July 28, 2021 7 min read
Knowing earring types comes in handy when shopping for a new pair to suit a special occasion, your favorite outfit, another piece of jewelry, or your face shape. But once you’ve found the perfect pair ofearrings for you, you’d hate to lose one. Earring backs are small but oh-so essential in keeping your earrings from slipping off, never to be seen again. It’d be impossible to frame your face with jewels without them. Earring backs are not versatile for all types of earrings--some are best with small earrings, while others are best for heavy ones. If you need guidance in keeping your favorite earring styles secure, we’ve got your back.
Stud earrings come as eithersingle stones orclusters. Sparkly stones and eye-catching cluster earrings are great for more formal settings. Simple stones can stand on their own or add extra sparkle alongside other jewelry.
Drop earrings have a pearl, gem, or another ornament that hangs a little lower than the earlobe, like a small water droplet. The drop stays close to the earring post and moves only slightly. They’re the perfect choice for a subtle statement.
Hinged hoop earrings form a complete circle and fasten from the back of the earring with some type of hinged back.J hoop earrings form a partial hoop like the letter J. Since the tip of the J does not connect to the back of the earring, they have no hinge. Hoop earrings come in all sizes, but the smallest ones are called huggies.Huggie hoop earrings are simple and versatile, similar to a stud.
Jacket earrings are a stud from the front and a statement from behind. The earring back is the unique focal point of this type, like a cape or jacket on a simple earring. The earring jacket can be swapped out with any stud for a fresh look.
There are as many types of dangle earrings as there are design patterns and ornaments.Chandelier earrings have layers of gems and beading. They’re heavily embellished but not necessarily formal. They can be whimsical or edgy with an eclectic assortment of baubles.Tassel earrings can hang like a single tassel from a stud or multiple tassels from a hoop earring.Threader earrings are one continuous strand that slides through a piercing from one end and hangs from the front and back, creating the illusion of two separate strands. They can be simple and are easy to dress up or down.
Climber earrings fasten like a stud but extend upward, tracing the curve of the ear from the lobe to the helix. These earrings are a more modern trend and give an edgy look. Climber earrings are often worn on one ear rather than two.
Leverback earrings hook through a piercing and fasten by pushing the lever at the base of the earring closed. The lever moves on a hinge and is easy to open and shut, but it stays securely fastened while worn.
Earrings with leverbacks: drop, hoop, or dangle
The friction back is also called the push back or post back. It slides onto the back of an earring post and adheres with friction. It’s the most common style of back and comes with most earring purchases. The butterfly earring back is a type of friction back with two small loops, like butterfly wings, that the earring post slides between. The bullet back is another type shaped like a bullet that the post slides through. You will find bullet backs throughout our collections.
Earrings with friction backs: any type
Screw back earrings are similar to friction backs, but instead of pushing the back onto the earring, you twist it to tighten it onto a threaded post. Screw backs are secure but can be frustrating to fasten last-minute while running out the door.
Earrings with screw backs: any earring with a threaded post
La pousette backs are also similar to friction backs but have two buttons on the side that you push to slide the back on and release to fasten it in place. These backs are rare but one of the best options for valuable or irreplaceable earrings.
Earrings with la pousette backs: any type
Latch back earrings close from behind like leverbacks, but rather than the base of the earring closing upward, the post of the earring snaps into a small hole or latch, just like the latch on a gate. Make sure you feel the post lock into the latch; otherwise, the earring may slip from your ear.
Earrings with latch backs: drop, hoop, or dangle
Omega earring backs fasten from the base of the earring like latch backs but have a back shaped like the Greek letterU. These backs are popular for pierced and clip-on earrings.
Earrings with omega backs: drop, hoop, or dangle
Fish hook earring backs, also called French hooks, curve through a pierced ear lobe. They usually extend long enough behind the lobe not to require an additional back, but one can be used for extra support.
Earrings with fish hook backs: drop or dangle
Since hoop earrings come in such a wide variety of styles, there are many types of backs that work best with them. Latch backs are best for light and thin wire hoops. Omega backs are a sturdy choice for wide and heavier hoops. Both types are great for huggie hoops. J hoops require either a friction, screw, or la pousette back since they don’t connect from one end to the other.
The leverback is the best choice for heavy earrings since it securely locks an earring in place with additional support from behind to keep it from sagging uncomfortably forward. Adding an extra rubber earring back to any type of earring is a good alternative.
Valuable or not, you want your earrings to be secure. And you have many earring back options that will keep you from losing one earring or both. Friction backs are the most common, along with bullet backs. Over time, they can lose their friction and no longer grip the post as tightly. La pousette backs have the most secure and adaptable locking mechanism, but can be a more rare and expensive option. Screw backs are also secure but not compatible with earring posts without threads.
The leverback is comfortable, supportive, and easy to use, but it’s not a back you can add to any type of earring yourself. The good news is we make a wide selection of earrings with leverbacks so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of tiny, individual earring backs. Omega backs are also very secure and found throughout our collections and on our one-of-a-kind earrings.
Learn how to choose the best earring backs.
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