With retro fashion being so popular at the moment, there is a great interest in vintage earrings. These can be anything from antique Victorian earrings made from precious stones set in gold to garishly colored plastic clip-on earrings from the 1960s.
One great place to pick up vintage earrings at a bargain price is eBay. It is often possible to find a really cool pair of earrings for only a couple of dollars and if you are at all worried about hygiene issues with wearing used earrings then purchase a bottle of sterilizing solution normally used for babies feeding bottles. This is fine for cheap earrings but if you have a more expensive, antique pair set with precious stones (particularly pearls) do not immerse these in sterilizing solution but instead just wipe the posts or clips with a cotton bud soaked in the cleaning solution.
It is also worth checking out vintage clothing stores, garage sales and thrift stores for vintage earrings. It is important to check any that contain stones carefully to make sure none of the stones are missing. You will often find an odd vintage earring, even one made from gold and precious stones, for sale at a ridiculously cheap price because it has lost its pair. These are well worth buying as you can often remake one earring into a pendant.
It can be very easy to find a lot of vintage earrings from the 1970s and 1980s but to find some classic art deco pieces from the 30s or 40s or some elegant earrings that could have been worn by film stars in the 1950s you will have to look a lot harder. In the 1950s many women wore their hair quite short or swept back from their faces so their ears were exposed and earrings were important. The styles of the day were often cheap and cheerful faux pearls and diamante. Some of these earrings were quite heavy and were frequently made with clips. Don’t let the fact that your ears are pierced prevent you from wearing clip-on earrings or else you will miss out on many classic vintage designs.
In the 1960s although many women stuck to the classic look for their jewelry, the trendy young women often wore huge dangly earrings made from brightly colored discs to go with their short cropped hair. They wanted to emulate the models of the day like Twiggy. If you want to wear this sort of style today it is important to get the period right for the clothes as well as the jewelry. For example, a pair of fabulous 1960s chandelier disc earrings would look ridiculous with the Dynasty style fashions of the 1980s.
Speaking of the 1980s, the fashion for earrings then, was glamour and glitz. Diamante danglers, or real diamonds if you could afford them, were seen everywhere. The fashions of the time were for big hair, often long, so earrings needed to stand out if they were to be noticed.