Círculos de Fuego earrings, Carrera y Carrera © Nataliya Gartseva for www.margoraffaelli.com

In the Orient, earrings have always been in favor, but in Europe one day they were in fashion, another day they were out of it. There are two reasons for this: religion and the ever-changing vogue. For example, in the thirteenth century the Roman Catholic Church banned any changes of the body created after the image and likeness of G-d, including the piercing of ear lobes. Precious hats and high collars commonly used in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance also do not promote the popularization of earrings until the end of the 16th century. They were replaced by pendants, sewn on to the headwear or woven into one’s hairdo, creating a deceptive effect. Since the 17th century earrings once again came into demand, and in the Spanish and English courts they were actively worn not only by women, but also by men.


de Grisogono earrings © Rimma Zarbeeff for www.margoraffaelli.com

The universalism

Traditionally, earrings are the hardest type of jewelry to create. It’s not enough just to draw a design. It is much more important to take into account all the technical aspects and make the piece wearable. The most universal types of earring are studs and hoops. The first are a metal pin, on one side of which there is a decorative element, and on the other side there is a “push back” fastener. The latter looks like an endless or open circle with a diameter from seven millimeters to ten centimeters, usually made of a thin, hollow tube.

Stud earrings are more comfortable to wear, and are therefore more in demand — you practically do not feel them throughout the day. But when choosing a piece, it is important to avoid sharp edges of the decorative elements, and also to ensure that both the face and the push back are at least twice the size of the lobe’s puncture. Hoops are less convenient, but noticeably more attractive than studs. If the classic model seems too faceless, they can be decorated with pendants — from tiny to massive ones with long tassels.


Moussaieff hoop earrings © Rimma Zarbeeff for www.margoraffaelli.com

The balance

For centuries, earrings with pendants have been popular. However, the more baroque the design, the more technological problems arise when manufacturing them. The most important thing is to observe the balance — when a piece is worn it shouldn’t fall, lurk or hang ugly. However, more than 80% of the works do not meet this requirement. When it comes to chandeliers — spreading pendants in the form of luster, whose weight can reach 25 grams, specialists may get headaches. Ideally, the weight of one earring should not exceed 17 grams — under such conditions the woman will be able to wear them during the evening and periodically even during the day. But the numerous design elements and inlay with stones do not contribute to weight reduction, which negatively affects the comfort of wearing.

Another problem is the connecting rings between the parts that have properties that may rub off. This happens both in inexpensive jewelry and in the works of reputable jewelry companies. Therefore, you need to pay attention to the thickness of the link. In general, all elements should move well as large monolithic parts look rough and heavier. Depending on the height and location of the puncture, as well as the shape of external ear, on each lobe the same model of earrings will look absolutely different. This is a big problem for designers and technologists, as well as for sellers of ready-to-wear jewelry. For example, the choice of a fastening for earrings is an eternal dilemma, and it is more correct to create cuffs for a particular client.


Messika cuff-earrings © Rimma Zarbeeff for www.margoraffaelli.com

Precautionary measures

Design is of great importance for comfortable wearing. And it’s not just about aesthetic beauty. It is important that the earring elements do not cling to clothes or scratch the skin — the consequences of such a defect can be very deplorable. A tight fastening, particularly with push backs, worsens blood circulation and promotes numbness of the lobe, which is why it must be regulated. And pay attention to the metal from which the item is made. Platinum and titanium are hypoallergenic, while gold can contain nickel, which can cause an unpleasant skin reaction. In most mature economies, this element is officially banned for addition to gold ligature, but in the pursuit of greater profit, some producers ignore this law.


Kamyen earrings © Nataliya Gartseva for www.margoraffaelli.com

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