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The History of Earrings

Earrings are one of today’s most popular types of jewelry. But did you know they’ve actually been around since ancient times? The earliest earrings that we have archeological evidence of are the crescent-shaped gold hoops worn by Sumerian women around 2500 B.C.E. By 1000 B.C.E., tapered hoop earrings made of precious metals like gold, silver, or bronze were being worn throughout the Aegean region and Western Asia. In parts of Crete and Cyprus, earrings were embellished with beads and stamped with patterns – just like we still do today! Earrings have gone through many style periods over the years. While embellished earrings were used to complement the grandiose fashion of the 18th century, simpler styles were more popular during the 19th century, a time when neoclassical fashion was experiencing a resurgence. For much of the 20th century, earrings continued to complement the dominant fashion trend(s) of the decade. However, since the 1990s, there hasn’t been a strong earring trend, allowing wearers to pick and choose from a variety of available styles. While earrings were often used to denote wealth in the ancient world, today earrings are less of a status symbol and more of a way to express the wearer’s unique personality and mood.

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