Ohrringe - Die Geschichte des Schmucks | MIRKADA Magazin

Earrings - The history of jewellery

Wonderful Earrings, simple Stud earringseffective creoles, distinctive ear cuffs - all in a wide variety of designs. Nowadays, various types of earrings are current, but it was not always so.
Let's see what meaning this type of jewelry had at different times.

There is no specific date when the first earrings were made. In primitive times they served Earrings as a ritual attribute. They were made of bone, wood or stone. However, as soon as people learned metalworking, they began to make beautiful pieces of jewelry with intricate patterns, webs of golden threads, and a wide variety of embossing.

The ancient time

It is surprising, but in ancient times earrings were worn mainly by men.
In Assyria, Babylon, Persia, this jewelry was worn only by representatives of the stronger sex.
In Egypt, the earrings were worn only people of high importance, they pointed to class membership.
Often artists used the motif of different religious cults - the image of the animal gods and various mascots. So it was more of an amulet, rather than a piece of jewelry.
What is interesting is that even today the nature theme is very popular among artists: animal statuettes or plant ornaments are used in the design.

The antiquity

In ancient times, earrings were also very popular. Most often Gold used - in this way the nobility emphasized their wealth.
Greek women preferred earrings decorated with plants or disc earrings with pendants that made a musical sound when walking.
The women of Rome appreciated earrings with precious stones and pearls, although the jewellery itself was of a simple and austere form.
Women often wore several earrings at the same time to draw the attention of their surroundings to their wealth and prosperity.
Only the slaves wore one earring, so that they could be distinguished from the free citizens.


After the Dark Ages, when personal jewelry was not welcome and earrings were worn only by marginal people, such as pirates and robbers, came the flowering of culture - the era of the Renaissance.
Pearls, gemstones and drop earrings are coming back into fashion. In addition, the sea theme is gaining popularity.
The men, among whom the monarchs are also present, wear earrings, even if their jewelry is more modest than that of women.
After the opening of the shipping route to India and other eastern countries, a variety of precious stones were shipped to Europe.
There was high competition among jewelers in making jewelry with precious stones and diamonds.
Many wanted to own beautiful earrings, which is why cheap jewelry with false pearls and glass instead of diamonds appeared. Nevertheless, the production of these was impeccable.

Baroque and Rococo

The lavish baroque style with the multitude of gems and rich decorations highlights the cult of magnificence.
For ladies, the chandelier earrings, or hanging earrings, are the most popular.
Girandole earrings are also very popular - this type of earrings resembles a candlestick or a fountain with several streams.
This jewelry with triple pendants and diamonds was incredibly popular, even though this was very uncomfortable, meaning very heavy. Because of their discomfort, these earrings were only worn in special cases. Queen Elizabeth II had such girandoles as well.
On the other hand, the jewelry of the Rococo period is fine and airy. The women of this period dreamed of briolese earrings. These had pendants in the form of the pots and stars, which created a very beautiful play of light while walking. Such earrings are also made in our time.


The variety of massive jewelry at the end of the XVIII century was no longer a sign of good tone. Now the return to the calm ancient motif was welcome.
European and Russian aristocracy wore earrings with gems, cameos and filigree work. After the Napoleonic wars, women preferred jewelry made of cast iron: first as a sign of mourning, and later as a sign of patriotism - jewels were sacrificed to the military.

In the XVII - XIX centuries, men's earrings became very rare. They no longer serve as jewelry, but are considered much more symbolic.
Following the example of British sailors, Russian sailors wore earrings on their earlobes and only those who had crossed the equator or Cape Horn were allowed to do so. Some warriors also wore an earring: in Russia the representatives of royal descent and noble families did it, centuries later - the hussars and Cossacks.
According to a Cossack custom, the earring was worn in the left ear by the last son, and in the right by the last man in the family.
According to the way theearring was worn, the commander decided whom he would send to battle.