When did earrings begin to be worn? Were they worn for body decoration, or other reasons? Some facts, folklore and irreverent comments about earrings:
- Some authorities reason that earrings were first worn to help ward off evil spirits. It was thought that these spirits could enter the body through the ears. Ear piercing for the wearing of earrings goes back to evidence in carvings of ancient Persia, long before the existence of rock and roll bands or basketball players, of men wearing earrings.
- There are still people that believe as the ancients did that to pierce the ears and improve eyesight, especially if a gold earring is worn in one ear and a silver one in the other. Others say to wear earrings of gold with emeralds in them does the trick. It may be a lot less painful and confusing (and less expensive) in the long run to just get a pair of glasses.
- There was the thought long ago that wearing jewelry of any type was showing the wearer to be influenced by demons. Evidently these same folks did not know about the first bullet point of this list.
- During the days of sailing ships, a sailor would wear an earring to show he had survived a shipwreck, that he had crossed the equator or sailed around the world. Pick the reason you like. Or maybe they wore them just because they liked them. A good enough reason in itself.
- During the Women's Suffrage movement of the early 20th century, the piercing of women's ears was looked up as barbaric. An alternative method of screw-on earrings was invented as a result. In the 1930's an improvement upon the screw-on type was the clip-on earring. These types of earrings were the style until the 1960's when the barbarity of piercing ears came back into vogue.
- There have been times in history where earrings practically disappeared because of hair styles and clothing fads. The middle of the 19th century was one of these times. It was not until Queen Victoria of England, ever the trend-setter, took to wearing earrings that they came back into vogue.
- The most expensive earrings made to date were made by Harry Winston, 'Jeweler To the Stars' in Beverly Hills, California. In 2006 a pair of Diamond Drop earrings were produced by The House of Winston that had each earring consistent of two pear-shaped diamonds set in a platinum setting. Total weight of the diamonds is 60.1 carats. If you wanted to buy them you had to cough up (gasp) $ 8.5 million.