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Earrings have compelled wearers for generations. A testament to their longevity dates to ancient Rome, where aristocratic women, desiring to perfect their marble portrait busts, asked their sculptors to include two small holes in the likeness’ earlobes so that it could wear a pair of earrings.
Though the ancient Romans were not the first to port earrings, they innovated on their design by experimenting with new settings and new materials. The rise in popularity of semi-precious gems and pearls resulted in brilliant dangles and gem-encrusted settings, all of which paved the way for some of the earrings styles still beloved today.
Adding to these innovations was the advent in the 19th century of the clip-on earring. Designed in response to those who disliked the notion of piercing one’s ears, the clip-on earring developed into a style of its own, with even today’s top designers creating clip-on styles. This ingenuity of design, combined with the rich variety of styles, contributed to the continued popularity of earrings.