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Hoops & Huggies Earrings
Huggie and hoop earrings can run the gamut from understated to over-the-top. Truly the most traditional and most likely the oldest known earring style, hoops and their diminutive lobe-hugging cousin, huggies, are a classic staple of any jewelry collection.
Hoop earrings have been identified throughout history, from the ancient Sumerians of the 3rd millennium to the European Middle Ages. These earliest hoops were simple in design, yet some cultures, such as the Greeks and Romans, experimented with inset stones to create ever more luxurious pieces.
The popularity of hoops diminished slightly during this medieval age, in part because high collars and bulky wigs made their wear difficult. With the advent of the Renaissance, however, when necklines plunges (relatively) low and hairstyles shifted upward, hoop earrings returned.
The most recent update to hoop and huggie earrings is the addition of inset stones. Much more sophisticated than their ancient predecessors, these pave stones, typically diamonds, create even more striking earrings. Smaller huggie versions that tightly cup the earlobe can offer a tiny twinkle, while larger hoops triumphantly dangle. This innovation brought with it the potential for even more striking earrings, whether they dangle from or tightly cup the earlobe.
In ancient Egypt, it was common for all people of high social status, regardless of gender, to wear hoop earrings
Aristocratic women in ancient Rome ensured their portrait busts had some eternal “bling." Many of these carved marble visages included small holes in the sculpted lobes for hoop earrings made of precious materials to be attached
A supposed portrait of William Shakespeare, known as the “Chandos” Portrait from around 1610 and displayed in the UK’s National Portrait Gallery, shows the famous playwright sporting one gold hoop earring