close up shot of blue tassel earrings with blue beads on top of a blue wooden surface

15 Types of Earring Backs Everyone Should Know About

I personally love earrings. I make sure to have a few pairs, so I could choose which would work best for my outfit and for the occasion. It’s also a lot of fun choosing what earrings I would get next.

There are different types of earring backs, and I found it useful to know which is which. If you’re like me and you love earrings as well, it’s best to know these types of earring backs you can get:


Latch Backs

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These backs include a hinged post that connects to a metal catch and are often used on heavier earrings like hoops and hanging ones. Depending on the style, the form of the catch changes. Latch backs often have loop-shaped or U-shaped catches, so the back of the earrings has a simple design — a small post that fits neatly into a loop of some kind.

Clip Earrings

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These earrings are designed for non-pierced ears. They typically consist of a clip coupled to a hinge that grips the earlobe and secures the earring. Even though their ears are pierced, some individuals wear this form of earring; the most obvious example is the wearing of costume jewelry, which is sometimes fairly enormous and heavy. Because of their weight, extra-heavy pieces may harm or strain your earlobe, but clip-on earrings avoid this.

Jumbo Earring Backs

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These huge circular backs that resemble discs are usually made of some form of plastic, and they flatten the earlobe and help the earring lie more evenly as soon as you put them on. Because of how they make the earrings seem, many people choose to use them instead of other types of backs.

Furthermore, since they are usually made of plastic, they are some of the most comfortable earring backs to wear, and transparent plastic ones have the additional bonus of being undetectable, making them simpler to wear with earrings of many sizes, shapes, and colors. In many cases, they are also available in rubber rather than plastic.

Lever Backs

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These backs, like latch backs, are made up of a hinged post and a metal catch, which may be of many types. Although loop-shaped or U-shaped catches are common on latch backs and saddlebacks, the catches on lever backs are often formed of a lever and spring that clasp together to hold the earring on.

This style of earring back effectively forms a loop with a little hole at the end of the loop, which is where the remainder of the earring (the gem, and much more) is connected, and the loop connects at some point.

French Wires

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They’re also known as fish hooks, and they’re frequently affixed to the end of rather heavy earrings, such as teardrop-shaped earrings, and held in place by the weight of the earrings. The backs are curved wire hooks that go through your ear but don’t need a back since they’re long enough. Furthermore, these wires are normally rather lengthy, since this is the most effective means of ensuring that the earrings stay in place.

La Pousette Backs

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These backs have an indentation in the post, so if the back slides down the post, it will become lodged and not fall off. The back of the chair incorporates a basic spring-loaded, pressure-activated mechanism. When you squeeze both ends of the back at the same time, it opens up and allows you to place it on the post. Simply pinch the ends of the earrings and draw them over the post to remove them.

French Clips

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French clips, also known as Omega backs, are suitable for pierced and non-pierced earrings. They are usually seen in earrings with jewels and feature a clasp that grabs the earlobe securely. A screw secures the rear of several French clips. It consists of a post connected to the top portion of the earring and a clasp with a hole through which the post passes when closed.

Push Backs

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Post or butterfly backs are other names for them. When it comes to simple stud earrings, they are quite common earring backs. They’re butterfly-shaped and constructed of thin wire, with a little hole in the center where the earring goes snugly. If you like, you may purchase simply the push backs, which is popular since these types of earring backs are easy to misplace.

Screw Posts

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Screw posts are comparable to push backs and are often used in more costly studs, such as diamonds since they help secure the earring. A screw post has a winding groove that screws on and off, and it won’t fall off or get loose since it’s firmly screwed on.

It may seem to be a typical pushback at first glance, but instead of pushing it in to shut the earring, you screw it in, making it somewhat more secure than a regular pushback.


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Saddlebacks are similar to latch backs and lever backs in that they include a hinged post and a metal catch that encircle each other, with the metal catch coming in a variety of styles. However, the catch on saddlebacks is commonly U-shaped or loop-shaped. The hoop is normally attached to the top of the earring and fits into a little hole that holds the earring together.

Earring Backs: Materials

Plastic Backs

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Earring backs are often made of soft, translucent plastic that comes in a variety of sizes and styles. They’re soft and pliable, yet strong enough to do the job.

Plastic earring backs may be extremely little, as with fish hook-style backs, or very enormous, as with extra-large earrings. When you prefer a more modest style, the plastic backs are ideal since they hide the back of the earring, allowing the earring to stand out more.

Gold Backs

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Gold is, without a doubt, one of the most valuable metals on the planet today. Gold is both appealing and durable, making it ideal for earring backs. 24K gold is considered “pure” gold, although it is often blended with alloys in jewelry components like earring backs, lowering the carat value to 10K, 14K, 18K, or 22K.

Copper, silver, palladium, and other base metals are always present in lower carats, with copper being the most prevalent base metal used today. 18K yellow gold earring backs have a wonderful warm tint, whereas 14K yellow gold is lighter and brighter than other types of gold.

Gold is particularly popular because it provides long-term security and durability, making it an ideal material for earring backs.

Silver Back

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Silver and sterling silver are often used in earring backs, despite the fact that they are not as robust as other metals. The most common variety of silver is 7.5 percent copper alloyed silver, which is often plated to give it a brilliant, shining finish.

Because of its suppleness and flexibility, sterling silver can be readily shaped and designed into a variety of forms and patterns. Its disadvantages include the ease with which it tarnishes and the fact that it isn’t as robust as titanium, gold, or stainless steel.

When shopping for cheap jewelry of any kind, silver or sterling silver is often used as the primary component, therefore these types of earring backs are constantly available.

Rubber Back

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Rubber earring backs are similar to plastic earring backs in that they can be created in a number of sizes and are transparent, making them almost invisible. The rubber used is a durable sort of rubber that is nevertheless flexible enough to handle the earrings with ease.

In fact, rubber and plastic earring backs are so identical that the wearer frequently has no idea. They’re also a low-cost earring back, which makes them ideal for people looking for stylish yet affordable jewelry.

Stainless Steel Backs

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These hypoallergenic earring backs, often known as surgical steel backs, are incredibly robust earring backs. Stainless steel is made up of a variety of alloys and grades, and one of the most intriguing aspects about it is that it is also employed in the biomedical area for a variety of purposes, owing to its strength. Stainless steel is often used in body piercing jewelry, including earrings.

A Few Interesting Facts

Men Have Also Adored Earrings

smiling man with different piercings on ears

More men than women wore earrings many centuries ago. Native American males used earrings regularly throughout the Americas before the arrival of the white man, not just in particular rituals but also in daily life.

Hoop earrings were formerly quite popular among poets, and most scholars believe William Shakespeare wore them. Although both men and women have worn earrings for most of history, it is safe to assume that males wore them earlier and for a far longer period of time than women.

Earrings Have the Power to Change Your Face’s Appearance

glammed up model looking afar with gold dangling earrings

Earrings may completely transform the appearance of your face. A broad reference to the sorts of earrings you should wear may be found below.

  • Small, round earrings, such as studs, should be used if you have a long face since they enhance the curve of your face and make it appear more lovely.
  • If you have a square-shaped face, hanging earrings will shape it.
  • Huge earrings will work best for you if you have a face with petite features, and if the earrings are too large, you should wear them without a necklace. These earrings offer the face a beautiful contour and balance it out.
  • Long earrings will look best on you if you have a round face and a short neck since they will stretch your face and make it seem longer and beautiful. Earring might be longer if your face is rounder.
  • Try wearing geometric-shaped earrings if you want to draw attention to your face characteristics. Stick to oval or round earrings if your features are already angular. These earrings are ideal for persons with tiny eyes, noses, or lips.
  • Young women, particularly teens, may wear whatever sort of earring they desire, however older and more mature ladies should always go for stone or precious metal earrings.
  • Blond-haired ladies should wear light-colored earrings, but brunettes may wear earrings in strong, vibrant hues. The lighter your hair, the lighter your earrings should be.
  • Wire earrings should be worn with care by older ladies since they might make them seem even older. You may be able to get away with wearing wires if they’re part of the earring, but if that’s all they’re made of, it’s better not to if you’re above a certain age.

They’ve Existed for a Long Time

Earrings are a product that has been around for quite some time. Earrings that are over 2,000 years old have been discovered by archaeologists, indicating that they have been around for a long time. Even back then, certain cults and faiths required the wearing of ear jewelry as part of certain rites, particularly coming-of-age ceremonies.

Even Persian Empire warriors wore earrings as they went into combat, according to certain coming-of-age customs. Earrings have been a part of people’s life for at least 2,000 years, and they are still popular today.

Earrings Have Different Symbolisms

In many cultures, wearing earrings has been used to signify tribal affiliation, sexual orientation, religious views, and even social position. A pierced earlobe on a sailor is one example of this occurrence, which usually indicates that the sailor has achieved something noteworthy, such as crossing the equator or completing a ship-based voyage around the globe.

This makes the sailor famous, but it’s only one example of how a single earring can make a powerful statement about the person wearing it.

Pirates wore earrings for the same reason: they believed they would protect them from danger and evil. They also believed it could help avoid seasickness, and it was often worn as a protective talisman. Furthermore, when a man died on a ship, an earring was often placed on his corpse. This would assist in defraying the costs of moving the corpse to its new location.

DIY Piercings Were the Norm

Pierced ears were fashionable in the late 1950s, but most jewelry shops didn’t start offering piercing procedures until a decade or two later. As a result, many adolescent females attempted to pierce their own ears.

Holding the earlobe between two ice cubes until it became numb, then making a hole in the earlobe with a needle, was a frequent method. Some individuals would insert a potato or other object in the back of the earlobe to help the needle locate a stopping point, but this isn’t the cleanest technique to pierce your ears, even though they would normally soak the earrings and needle in alcohol to “sterilize” them.

Professional ear piercing is usually the best choice, and these days, institutions that provide this service are quite simple to come by.

Sleeper Earrings Were Common

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Women in Europe modified their hairstyles to hide their earlobes in the 1840s and 1850s, and as a result, many women stopped wearing earrings. Women who already had pierced ears didn’t want the holes to shut up as a result of this fad, so they slept with extremely plain, basic earrings to keep the holes open.

Sleepers were a popular design of earrings until ladies began to adopt other hairstyles.

It’s Not Just Your Ears You Can Pierce

More than simply ear piercings are available at today’s piercing salons. Lips, brows, tongue, genital regions, nipples, belly button, and almost any other part of the face may be pierced.

Even if you chose to pierce your ears, there are many locations on the ear that may be pierced. This comprises the earlobe as well as the upper section of the ear, which contains a lot of cartilage, and numerous locations within the ear.

Again, only a real professional should be trusted with piercing since only they will have highly-trained technicians who know exactly what to do to make the operation safe, as well as the instruments, equipment, and materials required to keep everything clean and sterile throughout the treatments.

Earrings Were Not Always This Popular

Throughout history, the popularity of earrings has fluctuated. Earrings were so unfashionable in the 1950s that wearing them was considered impolite. Women wore clip-on earrings if they wore earrings at all during this time period since getting your ears pierced was considered a fashion faux pas.

Earrings were fashionable in the early 1900s, owing to hairstyles that accentuated hair on top of the head, but no one knows what occurred over the following 50 years to modify that. Earrings have been popular or unpopular at various periods throughout history, for various reasons.

They’re Linked to a Variety of Folklore and Superstitions

Earrings have been linked to a variety of superstitions throughout history, including the ones listed here.

  • Gold earrings may heal headaches, while emerald earrings help improve weak eyes, according to popular belief.
  • Ear piercing was formerly considered a form of retaliation for eavesdropping, and the earrings were meant to soothe the agony. The greater the comfort, it was considered, the larger and more costly the earrings.
  • Because bad spirits were considered to be able to penetrate any hole in the body and wreak havoc on a person’s life, the earliest earrings were most likely designed to keep them out.

Most superstitions are half-true, half-false, but learning about them is still a lot of fun.

Earrings Made of Pearls Should be Handled With Care

asian model wearing white puffy mock neck with pearl earrings and pearl accents on hair

Pearls, unlike gemstones and valuable metals, do not survive as long. Because pearls are an organic stone, they begin to deteriorate after around 300 years. This doesn’t have to bother you right now, but if you buy a set of pearl earrings and give them to your daughter or granddaughter, it may be terrible in the future.

Pearl earrings, on the other hand, are unlikely to go out of style anytime soon, so investing in a pair is still a wise decision.

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