Jewelry – Earrings, The Most Important Piece of Jewelry – 2009 Emmy Awards

Why are earrings the most important piece of jewelry? By important I mean the piece that will do the most for your appearance. As with all jewelry it should blend with your overall fabulous look. You don’t want people to first comment on your great jewelry and then you. Your overall look is what needs to be attractive, then after the comments of how fabulous you look, they can notice your cool jewelry.

Earrings are what frames your face, if the colour and style are right they will be like two spotlights adding a glow to your face, making it brighter and more alive. On the whole an earring with a decoration on the front of the post covering the pierced hole gets the reflected light starting from the right point. Earrings with a shepherd hook usually start from a lower aspect and if they are a heavy earring it also shows up the drag on the lobe, these are more suited for casual wear. Some, especially older women probably will look a lot younger if they do not wear this type at all. There is nothing attractive about a saggy earlobe.

Looking at the Oscars 2007, on the Red Carpet almost all of the earrings worn were decorated from the front of the post, very few wore shepherd hook earrings. Most earrings at the Oscars were quite elaborate but not overly so. Some like Nicole Kidman only wore tiny studs.

Little has changed in the last two years. Here are some examples from the 2009 Emmy Awards – who from some groups were voted the top ten best dressed.

Olivia Wilde – 1.5 inch drop earring with a gem at the piercing and another at the end of the drop.

Rose Byrne – Flower shaped button style

Kate Walsh – A small wide hoop

Kristin Chenoweth -Stud earrings

Mila Kunis – Stud over piercing with a large drop chandelier

Heidi Klum -Large button over piercing and a very long shoulder duster.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Stud over piercing with a short chandelier drop

Christina Applegate – Stud earrings

Tina Fey – Stud over piercing with a 1 inch drop and round gem at the bottom

January Jones – Small stud with a 1 inch drop and a larger round gem at the end.

From the examples above, none of these well dressed women had exposed pierced holes. One may conclude from this that especially for formal wear, don’t expose the holes in the lobes.

The history of earrings seems to date back to the earliest of times. The examples found in the ancient countries were nearly all a variation of the hoop earring, a style that is still popular today. In Cyprus, from the middle of the 2nd Millennium BC the popular earrings were painted terracotta in the form of stylised nude females. Earlobes were pierced 2 or 3 times and large terracotta hoops suspended from them.

In Ancient Egypt jewels were an important part of the costume, worn by men, women and children. Jewelry was also used to adorn statues. The earrings were in various hoop styles. Earlobe piercing was evident and earlobes were often extremely elongated and deformed by the use of very heavy ear ornaments from early childhood.

From the late 4th Century BC earrings were becoming more elaborate in design. The earrings often had suspended pendants and chains. Filigree, granulation, leaf, rosettes and doves were all used to decorate the boat or lower half of the hoop.

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was a lean time for earrings due to the fashion of high collars and a headdress that often covered the ears. It took centuries up to about the 1530s for the earring to emerge again as hair and headdress styles changed. The new earrings were in the form of plain gold hoops with a pearl drop. It was not until the 17th century that the earrings started to make a real comeback, again they often contained pearls.

By the middle of the 17th century earrings were an essential item and they became more complex and interesting. They used ruby, pearls, emeralds and enamel in floral motifs.

18th and 19th centuries saw some beautiful and elaborate designs, often using semi-precious stones. Also diamonds and pearls and very intricate goldsmith techniques.

Early in the 20th century around 1910 to 1930 Art Deco style was popular. Around this time ear piercing began to be thought of as barbaric, and clamping earrings to the lobe with a screw fitting became popular.

1947 saw the feminine new look by Dior. This set the scene for earring design to come to the fore in a creative new way.

1970s saw earring design become larger and more varied. The ever popular hoops were back in demand, many of these hoops were decorated with precious stones.

Then in the late 1970s ear piercing started to become popular again. This trend has continued up until today when almost every woman, a large number of men and children have their earlobes pierced.

Today the styles are very diverse from studs to shoulder dusters. The very elaborate and expensive to the economical. Fortunately the economical earrings can look nearly as good as some of the more expensive ones. This is due in part to the technology and quality of man- made gemstones that can be very beautiful. For example the cubic zirconia which is made from minerals and resembles the much more expensive diamonds. Cubic zirconia is not quite as hard as a diamond but it can be cut and faceted in the same designs as a diamond can be cut. They can be colored to resemble ruby, emeralds, sapphire or any other stone. The choice is yours, try all styles and see which does the best for you. Enjoy your earrings and look fabulous.