Earrings are the type of accessory that should ideally balance beauty and practicality. When you’re going to be wearing an accessory in your ears, you want it to be held in place securely, whilst also showing off some of the beauty you’d expect from a stunning piece of jewellery. Today, we’re having a look at some of our earrings that strike the balance perfectly, as well as covering the basics with regards to earring backs.
Let’s start with the different types of earring backs.
What Are the Different Types of Earring Backs?
There are several ways that earrings can be fastened, often changing with the fashions and advancements in design capabilities. The most common fastening found in modern earrings is the butterfly fastening. This back is a simple and secure way to keep an earring in place, whilst being relatively unobtrusive on the ear.
Another common earring back is the lever-back style. This is a hinged fastening that has a hole for the post of the earring to go through. This is a very secure style, perfect for dangling earrings. Lever-back earrings were particularly popular during the first half of the 20th century, and have become less common in recent years.
One of the most common earring backs for dangling earrings today is the hook fastening. This is as simple as you’d expect, where a hook hangs the earring through the piercing. It is less secure than some of the previously-mentioned earring backs, but it has a simplicity and grace that makes for very elegant earrings.
One final earring back to discuss is the screw-back. Screw-back earrings were especially common during the 19th and 20th centuries, but have since been made less and less often. They are more complicated to produce, while the butterfly fastening is every bit as secure and much easier to make and use.
What Are the Best Earring Backs?
While there is no ultimate ‘best’ earring back, there are certain backs that are better-suited to different styles of earrings. The butterfly earring back, however, is a very versatile style, being the best choice for a lot of different types of earrings. Both stud and dangling earrings are well-held by butterfly earring backs, hence they are the most common choice for earrings that are manufactured today.
Our Earrings with Big Backs
Let’s get into the good stuff and have a look at some of our own earrings with the big behinds we love so much.
These vintage diamond love heart earrings have a butterfly closing that isn’t in the typical shape seen in many earrings. Their earring back is a rounded scallop shape, having a width that’s large enough to support the weight of the drop. The heart-cut diamonds at the bottom of these earrings have some weight to them, so it’s important to keep the earrings securely held at the lobe.
Something romantic about these earrings that I personally enjoy a lot is the choice to have the earring posts and the butterfly fastening in 18 carat yellow gold. While the rest of the earrings are crafted with platinum, this warm touch of yellow gold in a rarely-seen spot of the earring adds a sense of intimacy that works perfectly for these stunning jewellery pieces.
An Art Deco example can be seen in these 1940s earrings that transition from day to night wear. The lever-back is large and sturdy, making it possible to wear the earrings as studs or as dangling earrings depending on whether or not you attach the bottom half of the earring. Having a big back to this earring is essential to its structural integrity.
Day to night earrings like these were a big fashion moment in the first half of the 20th century, and opened the door to a lot of large earring backs such as these ones. Art Deco jewellery is also a good place to look for large-and-in-charge areas of jewellery. Whilst a lot of the designs were delicate and angular, a lot of the fastenings themselves had to be sturdy to support the sheer weight of the stones involved.
Our last pair of earrings we’re looking at today have another large butterfly closing to the rear of the earring. These amethyst earrings are unique in a lot of ways, from the pear and oval cut amethysts, to the yellow gold chain style feature linking the stud section of the earring to the drop. This delicate connection is supported by the butterfly backs.
The weight of the drop is not insignificant, and so having the large, flat butterfly back attached to the post of the earring helps keep the overall jewellery secure in your lobe. When it comes to wearing earrings with precious gemstones like amethysts, you want the reassurance that your valuable goods will be held in place and not fall out when you’re out on the town or at a formal event.
Earrings with big backs are a popular choice for people who want the beauty of earrings without having the struggle of keeping them solidly in place. We always want to avoid earrings that might possibly fall apart because of their delicacy. Instead, opt for earrings with big backs that are sure to hold secure even after a full day of wearing. Happy shopping!
Bethany Massey – Digital Assistant (Content Creator)
Having graduated university with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing Bethany then joined the AC Silver team as a content creator. Bethany spends her days writing content for the AC Silver blog and other luxury goods/antique blogs.