Buying earring backs

The conundrum of where to buy earring backs can seem quite daunting. However there is no need to despair – the key to this problem is understanding which type of earring backs you require, deciding how much money you are prepared to spend and then choosing whether to purchase from the High Street or online.

There are many different types of earring backs on the market which can be part of the problem. The first step in this process is to work out which type you require. If you are looking for backs for ‘fish hook’ earrings then the most readily available and cheapest option are clear rubber tubes. These can be purchased from many internet sites, including eBay and Amazon, for a relatively small cost. They are available from High Street stores such as Claire’s Accessories and also from retailers who sell supplies for making jewellery.

Finding the most appropriate earring back for a stud or post earring can be slightly more difficult. All stud earrings are supplied with an earring back, and the bad news is that once this has been lost you are more likely to lose the earring again. This is because there are variations in the size of the post which are so slight that they are not noticeable to the wearer. However this means that any replacement back is unlikely to fit properly, hence the increased chance of losing it again.

All standard backs such as gold, bronze and silver butterflies, soft plastic backs, earnuts, clutch backs and scrolls are easily found on the internet from the sites mentioned above and others. It is also possible to buy a convenient multi-pack which has a variety of backs included. If hypo-allergenic backs are required it is useful to include this when carrying out an internet search as not all backs meet this standard. Claire’s Accessories stock a variety of backs, but surprisingly most High Street jewellers do not seem to.

There are a variety of more specialised earring backs which are not as readily available, and so require a little more searching. Screw backs only work with a threaded earring post. These are usually more expensive as they often contain more metal that a standard butterfly, are more expensive to manufacture, and are made from precious metals. It may be necessary to obtain these from the jeweller who supplied the earrings or a specialised findings company. Again, an internet search is likely to locate these.

‘Baby backs’ are often a screw back design, and so again will only fit children’s earrings with threaded posts. It seems to depend where you live as to how accessible these are, perhaps because there are cultural differences in the attitudes to children’s piercing. They seem to be readily available online in the US, but difficult to obtain in the UK. In this instance it might be useful to discuss the issue with the person who carried out the piercing.

Locking or secure earring backs are extremely useful if protecting a pair of earrings which were either expensive or have great sentimental value. LOX is increasingly rapidly in popularity. They are available from a stockist near you.

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