Types of Earrings and Earring Backs | Everything You Need to Know - HarperCrown

Types of Earrings and Earring Backs

What types of earrings are there? This is a very common question that we don’t really think to ask. Earrings are just earrings, right? I mean, how many different kinds of earrings can there be?

Continue reading and you will see just how many types of earrings there really are.

Even though earrings have been around for thousands of years, they are still a fashion statement and an expression of individuality. Whether you prefer the simple traditional studs, artisan chandeliers, or punk rock industrial piercings there’s a pair of earrings that will fit any occasion.

Our sense of style is always developing due to the impact of runway trends, social media influencers, and new takes on old favorites. With their innovative designs that reinterpret jewelery fundamentals, modern fashionable earrings have a lot to offer.

There are modern styles, ear cuff crawler styles, or simple hoops. For the workplace to the gym, Sunday brunch to a wedding, and everywhere in between, every pair of earrings provides limitless style options. So, which do you choose?

We’ve got you covered with the basics on all the different types of earrings and earring backs.

  • Stud Earrings
  • Crawler Earrings
  • Clip-On Earrings
  • Huggie Earrings
  • Hopop Earrings
  • Drop Earrings
  • Cluster Earrings
  • Threader Earrings
  • Pearl Earrings
  • Barbell Earrings
  • Plug Earrings

Stud Earrings

Stud earrings are a jewelery box staple and one of the most popular styles of earrings. Stud earrings are usually smaller and fit snug on the ear lobe. They have a smaller visual presence compared to other type of earrings.

Diamond and cubic zirconia studs are popular choices. They are comfortable to wear and will fit any outfit. They also vary in price range depending on the choice of expensive diamonds or the much more economical cubic zirconia alternatives.

Stud earrings come in various different stone colors as seen with birthstone or zodiac earrings.

Ball earrings are also a popular stud earring style. As their name suggests, this style of earrings is formed like a ball that rests on the post. Designed to be worn as a stud earring, the spherical shape fits comfortably on the earlobe. A more daring earring fan may choose textured gold or metals with a mirror-like luster instead of the smooth metal ball earrings.

Crawler Earrings


Cuff and climber earrings begin at the base of the earlobe and rise upwards to the top of the ear. These styles of earrings have recently become popular and become a growing trend. Crawler earrings can be styled in many different ways from leaves, flowers, constellations, diamonds, or any other style that makes a strong visual statement. They add a unique and dainty look to any playful outfit.

Cuff Earrings

Don’t have your ears pierced? No worries! Ear cuff earrings are easy to wear since they fit snugly around your ear. It is possible to wear a pair of earrings with no piercings due to the tight fit of ear cuffs. These elegant ear cuffs may be worn as a stand-alone statement item or as part of an assortment of earrings.

Clip-on Earrings

Clip on earrings are another style of earrings that do not require ear piercings. Clip-on earrings are great for the larger styles since prolonged wearing of heavy pierced earrings can lead to damage of the lobe.

Don't assume that clip-on earrings are solely for youngsters. Many adults still use them. It may come as a shock to some, but piercings were considered a sign of rebellion so women opted for clip-on earrings instead.

The contemporary fashionista will always have a plethora of clip-on earring designs in their jewelery box.

Huggie Earrings

It's essential to wear huggie earrings for an understated spin on hoops. These mini hoops are ideal for those that want the look of a hoop earring without the risk of them catching or snagging.

Huggie earrings have a snug fit and you don’t have to worry about them getting in the way. Huggie earrings are smaller than hoops and add a playful look to your outfit.

Hoop Earrings

Earrings with hoops are ideal for those who want the glitz and glamour without the weight and opulence of gemstones. These sleek hoops are available in a wide range of widths and diameters to suit the wearer's preference and metal to match any outfit.

Hoop earrings are shaped like hoops and loop from the front of the earlobe to the back. While most hoop earrings are round, they can come in varying shapes like triangles, squares, and ovals, and range in size. These types of earrings are elegant and fit any indoor or outdoor event.

Drop Earrings

If you're looking for something a little less ornate than chandelier earrings, drop earrings are a great option for daytime use. Drop earrings hang down below the earlobe and are typically stationary, almost like an extended stud earring. 

Earrings with drop pendants are basic in style, but they may be embellished with beautiful motifs like golden baubles and elegant pearls, as well as stunning gemstone clusters.

Teardrop earrings are a popular drop earring style. They have a teardrop pattern. Some of these earrings have a magnificent pear-cut diamond; others include an outline of a teardrop highlighted by pave diamonds, while others are made of smooth metal.

Cluster Earrings

Cluster earrings are a great way to add some sparkle to your outfit without going over the top. To create an eye-catching halo, cluster earrings may use baguettes to surround a round diamond, or marquise diamonds to make a flower.

Cluster earrings sit tightly on top of the earlobe and are comprised of several stones or gems grouped together to create a cluster. These decorative earrings can come in the form of a stud or have a slight drop.

Threader Earrings


Threader earrings are a pared-down version of exquisite drop and dangle earrings with a thin piece of metal that passes through the piercing and dangles on both ends of the earlobe. These types of earrings are a simple and sleek addition to any outfit.

Pearl Earrings

Pearl earrings are reminiscent of traditional Hollywood elegance, and their delicate shimmer will make you feel like a vintage beauty. Pearl earrings may be worn like diamond studs, or they can drop from your ears in a fun and flirty fashion. Whether you like naturally formed pearls or a natural rainbow of hues, there is a pearl earring to match your style and any event.

Barbell Earrings

A long-time favorite of the punk communities, barbell earrings evoke images of rock and roll. Barbell earrings are a straight bar that pierces through the ear, with spherical beads at either end, and they are popular among women and men of all ages.

Some barbell earrings use spherical beads that are plain metal bobbles embellished with gemstones. In the world of punk, circular barbells are a must-have accessory.

In contrast to straight barbells, circular barbells can create a full circle with one spherical bead in the center or a half circle with beads at both ends. These types of earrings are popular as body piercings as well.

Plug Earrings

Plug earrings, sometimes known as gauges or earspools, are not for the faint of heart. Earrings that sit in the pierced portion of your ear may greatly enlarge the area.

Plug earrings come in a wide range of sizes, from only a few millimeters to several inches in length.

Different Types of Earring Backs

Post Backs

Post back earrings are the most common type of earring backing and are used on everything from studs to dangling earrings. There are several different options including push backs, screw backs, and lock backs. They will secure onto the earring post and ensure the earrings don’t come loose.

Hinge Backs

Hinge back earrings feature a hinged post that snaps onto a groove on the back of the earring. Also known as a saddleback or hinged snapback, these backings are commonly used on hoops and huggie earrings. The backs will make a snapping sound to indicate that the hinge is in place.  

Shepherd Hook Backs

Shepherd hooks are a type of ear wire that loops through the piercing and hangs on the backside of the earlobe. Because of their hook-like design, this style can be worn without an additional backing to secure the earring in place.

Wrapping It All Up

As you can see, there are many different types of earrings. Earrings can transform and complete any outfit. For thousands of years, they've been doing precisely that. They are elegant, sparkly, playful, and fierce at times. These different types of earrings are a great way to add that extra piece to your ensemble. If you are looking for wholesale earrings check out our wholesale earring collection.  


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