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Pearl Earrings - A Brief Guide

Pearl Earrings - A Brief Guide

Pearl Earrings

Choosing pearl earrings can be confusing, but hopefully we can help to make it easier to find the style that suits you the best.

Broadly speaking, there are two styles of pearl earrings and we have divided these into drop earrings and stud earrings.

Drop Earrings

Pearl Drop Earrings

There is an amazing variety of freshwater pearl drop earrings. The sheer abundance of choice can be overwhelming. Ironically, this makes it harder for some people to choose. Fortunately, pearl drop earrings can be categorized into two sub-categories. The first style is the standard drop earring and the second is the drop stud freshwater pearl earring.

The standard drop is simply any pearl earring finished with a hook. The shape and style of the hook can vary. Some hooks can be wider and some smaller. They can have a small gem or gem-like bead as part of the setting.

Drop Stud Earrings

Freshwater Pearl Drop Stud Earrings

The drop stud pearl earring is quite different. The top part of the earring is secured like a stud earring. However, the pearl drops below the ear, similar to a standard drop earring. With the right setting, this can look quite spectacular.

Multi Pearl Earrings

Multiple Pearl Cluster Earrings

Another choice to be made is how many pearls you would like to have on your drop earrings. Most freshwater pearl drop earrings feature just one pearl. However, there are more design options including bunching the pearls like grapes or setting the pearls together as a pair, the possibilities are endless especially when you start introducing different colour pearls.

In the end, the choice as to which type of freshwater pearl drop earrings to choose is up to the individual. However, we do make the following suggestions:

a. Drop stud earrings aren't suitable for people with the ear pierced high on the lobe. The distance between the stud and the attachment for the pearl can be short. If the top part of the drop stud does not fit properly over the ear, it can be awkward to fit. Sometimes the earring post can be angled to give more flexibility. We recommend about 1cm, but it's important to check there is enough distance.

b. Care should be taken with Standard drop. They can be lost when taking off a jumper or scarf. Sometimes plastic backings can help secure the standard drop earrings. Alternatively, there are some styles that are more secure.

Stud Earrings

Pearl Stud Earrings

While stud earrings are available in different sizes, we have found that medium sized freshwater pearl earrings are the most popular (about 8.0-8.5 mm in size). Of course, larger sizes are a good option for seawater pearls or anyone looking to “make a statement”.

With regards to freshwater pearl stud earrings there are huge variations in quality, workmanship and price. We offer a few tips on what to look for when buying pearl stud earrings:

a. Pearls are the last thing you take off at night and the first thing to put on in the morning. Taking pearls off causes stress on the posts. They must be able to withstand day to day use. This means the post must be firmly attached to the pearl. This is best achieved using strong glue and having a large enough surface on the pearl cup to attach to the pearl.

b. Most stud earrings are secured using butterflies, which attach to the post. The butterflies must be secure. Without a secure fit, butterflies can become loose over time and fall out, especially when changing clothes. Sometimes butterflies can change shape as well, expanding or contracting over time and can naturally loosen. Some people will find tight butterflies too tight, so we suggest customers ask for a plastic backing as well or purchase a pack of our Snug Butterflies. This will give you more choice as to how to secure your earrings.

c. Many people have sensitive ears, which is why sterling silver is a popular choice and should solve sensitivity issues in most cases (this of course does not replace advice from your GP as metal allergies can be complex).

d. There are two common types of freshwater pearl stud earring, round or mabe. People often want to know which is better, however it comes down to personal preference. The mabe pearl is flatter and fits close to the ear. Round pearls look elegant however the pearls protrude more.

e. As mentioned above, we have found that the most popular size for freshwater pearl stud earrings at approximately 8.0-8.5 mm. This ensures the earrings are noticeable but not overwhelming. Again, this is personal preference but 8.0-8.5 mm is a safe size to buy if you are not sure what to get as a present.

f. There are many styles to choose from. The easiest is the standard pearl earring as it makes the pearl the star attraction. This can be either the round or mabe pearl attached to a sterling silver pearl cup on a post.

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