Vintage Stud Earrings Buying Guide

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Vintage Stud Earrings Buying Guide

Earrings are pieces of jewellery that are attached to the earlobes or another external part of the ear via a small piercing or hole. Stud earrings appear to be floating on the earlobe or other part of the ear without a visible front connection. In fact, stud earrings are attached by a small post that is held in place by a removable friction back or clutch. Stud earrings have been around since as early as 3000 B.C. and continue to be popular today.

The category of vintage stud earrings consists of stud earrings that have been pre-owned and are at least twenty years old. Vintage stud earrings come in a variety of styles and shapes. Vintage stud earrings can be purchased at vintage jewellery shops, second-hand stores, and online. Before shopping for a pair of vintage stud earrings, potential buyers should be aware of the difference between vintage and vintage-inspired and the types of vintage stud earrings available, as well as wardrobe and hairstyle considerations.

Vintage vs. Vintage-Inspired

When in the market for vintage items, it is important for consumers to understand the difference between vintage and vintage-inspired. Vintage jewellery pieces are authentic items that have been previously owned and are at least 25 years old. Vintage jewellery items are unaltered and sold "as is". On the other hand, vintage-inspired jewellery pieces are items that have been newly created to resemble and embody vintage items.

It is important for buyers to do adequate research into both the vintage stud earrings and the seller of the item before making a purchase. Sometimes designers will label items as vintage, when they are in fact vintage-inspired. The choice between vintage and vintage-inspired is ultimately up to the consumer. However, understanding the difference between these terms and being cautious when shopping for vintage helps provide consumers piece of mind when ultimately purchasing an item such as vintage stud earrings.

Types of Vintage Stud Earrings

There are various styles and shapes of vintage stud earrings. Most vintage stud earrings fall into one of the general categories of vintage stud earrings described below.

Vintage Diamond Stud Earrings

The main difference between vintage diamond stud earrings and modern diamond stud earrings lies with the diamond shape. Modern diamond earrings are typically solitaire diamonds with a round brilliant or princess cut. However, vintage diamond stud earrings often have a mine cut or rose cut shape. Further, vintage diamond stud earrings are available as a small cluster of diamonds, as well as solitaire, which is still popular today.

Vintage Silver Stud Earrings

Similar to today, most vintage silver stud earrings are made of sterling silver, which is 92.5 per cent pure silver and 7.5 per cent other metal alloys. Vintage silver stud earrings of the early 20th century are characterised by a backing of yellow gold, which increases the value of the earrings. Vintage silver stud earrings come in a variety of shapes from circular to heart, and are also available in different designs and symbols such as letters, crosses, and feathers, to name a few.

Vintage Gold Stud Earrings

Vintage gold stud earrings come in a variety of shapes and sizes but are most typically found as balls or a similar cylindrical shape. Today, gold stud earrings are made of 10, 12, 14, or 18 karat gold. However, vintage gold stud earrings are typically made of 9, 12, 22 or 23 karat gold. Vintage gold stud earrings are also melted into other precious metals to create two or three-toned stud earrings. Although not quite as popular as vintage silver stud earrings, vintage gold earrings are also available in a variety of shapes, symbols, and designs, aside from the classic vintage gold ball stud earring.

Vintage Pearl Stud Earrings

Vintage pearl stud earrings are made from both natural pearls and cultured pearls. Natural pearls are formed when a foreign particle enters a mollusk's shell and layers of nacre grow around the particle. By contrast, cultured pearls are formed when a human places a foreign object inside a mollusk's shell and allows layers of nacre to grow until the desired size is reached. Vintage pearl stud earrings range in size from very small to relatively large depending on the shape of the piece being coated by the nacre. Further, vintage pearl stud earrings are cylindrical in shape. Most natural pearl stud earrings are vintage. Additionally, vintage natural pearl stud earrings are rare and expensive.

Vintage Rhinestone Stud Earrings

Vintage rhinestone stud earrings are made of rock crystals that imitate the look and brilliance of gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. Rhinestones come in a variety of colours and became popular during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Vintage rhinestone stud earrings often include rhinestones in geometrics shapes and designs and accompany other stones such as diamonds, as well as other precious metals. The affordability of vintage rhinestone stud earrings vary based on the facet cut.

Vintage Plastic Stud Earrings

Vintage "plastic" stud earrings are not made of the polymer used in plastic today to make cheap jewellery. Instead, vintage plastic stud earrings are made of bakelite, celluloid, and lucite, which became popular during the Art Deco period of the early 1900s. Vintage plastic stud earrings typically imitate precious stones, common objects, or designs. Vintage plastic stud earrings are typically more expensive than modern plastic stud earrings simply because of their age, but are still relatively affordable as compared with other types of vintage stud earrings.

Wardrobe and Hairstyle Considerations

While personal preference should be the top priority when shopping for a pair of vintage stud earrings, there are also some other factors to consider. Consumers should think about their typical style, including both hairstyles and wardrobe. Certain styles of vintage stud earrings are better suited with some clothes and hairstyles than others. Considering these factors can help consumers make the best choice on a pair of vintage stud earrings. The following chart lays out what styles of vintage stud earrings go best with what hairstyles and clothing.

Style of Vintage Stud Earring



Diamond (One carat and higher)

Elegant updo

All hair pulled back

Formal or cocktail dress that shows off neck and shoulders

Diamond (Less than one carat)

Simple bun or ponytail

Nice slacks and boots

Cocktail dress

Gold or Silver

Tight ponytail or down behind the ears

Jeans and sneakers


Elegant updo

Strands of hair can be left out

Very formal dress such as one worn for weddings, formal dances, special events

Dress should cover arms and shoulders


Tight ponytail or down behind the ears

Casual nice jeans and blouse


Hair accessories should coordinate with earrings

Fun or unusual casual outfit

Pairing vintage stud earrings with the appropriate clothing and hairstyles can help show off the best features of the vintage stud earrings. This chart also helps a buyer decide what pair of vintage stud earring best suits their individual style.

How to Buy Vintage Stud Earrings on eBay

Vintage stud earrings come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colours. Whether you are looking for vintage stud diamond earrings or vintage sterling silver cross stud earrings, eBay has a large selection to choose from. Once you have decided what type of vintage stud earring works best for you and your style, eBay can help you find the perfect match. Simply navigate to the eBay website portal and locate the keyword search box. Once on the eBay website, type a phrase such as 'vintage silver stud earrings' into the box. After clicking the search button, a list of options matching the description you typed into the keyword search box will be populated.

When looking for vintage stud earrings, it is important to be certain that you are getting an authentic item. Along with doing the right research, eBay helps ensure you are purchasing vintage items from reputable buyers. Creating a format for buyer feedback is just one eBay features that helps you determine the reputation and consistency of the seller from whom you are seeking to purchase vintage stud earrings.


Vintage stud earrings are a must-have for collectors of vintage jewellery. Unlike a lot of other vintage jewellery, stud earrings have remained relatively unchanged since their first appearance thousands of years ago. Most vintage stud earrings differ from modern stud earrings in their shape and design. One of the most important things to be aware of when shopping for a vintage item, such as vintage stud earrings, is the difference between vintage and vintage-inspired. Consumers should pay close attention to this distinction at they looking for an authentic piece.

While there are many different types of vintage stud earrings, a buyer can narrow down the wide selection by considering their own wardrobe and style. Like most jewellery, different types of stud earrings go better with different clothes and hairstyles than others. While there are no hard and fast rules for wearing vintage stud earrings, considering individual fashion in light of other factors can help a buyer make the most practical purchase.

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