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A Brief History of Earrings and How They Become Part of American Fashion

Your first memory of earrings may be of your mother putting on hers as she got ready for work, or while she was seeing you off to school.  You may have gotten your first pair of earrings when you were a baby and don’t remember it. Or, maybe you first got your ears pierced in multiple locations out of rebellion as a teenager.

Silver Twig Stud Your history with earrings may have some interesting stories, but the actual history of earrings goes back thousands of years.

 In 1991, the remains of what is believed to be the oldest mummy were found in an ice formation in Austria. The ears of it were pierced. So, ear piercing and earrings were in existence 5000 years ago – the approximate age of the mummified remains.

 In Ancient Greece, earrings were mainly the adornments of prostitutes.  While slaves were predominantly wearing them in ancient Rome. However, wealthy Greek and Roman ladies also wore earrings set with pearls to display their social class ranking.

Silver Starburst EarringsEarrings appeared in and disappeared from fashion during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries as women’s styles changed. For example, women wore bonnets which hid their ears in the 18th century. Later, when women started wearing their hair in up-dos in the 19th century, earrings came back in vogue. However, when Victorian morals swept over England in the later part of the same century, ear piercings were considered vulgar and earrings were mostly absent from lobes for a period.

Earrings didn’t fully emerge in the United States until the 1950s. For the better half of the 20th century, earrings were considered improper, though the clip-on style was more accepted by the masses. Popular culture and TV influenced “good girls” to pierce their ears. An example of this can be seen in the iconic film, Grease, in which the lead character, Sandy, gets her ears pierced by her more adventurous friends.

Fast forward to present day. The widespread popularity of ear piercing has created a large marketplace for earrings. There seems to be a limitless variety of designs. Asymmetric and or, multiple piercings and cartilage piercing gained in popularity, but not outshining traditional lobe piercings.

Starburst Turquoise EarringsNo matter what style of ear piercings you have, you’ll find a unique collection among the designs of Harold Jewelry. There is a pair or maybe two, that’s perfect for you.

 

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