History of EarringsWritten by Sher Matsen
Earrings – I think of them as finishing touch to your look. They complete your fashion statement. There are earrings for all occasions – board room, work, casual outings, your wedding, a night on town, or a day at beach. They can bring out your softer feminine side, sexy goddess, or present simple charm, sophistication and elegance From Elizabeth Taylor to Meg Ryan to Dave Navarro to Usher – today earrings are a fashion statement for both men and women. The first pair of earrings has been dated back to 2500 BC. Only wealth and those of royal lines could afford expensive jewelry back then. There are all types of earrings – chandelier earrings, dangle earrings, hoop earrings, stud earrings, button earrings, and droplet earrings to name just a few. Earrings come in all types of materials and metals. Gold, silver, gemstones, plastics, bakelite, copper, diamonds, paste, pearls, faux stones, or glass. The list goes on and on. What ever your desires there is a pair of earrings out there waiting for you. The oldest earrings ever unearthed by archaeologists were discovered in Iraq in royal graves and date to about 2,500 BC. Back to 3000 BC there were two types of earrings: hoop, and more elaborate pendant. From 1559 B.C. to 1085 B in Egypt earplugs became very fashionable. These type of piercings and earrings are seen even on King Tutankhamen. In Dark Ages poverty prevailed and metal jewelry sharply declined although designs were preserved for later use. During Roman Empire wealthy women used earrings to show off their rich status. By 2nd century AD gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, and aquamarines were used regularly. During Byzantine period which ran from330-1200 AD earrings took a back burner to more elaborate body ornamentation. In Middle Ages earrings become almost non-existent because of elaborate hair styles, and headdresses which were ever so popular. During 16th century in Italy high collars disappeared and hair was being worn up and away from face, so earrings began to make a comeback. In other parts of world such as England and France it would be another 100 years or so before high collars disappeared. As time progressed design of earrings became much more complex. Around 1660 girandole earring made its appearance remaining very popular for next couple of centuries. The girandole earrings were extremely large and heavy because of metal content [gold or silver] and amount of gems. Made of 3 pear shaped drops on a hook. The weight was known to cause elongated ear lobes. In latter part of 18th century pendeloque earrings became popular. They were longer than girandole earrings but much lighter. They were balance for high hairdos and big wigs that were being worn.
Pearl TalkWritten by Sher Matsen
Pearls never go out of style – they are always a classy and traditional wardrobe accessory that will never disappoint you. But this year they are a “front and center” fashion statement! So with more people in market for pearls now is a good time for some “pearl talk.”
The pearl has always been a rather prim and proper piece of jewelry – classic and seeped in tradition. Well things they are a changing! The pearl is has had a very glamorous make over! Yes, classic strand still exists as it always will. But we warned we are seeing some vary daring looks from pearl this season. Extra long lengths, tasseled multi strands, pearls with semi precious stone accents, pearls on gold or silver chains. The pearl has been transformed into a fun and fashionable accessory.
So if you’re going to be in market for pearls this year here is what you should know. • The glow or radiance of a pearl is most important quality. Avoid pearls that are chalky or dull as they will be weak and may crack or peal. • The surface of pearl should be blemish free – no bumps or cracks. Inspect under a bright light. Baroque pearls are exception to this rule – their charm is in their irregularities. • Pearls are measured in millimeters. The larger pearl higher cost. A 6 mm pearl is going to be much less than a 12 mm pearl • The least expensive pearls are freshwaters which mainly come from China. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Average size is around 7 mm • The best way to care for your pearls is simply to wear them. The natural skin oils keep them moisturized. Do not put them on until you are done with your cosmetics. This includes hair, facial, and perfume. The residues from these products will ruin your pearls. Do not wear your pearls in water – chlorinated and salt water will damage them. Polish with a soft cloth and never use jewelry cleaning products on your pearls.
Quality pearls are not cheap but they will last a lifetime. Freshwater pearls are becoming very affordable. Not all of us will be in market for “Real Pearls” and lucky us there are plenty of options. Swarovski makes a crystal pearl that is of finest quality and quite difficult to tell from a true pearl for a fraction of cost and they are available in a variety of colors. There is an endless supply of imitation pearl or costume jewelry pearls on market. These are offered in a wide variety of styles and colors. Great fun at affordable prices.
So you ask what’s “In Style” this season? Well I’m glad you asked!