While we here at Peter Stone enjoy jewelry of any sort, there’s something about earrings that makes them special… the balance of two matching designs, the elegance of tiny winking gemstones, the magic of a sparkling dangle.
Our beautiful earrings come in all shapes and sizes, in sterling silver, gemstone, or accented with 18 Kt. gold, so no matter whether you’re looking for a spark of intrigue or a hint of subdued style—we’ve got what you’re looking for somewhere in our many collections!
This week, Peter Stone explores the ancient roots of the earring by digging up some of the more interesting facts surrounding the origin and age-old journey of these oh-so-popular accessories, so read on—and learn a little something about your favorite pair of earrings!
One of the earliest written references (1532 B.C.E.) to ear piercing can be found in the Bible, in Exodus 32:1-4. Aaron asks for the earrings of the sons and daughters of the Israelites. Carved images of soldiers in the palace of ancient Persia depict the soldiers wearing earrings, another early reference from a concurrent time period.
Here and Gone
The wearing of earrings was trendy. Then it wasn’t. Then it was. The factors that influenced the popularity of earrings were many and varied—but were often tied to other cosmetic trends. For example, in the Middle Ages, the elaborate wigs, hats, and high collars that were in fashion had a tendency to screen the beauty of earrings. As fashions meandered from low necklines to high, and from swept-back chignons to wide bonnets, earrings faded in and out of social consciousness.
By 1900, earrings became a primarily female accessory, except in the sailing community, where ear piercings and earrings had special significance. A pierced earlobe often meant that the wearer had sailed around the world. Civilians who survived the sinking of a ship wore earrings in the left ear to advertise their near-miss. The acupunctural benefit was considered, as the puncture of the earlobe was believed to increase eyesight acuity, a valuable benefit at sea.
The sailors’ preference for elaborate, expensive gold earrings has its roots in ancient Grecian myth. In the afterlife, the dead were ferried across the river Acheron by Charon, the ferryman—but only if they were able to pay in gold. Thus the inland practice of placing coins over the eyes of bodies during normal funerals. At sea, a sailor involved in a shipwreck or washed overboard was exceedingly unlikely to obtain a funeral, so the gold earring was a superstitious way for them to “pay their way” through to the afterlife. And for practical purposes, if the body did wash up on shore, whoever found them could use the earring to pay for a proper burial.
Why do YOU wear earrings?
Today, earrings are worn for a variety of reasons, not least of which is to display some personal meaning or belief. Even if the earrings you wear are nothing more than beautiful ornaments, they likely bring at least a smile to your face simply for their aesthetic value.
Peter Stone has an abundance of stunning earrings in an endless variety of themes, styles, and sizes, and we know that many of our customers cherish their Peter Stone earrings like faithful friends, imbued with memories and shining with joy and inspiration. Tell us why you wear the earrings you wear—we’d love to hear your stories!