Different Types of Earrings and Earring Backs: A Comprehensive Guide

Enhance any outfit with versatile and timeless earrings. Discover the most popular types of earrings and earring backs, each with unique styles and advantages.

Earrings are a popular type of jewelry that can be worn by both men and women. They come in a variety of styles, including studs, hoops, chandeliers, and dangles. Earrings can be made from a variety of materials, including gold, silver, platinum, gemstones, and pearls.

Earring backs are the part of an earring that secures it in the ear. There are many different types of earring backs available, including butterfly backs, screw backs, and lever backs. Each type of earring back has its own advantages and disadvantages. For now, lets look at the most common types of earrings and common types of earring backings.

Different Types of Earrings

Earrings are a versatile and timeless accessory that can enhance any outfit. There are various types of earrings available, each with its unique style and appeal. Here are some of the most popular types of earrings:

  1. Stud Earrings: These are small earrings that sit snugly on top of the earlobe without dropping downward, looping backward, or climbing upward. They typically feature a simple design and are comfortable to wear with any outfit[1].
  2. Drop Earrings: These earrings hang down below the earlobe and are typically stationary, almost like an extended stud. They add a touch of elegance and are perfect for those who want a simple yet slightly elongated earring[1].
  3. Cluster Earrings: These earrings feature a cluster of gemstones or beads, creating a more intricate and eye-catching design[2].
  4. Dangle Earrings: These earrings hang below the earlobe and move freely, adding a playful and dynamic element to your look[2].
  5. Hoop Earrings: These are circular or semi-circular earrings that loop through the earlobe. They come in various sizes and styles, from small and delicate to large and bold[2].
  6. Huggie Earrings: These are small hoop earrings that “hug” the earlobe, providing a more subtle and understated look[2].
  7. Chandelier Earrings: These earrings feature a cascading design that resembles a chandelier, making them an eye-catching and glamorous choice for special occasions[2].
  8. Threader Earrings: These earrings have a thin chain or wire that threads through the earlobe, creating a unique and modern look[2].

Different Types of Earring Backs

Earring backs are essential for keeping your earrings secure and in place. There are the most common types of earring backs:

  1. Clip-On Earrings: These earrings do not require pierced ears and simply clip onto the earlobe. They are a great option for those who do not have pierced ears or prefer not to wear pierced earrings[3].
  2. French Wire: Also known as shepherd hooks, these earring backs feature a curved wire that hooks through the earlobe and is held in place by gravity. They are commonly used for dangle and drop earrings[3].
  3. Push Backs: Also known as butterfly backs, friction earring backs, or postbacks, these are one of the most popular types of earring backs due to their simplicity and effectiveness. They consist of a small metal piece that slides onto the earring post to secure it in place[3].
  4. Latch Backs: These earring backs, also known as saddlebacks or hinged snapbacks, are best for hoop earrings and huggie earrings. They feature a hinged post that snaps onto a groove on the back of the earring, providing a secure and comfortable fit[4].
  5. Screw Backs: These earring backs have a threaded post that screws onto the earring, providing a more secure fit than push backs. They are often recommended for high-value earrings, such as diamond studs[5].
  6. Lever Backs: These earring backs are commonly found on dangle and drop earrings. They feature a spring-loaded lever that is attached to a wire, providing a secure and easy-to-use closure[6].
  7. French Clips: These earring backs have a hinged clip that securely holds the earring in place. They are often used for heavier or more valuable earrings[7].
  8. Jumbo Earring Backs: These earring backs are larger and provide extra support for heavier earrings or those with larger posts[7].
  9. Plastic Backs: These earring backs are made of plastic and can be a more comfortable and hypoallergenic option for those with metal allergies[3].

Pros And Cons Of Different Earring Backings

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the most common earring back types and a few not so common varieties:

  1. Push Backs (also known as Friction Backs or Butterfly Backs):
    • Pros: Easy to put on and take off, budget-friendly, and widely available.
    • Cons: Less secure than other types, may not be suitable for those with active lifestyles or small children.
  2. Screw Backs:
    • Pros: More secure than push backs, suitable for those with active lifestyles or small children.
    • Cons: Takes longer to put on and take off, may be uncomfortable for some people. Read how to tighten Screw Backs on earrings.
  3. Latch Backs (also known as Lever Backs or Hinge Backs):
    • Pros: Secure, comfortable for most people, and suitable for dangle or drop earrings.
    • Cons: May not be suitable for those with sensitive ears or very active lifestyles.
  4. French Clips:
    • Pros: Secure and suitable for heavier earrings.
    • Cons: May be more difficult to put on and take off.
  5. Saddlebacks:
    • Pros: Secure and comfortable for most people.
    • Cons: May not be suitable for those with sensitive ears.
  6. Plastic Backs:
    • Pros: Lightweight and affordable.
    • Cons: Less secure than other types and may not be suitable for heavier earrings.
  7. Jumbo Earring Backs:
    • Pros: Larger size provides added security and easier manipulation, suitable for larger earrings.
    • Cons: More expensive than regular push backs.
  8. Chrysmela:
    • Pros: Claims to be the most secure earring back, suitable for precious earrings.
    • Cons: Pricier than other options.
  9. Kidney Backs:
    • Pros: Secure and suitable for dangle or drop earrings.
    • Cons: May not be suitable for those with sensitive ears.
  10. French Wires:
    • Pros: Suitable for dangle or drop earrings, easy to put on and take off.
    • Cons: Less secure than other types, may not be suitable for those with active lifestyles.

When choosing the best type of earring back, consider factors such as comfort, security, ease of use, and the type of earring you are wearing. For most people, push backs are a simple and effective option. However, for those with active lifestyles or children, screw backs or other more secure types may be a better choice[3]. Read how to prevent earring backs from slipping off for more information.

[1] https://www.borsheims.com/blog/types-of-earrings/
[2] https://www.faruzo.com/blog/different-types-of-earrings/
[3] https://charmandchain.com/types-of-earrings-backs/
[4] https://www.allurez.com/education-guide/earrings_backing_type_guide.html
[5] https://www.diamondstuds.com/news/never-lose-your-diamond-earrings-what-backing-type-to-select/amp
[6] https://www.withclarity.com/blogs/jewelry/earring-backing-guide
[7] https://www.dmia.net/earring-backs/


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