by Charlie Rainer Gaston
Earrings for pierced ears require a backing to secure the jewelry and keep it from falling off. There are a number of backings to choose from when shopping for earrings. The right quality backing promotes comfort and offers support while also helping to keep jewelry secure. To decide what types of backings will be best when shopping for earrings, check out our tips on different types of earring clasps.
Posts and findings. Ear posts and findings consist of a simple metal bar and a small clasp. Posts and findings are great for securing earring studs and a few other styles. Because of their small size, posts and findings are typically found on lightweight earrings and children's earrings, and they are quite comfortable for prolonged use. Ear posts and findings come in a variety of sizes and frictions. The size of the earring will determine which style of post and finding is used, as larger studs require more friction to keep the earring in place. The most popular type of ear finding is a butterfly clasp.
Stabilizer guards. Stabilizer guards are found on heavy or large earrings because they are able to support more weight than some other clasps. Large earrings can cause sagging and other damage to pierced skin, and stabilizers are a good way to support the weight of the jewelry and keep it securely in place. Stabilizer guards are available in range of materials, including medical-grade plastic, which is hypoallergenic. Some metal stabilizer guards are nickel-free and tarnish-resistant to promote optimum comfort. Stabilizer guards can be worn on their own or with a plastic clutch for the highest level of security.
Hooks. Dangling earrings are usually secured with a hook. This hook goes through the piercing and allows longer earrings to swing freely. Earring hooks can be worn on their own or with an extra plastic slide-on backing for added support. Earrings with hook backings are preferred by many consumers because they are easy to put on and take off and give added motion to longer earrings.
Hinged. Hinged earring clasps are similar to hooks and posts, but they have a hinged piece that closes in the back for added security. Some of the hinged earring styles are leverback, omega and saddleback. Hinged clasps are popular for use on hoop earrings and dangly earrings.