Clip On Earrings — Origin and Advanatages

Harmony Ball
3 min readDec 12, 2017

The Origin of Clip-On Earrings

Clip On Earrings from

What is the origin of Clip On Earrings?

Earrings for non-pierced ears were virtually unheard of until the early 20th century, when piercing of the ears was considered uncivilized. Affluent Victorian women wanted to wear earrings but considered the idea of putting holes in their earlobes to be a vulgar disgrace and a screw back type of fitting was invented so that ear piercing was no longer necessary. The popular style of clip-on crystal chandelier earrings is now an iconic symbol of Victorian era fashion.

Clip-on earrings, in the form of screw back, enjoyed another popularity surge in the early 1900s; the popular short hairstyles worn by many women of the era allowed ear adornments to become a focal point. Typically Diamante clip earrings became popular in the 1920s for their simple, elegant styling.

Around 1930’s clip-ons, spring clips as we know them today, were invented and both styles were widely used for earrings for the next 40 years until a resurgence of popularity of pierced earrings in the 80's.

Advantages of Clip-On Earrings

Chandelier style clip on earrings from

Ear piercing can present problems for some women in the form of irritation or a dermatitis type of infection, while others just do not want their lobes pierced. Hence clip-ons are a very practical alternative. They can also be a good choice for young girls.

Another advantage is for heavy chandelier style earrings when wearing them frequently it can cause the ear piercing or even earlobe to stretch. For women with pierced ears who wear earrings infrequently there is a risk the hole in the lobe will heal.

Many women who have their ears pierced will still wear clip on earrings occasionally because they are so versatile.

Strong positive clips that do not hurt and are comfortable are the critical component of clip on earrings. They need to be firm enough to hold the weight of the earring without causing discomfort.

Types of Clip-On Earrings

All clip-on earrings rely on some type of clasp or clip that attaches to the earlobe. Here are the most common clip-on earring types.

Traditional Paddle Back Clip — Paddle-shaped with a hinge at the bottom, most suitable for heavier earrings.

Paddle Back Clip On Earrings from

Simple Clip — Smaller curved paddle, works better for lighter or smaller earrings.

Pierced Look Clip — Narrow spring clip for small and thin earrings, simulates the look of typical pierced earrings.

Pierced look clip on earrings from

Mini Clip — Small clip used for children’s earrings or smaller styles.

Simple Screwback Clip — Does not include a hinge, must be screwed and unscrewed to wear and remove, common in vintage earrings.

Hinged Screwback Clip — Includes hinge and screw, offers dual adjusting for comfort and security.

Magnet Back — Opposing magnets are set into the front and back of the earring to hold it onto the earlobe through magnetic force.

Clip on earrings are available in many different styles including Chandelier, Drop, Dangle and Clip On Earrings Hoops.

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