History dates back to ancient tribal cultures and customs, where ear piercing was widespread in men and women known to wear earrings as ornaments to reflect beauty and style; while in some cultures, wearing earrings was said to ward off evil.
Women in ancient Egypt first wore hoops (large round earring) that transformed with time to more elaborate, long and bejeweled earring, depicting affluence and prosperity. The Babylonian and Assyria men wore exquisitely carved gold earrings to denote rank. More men than women in Roman history pierced their ears and wore small studs (usually one gem stone like diamond, ruby etc) as a sign of nobility and stature. African tribes made large holes in the ear lobe to denote their status within the tribe and prevent evil from entering their bodies. Native Americans adorned their ears with earrings made from feathers, clay and bones.
Over the centuries, the simple and intrinsic handcrafted earrings have evolved to exquisitely carved and unique works of art. In present times, more women are sporting long dangling, angular, abstract, curved and large chandelier earrings, making a fashion statement at a social occasion or a wedding. This elegant accessory can be plated in gold, silver or electrum (gold mixed with silver) or platinum (more expensive than gold and silver) using precious gems like diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphire and pearls.
From the Mughal era, traditional earrings made with Kundan, Polki and Mena Kari are greatly sought after in the Sub-continent. The South East Asian countries wear ethnic motif’s on enamel. Heavy plated gold with filigree work is popular in the Middle Eastern cultures. Europe has a penchant for crystal and metal and the trend of elements for accessories in the United States vary from oxidized silver, synthetic stones, copper, bronze, pewter and nickel embedded with rhinestones, mother of pearl or glass beads.
Trendy long earrings as accessories are a real ‘eye-catcher’