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a personal adornment, sometimes an amulet, worn attached to the ear lobe. Since prehistoric times the ear has been pierced for the insertion of the earring; certain primitive tribes distort the lobe with plugs several inches in diameter or with heavy stones. Egyptians first wore large gold hoops, which eventually became smaller and supported pendants. In Babylonia and later in Assyria where the earring was worn by men to denote rank, the earring evolved into an exquisite work of the goldsmith's art. In Greece the finely wrought gold earrings often had tinkling pendants. The Romans were first to popularize earrings set with precious stones. Earrings were little used with the headdresses of the Middle Ages, but their use had a vigorous revival during the Renaissance and was also adopted by men; pearls were especially favored. In the 18th cent. the diamond earring became most fashionable; the 19th cent. saw extensive use of the cameo. With the invention (c.1900) of a screw device for attaching the earring, their popularity again increased.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an ornament usually attached to a pierced earlobe and worn by women and, less commonly, by men. In the Bronze Age earrings were made mainly of copper, silver, and gold. In antiquity earrings were made of precious metals combined with glass, jewels, and pearls. The most popular type of earring is a loop with a pendant. The wearing of earrings was sometimes associated with a definite legal or family status. For example, in ancient Rome the only men who wore earrings were male slaves. Among the ancient Slavs, the earrings worn by maidens differed from those worn by married women. Today earrings are produced in many different styles and continue to be a popular ornament worn by women.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"Hey, my boy, we'll get her some proper earrings now!
I liked you especially when you told us about the diamond earrings; but I liked you before that as well, though you have such a dark-clouded sort of face.
The man beside him with the earrings and the big black case proceeded to unlock it.
Wearinga single earring can seriouslymakeall the difference inyour outfit,transformingit from basic to edgy.
Summary: Patna (Bihar) [India], Mar 7 (ANI): In a startling theft case, a jewellery shop-owner here on Thursday alleged that a rat stole a pair of diamond earring from his shop.
She took off one earring for her friends to see, finished lunch, went to Mass at Greenbelt Chapel, and proceeded to Peninsula Manila to meet up with other friends and again show the earrings.
Earring trends have mostly tended to centre around one in each lobe.
M&S Collection shirt PS25, M&S Collection bikini top PS10, M&S Collection trouser PS29.50, bag PS19.50, shoe PS25 M&S Collection dress PS39.50, earring PS15, bag PS39.50, shoe PS45 Per Una top, PS27.50 Per Una trousers, PS35 earring PS12.50, bag PS29.50, shoe PS35 Left: M&S Collection bikini top PS10, M&S Collection bikini bottom PS8, M&S Collection shorts PS15, earring PS7.50, bag PS35 All prices correct at time M&S Collection jacket PS55, Autograph top PS45, M&S Collection shorts PS22.50, earring PS9.50, bag PS29.50 M&S Collection top PS15, M&S Collection trouser PS35, sunglasses PS15, shoe PS25 M&S Collection bikini top PS10, M&S Collection skirt PS39.50, earring PS15, bag PS25, shoe PS25
For instance, her earring from Zofia Day promotes giving back to the community and empowering women.
Jewellery designing duo Karima Adnan Sharabi and Noora Al Zain's creative collections continue to captivate fashion lovers...in particular the asymmetrical earring sets that are a summer-style must-have.