Drop Earrings Buying Guide

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Drop Earrings Buying Guide

Glittering gemstones, fine settings, and hanging styles, are hallmarks of drop earrings. When it comes to selecting earrings, a buyer cannot go wrong with drop earrings. More formal than hoop earrings, but still casual enough to wear for a night out on the town, drop earrings combine the best of both worlds. They grab attention without being too gaudy, and because many styles use exquisite gemstones they are excellent pieces for a jewellery collection. While the most modern styles frequently are seen in jewellery stores, websites like eBay offer the best of both the new and the old. It is possible to find drop earrings from as far back as the Victorian era, allowing the wearer to own a piece of jewellery with a sense of history. When it comes to choosing drop earrings, the customer should focus on buying a pair according to their metals, gemstones, and overall length.

Understanding Drop Earrings

Drop earrings hang down from the ear, either from a small chain or metal pendants. This style of earring focuses attention on the slope of the neck and shoulders more so than stud earrings, and also draws attention to the facial profile. They are typically adorned with gemstones that attract the light, though some styles are bare, focusing instead on the metal. This is a timeless earring style, and one that always brings attention.

Drop Earring Length

Drop earrings vary considerably in their overall length. Some only hang down just below the ear, while other types almost touch the shoulders. A good rule of thumb is to remember that typically the longer the earring, the heavier it is. Some women have no trouble wearing heavy earrings, while others dislike doing so. If a customer wants long earrings without all of the extra weight, then choose a style that doesn't have large gemstones or heavy settings. A dangling chain drop earring, for example, is long, lean, and lightweight.

Drop Earring Settings

When a jewellery dealer talks about earring settings, they are speaking about the metal composition of the earring. Choosing the right metal depends on several factors, such as personal style and overall value. For example, while gold is typically the most valuable metal, some customers prefer the look of silver or platinum instead. There is no right or wrong metal types, but customers can make mistakes in buying poorly made pieces, crafted from low-quality metals.

Gold Drop Earrings

In its natural state, gold is a brilliant yellow precious metal, but it is also surprisingly soft. For this reason, it is both rare and impractical to find pure gold earrings.. Most jewellery makers create gold earrings from gold mixed with other metal alloys, and this allows the gold to come in different colours like white gold. The purity of gold is based on its carat weight, and this affects the value and durability of the piece. Below is a chart outlining different carats.

Gold Carat

Percentage of Pure Gold

British Mark

22

91.67

916

18

75

750

14

58.33

585

9

37.5

375

The lower carats such as 9 ct and 14 ct use less gold, but they are more durable. This is a better option for everyday earrings than the higher carat pieces. Customers who are buying gold earrings as investment pieces, are better off sticking with 18 ct or 22 ct pieces, and only wearing them on occasion.

Platinum Drop Earrings

Platinum is a metal that is almost as valuable as pure gold, but looks remarkably similar to either white gold or polished silver. It has several advantages over gold, including being more durable. This means that platinum drop earrings are made out of almost pure platinum, usually 97.5 per cent. Always look for the mark on platinum earrings to ensure that this is a high quality piece. The downside to buying platinum earrings is that since the metal is almost entirely pure, they are very expensive.

Silver Drop Earrings

When it comes to silver, people either love it or hate it. Some buyers prefer the look of silver drop earrings over gold, while others dislike silver because it tarnishes easily. The key to buying silver is to purchase high grade pieces that are less likely to tarnish. As with other precious metals, silver is usually mixed with other metal alloys like copper to increase its strength. The downside is that silver with large amounts of copper, tarnishes easily when compared to high grade silvers. Below is a chart outlining different types of silver.

Name

Pure Silver Percentage

Mark

Britannia Silver

95.8

958

Mexican Silver

95

950

Sterling Silver

92.5

925

Coin Silver

90

900

German Silver

80

800

Sterling silver is the preferred choice for most silver collectors. Anything with a higher silver content than sterling silver is labelled as 'fine silver' in the jewellery world. These are high quality silvers that retain their value throughout the years while being less likely to tarnish.

Drop Earring Gems

The exceptional style of drop earrings allows them to come with multiple gem pairings. Whether the buyer has her heart set on a pair of 1 ct diamond earrings, or a string of sapphires enhanced with pearls, drop earrings makes the most of glittering gemstones. Not all gemstones are created equally, however, so a buyer needs to understand the quality of the gem they are buying.

Diamonds

Diamonds are unique among gems because they are both the hardest, and the most valuable, natural mineral in the world. Diamonds follow a unique grading process where they are rated based on their cut, clarity, colour, and carat weight. All of these qualities factor into the overall price of the diamond, and explaining each one precisely is beyond the scope of this guide. Just keep in mind that a large carat diamond is not always more valuable. A small carat diamond with exceptional colour, brilliant cut, and flawless clarity, is worth far more than a large diamond with none of these qualities.

Pearls

Pearls are the only natural gem that grow inside another living organism. The quality and price of the pearls depends on their size, lustre, and colour. Certain types of pearls are more valuable than others. Akoya pearls have superior lustre, average size, and a pure white colour. Tahitian pearls are one of the few varieties that produce black pearls, usually in large sizes. Most expensive of all are the South Seas pearls, known for their large size, thick nacre (the shell of the pearl), and overall rarity in the gem market.

Natural vs. Synthetic

Many times buyers run across a pair of drop earrings covered with gemstones, and be amazed at the low price. While this could be a good deal in the making, chances are the earrings are offered at a cheap price because they are made out of synthetic gems, instead of natural ones. Synthetic gems are grown inside a lab, and there is no outward difference between them and natural gems. However, gem appraisers can tell the difference and the value of synthetic gems never match that of their natural peers. Buy synthetic gems for the overall look of the earrings, but buy natural gems for their high resale value.

Buying Drop Earrings on eBay

eBay is simply a jewellery collectors paradise. There are beautiful costume jewellery pieces that can be scooped up by anyone on a budget who still wants to look great. There are also exquisite drop earrings made out of the finest gemstones and metals that appeal to the most discriminating buyer. Even customers who are into vintage jewellery find an incomparable selection of eBay. When it comes to  discovering great finds, it is all about using the search engine.

Searching for Drop Earrings on eBay

To check out the many examples of drop earrings currently for sale, simply do a search for 'drop earrings'. The results easily reach the thousands, so it is best to narrow down the parameters by adjusting the search terms. A search for 'sterling silver drop earrings&' only returns results made out of sterling silver. However, this list is still typically in the hundreds, so you can further whittle away at the results by selecting a gemstone. Typing in 'pearl sterling silver drop earrings' only returns sterling silver drop earrings made with pearls. By adding and removing search terms, you can quickly scan through different auctions.

Authenticating Drop Earrings on eBay

When buying pieces of fine jewellery, authenticating the piece is very important. For example, the seller might claim that the diamonds used in a set of drop earrings are nearly flawless, but unless the seller has some proof, this phrase is meaningless. Good sellers always back up their pieces of fine jewellery by providing authentic certificates stating the value of the gemstones used on the earrings. If a seller does not include this information up front, do not hesitate to ask for it.

Conclusion

Add a touch of glam to daily life with a pair of drop earrings. Crafted in the stunning drop style, earrings in this design are often overloaded with bright metals and shiny gems. With so many drop earrings available on eBay, it pays for the buyer to know what they are shopping for. The earring setting helps to determine its overall price as well as its durability. Consider how often the earrings are going to be worn before buying them. Gemstone pieces must also be carefully evaluated based on their cost and value. Buyers who want all the glitter and shine of gems on a budget can pick synthetic ones, while those who want pieces of fine jewellery should study the unique qualities of the natural gems. By carefully evaluating the setting, gemstones, and overall length of the earring, customers can find a pair that fits their wants at a price they can afford.

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