The Different Types of Clip-On Earring Fastener
Clip-on earrings have been around for a little over a century now, and have undergone a few adaptations along the way. The Simple Screw Back Earring Fastener
The first clip-ons, designed for elegant Victorian ladies who considered it a disgrace to poke holes in oneself (see our blog, 'Earrings: A Fashion That's Endured For Millennia'), were a simple screw-back fastening patented around 1894. These earrings have no hinge and are fastened by tightening the screw against the back of the lobe to hold the earring in place – a fully adjustable option for comfort, but a little fiddly for older arthritic hands... best get the maid to do it! If you have a pair like this (from our True Vintage range) they're most likely vintage and you can consider them quite collectible!
Vintage Marquis Crystal Screw Back Earrings from Alyssum Jewellery
The Simple Hinge Clip-On Earring
A more convenient and less fiddly design was the simple hinge clip, arriving on the market in the mid-1930s. This simple clip, as the name suggests, worked like a hinge to open and close the earrings and fasten them to the lobes. Quick and easy to do, these were the ideal closure for small or light-weight earrings. In later years a friction groove was often added to top of the clip to prevent slightly heavier earrings from slipping off. You can see the simple lever hinge in this picture below, and the friction grooves to prevent slippage.
Vintage Simple Hinge Friction Clip On Earrings from Alyssum Jewellery
Paddle Back Clip-On Earrings
The 1950s saw a plethora of clip-on earring designs submitted to the patents office, of which one was the one we see most commonly today: the adjustable paddle clip with the spring bar on the hinge. This design has endured because of its simplicity, ease of use, and cost-effective production. The paddle back consists of a wide fastening with a tension bar running down the centre. The fit of the earring can be adjusted by bending the tension bar inwards or outwards to tighten or loosed the clip. (See our blog "Ouch! My Clip-Ons Are So Pinchy!). Tension keys are available that can help with finding the right comfort and fit of this style of clip-on earring.
1950s Paddle Back Clip-On Earrings from Alyssum Jewellery
Screw-Hinge Clip-On Earrings
Patented in 1962 was an improvement to clip-on earrings that combined the convenience of the hinge clip with the adjustable comfort of the screw-back: the hinged screw-back clip on earring. It's a 'best of both worlds' solution for easy on-the-go adjustment of your clip earrings in a quick open-close fastening. Perfect if your lobes tend to swell throughout the day or if your earrings are particularly heavy.
Hinged Screw Clip-On Earrings from Alyssum Jewellery
The mini-clip is a small wedge shaped hinge back with a simple tension bar. They're perfect for light-weight earrings or small lobes as their dainty design is more discrete.
Modern Clip On Earrings and Earrings for Non-Pierced Ears
More recent developments have been made in the ways clip-on earrings can be fastened to allow for a greater range of clip-on earring styles to be worn. These include the magnet back, which creates a perfect pierced stud look and is surprisingly secure, and the sliding spring, ideal for light-weight hoop earrings to make them look like regular hoops for pierced ears.
Clip-On Hoop Earrings with Sliding Spring Fastening
There are many reasons why people choose to wear clip-on earrings over pierced earrings; allergies, skin sensitivities, damaged lobes or a fear of needles etc., so we can expect clip-on earrings to be around for a long time yet, and we look forward to seeing what innovative new styles of fastening become available. Check out our range of clip-on earrings available now – we have over 500 clip-on earring product lines for you to browse right here in Australia's biggest online clip-on earring store, shipping worlwide! You can learn more about the different types of clip-on earring backs, especially how to adjust them for the most comfortable fit, in our later post "How to Adjust Your Clip-On Earrings".
Next week: "Preserving Your Heirloom Jewellery" Learn about the potential damage heirloom jewellery can subject to, and how you can keep your heirloom jewellery looking its best for generations to come.