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Dangles & Chandelier Earrings
Designed to accentuate the length of one’s neck, dangle, and chandelier earrings are statement pieces whose presence can be traced back to ancient cultures.
The earliest dangle earrings were the hammered gold pendant earrings that appeared among the cultures of ancient Egypt and the Near East. The ancient Romans adopted this style and added luxurious inlaid gemstones, such as rough-cut diamonds and pearls that were often hanging free from the pendant’s perimeter.
At this point in history, pearls were a rare luxury, so the subtle clinking of pearl against gemstone would have been a gentle reminder to all around the wearer that this was a lady of status.
In many respects, today’s chandelier earrings serve a similar function to these ancient Roman prototypes. An elaboration of the dangle, the chandelier earing is so named because it typically incorporates a tiered, and sometimes staggered, configuration similar to the elegant lighting fixture. The premise behind its design is that it is intended to move with the wearer and thus sparkle more brilliantly.
Dutch Golden Age painter Jan Vermeer immortalized the beauty of the dangle earring by making it a centerpiece of his iconic “Girl with a Pearl Earring” (1665)
One of Elizabeth Taylor’s favorite set of earrings were antique chandeliers that she purchased in Paris in 1957. She adored them so much that she wore them to the Academy Awards twice: first in 1959 and then again in 1992
Taking dangle earrings to an extreme, the world record for the longest dangle earring was set in 2011 by jewelry designer Adrian Haiduc, whose final creation measured over 1500 feet long