Earrings: From Ancient Egypt to a Contemporary Jewellery Classic

June 25, 2015 Allison Bray

Earrings are a staple item found in most women's jewellery boxes, but did you know that humankind has been wearing them for centuries?

The ancient practice of adorning our ears with precious metals and stones is estimated to have begun in ancient Persia, though this is simply because that is where the earliest evidence of earrings have been found - in the form of stone carvings displaying soldiers wearing the jewellery. We also know that Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun was found to have had perforated ear lobes but no earrings, suggesting that children in ancient Egypt wore earrings rather than adults.

In Europe the wearing of earrings became incredibly popular during the English Renaissance, however it was usually men who wore the gold rings or pearl studs, rather than women. During this time it was also common practice for sailors to wear earrings; some say that a gold ring in the ear acted as payment for a Christian burial should they drown at sea, but often it was simply a sign of an experienced sailor who had travelled around the world.

It wasn't until the 1950s that earrings began to grow in popularity with women in the Western world. Many would pierce their ears at home, although some doctors offered ear piercing as a service. By the 70s, jewellery stores began to open up the market by providing ear piercing events and as a result earring designs became even more complex and beautiful with increasing demand.

As punk took hold in the late 70s and early 80s, ear piercing became a more complex form of body modification with multiple piercings in each ear becoming more and more popular. However, the classic single piercing in the ear lobe remains the most popular choice today since it is suitable for a wide range of earring types, from studs to teardrops and hoops to chandelier earrings.

In the Monkey Puzzle store you'll find a wide range of contemporary earring styles which give a modern twist to the traditional earrings worn centuries ago. From delicate flower dangle earrings to bold onyx studs, you can now find the perfect type of earring to suit your style and personality. Contemporary jewellery has come a long way since ancient Persian soliders adorned their ears with simple gold rings, but one thing is for sure; earrings will forever remain an incredibly popular item of jewellery.

Photo credit: Pyramid panorama (license)

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