done by the same attachment technique that is usually applied to rivet earrings. The continuous hoop earring is another variety of the design. This kind of earring is generally constructed of an uninterrupted piece of solid metal, which imbues through the ear and can be rotated at an angle of almost 360°. One of the ends are everlastingly attached to a small piece of metallic tubing or an excavate metallic bead. The other end usually is infixed into the tubing or bead, and is held in place by surface tension.
The 'sleeper earring' is another type of hoop earring. The 'sleeper earring' is a very tiny persistent piece of (typically) gold wire which fundamentally hugs, with the ends connecting in the back, the base of the earlobe. The small size of the earring makes them well stuck in place. Sleepers are sometimes worn at night to keep a ear piercing from closedown. Spring hoop earrings are another type of hoop earrings. These types of rings are considered the most identical with standard hoop earrings. They stay in place by means of spring force. The Kashmiri Brahmin women wear jewels on long strings, that hang from the inner soft cartilage of the ears. These types of hoop earrings are locally called, the 'atteroo'.
Dangle earrings are known as 'jhumka' in Hindi language. They are usually designed so as to sway from the bottom of the earlobes. Jhumkas are available in respective lengths reaching the shoulders, measuring from a centimetre or two. Jhumkas are by and large attached to the ear by the use of thin wires. These thin wires pierce through the earlobe at the back and connect themselves in a small hook. A variation is the French hook design, which merely hangs from the earlobe without closure, although small plastic retainers are sometimes used on ends of French hooks. Long ornate danglers are worn on formal occasions.
The 'slave earrings' are another type of earrings. These kinds of earrings are usually a stud, which is associated by a finespun chain to an ear cuff or a cartilage pierce worn higher on the ear. With this novelty, the earrings look exceedingly flamboyant. Slave earrings are worn by Indian women on traditional occasions such as weddings etc. In case of heavy danglers, the slave earrings also help to equalise weight.
The existence of clip-on earrings dates back to longer years than any other form of non-pierced earrings. Clip-on earrings are designed with a tension clip by pinching the earlobe that is attached to the body parts. An ear cuff is also a type of earring, which is a 'crooked band of metal that is pressed onto the helix of the ear'. It stays put by the clutch on the ear. The look of a (pierced) stud earring is stimulated by magnetic earrings usually by means of attaching the earlobe with a magnetic back. This magnetic back holds the earring in place by magnetic force.