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What are Stud Earrings?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 21, 2024
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Stud earrings are a kind of ear jewelry made up of a small component that fits onto the earlobe and does not dangle down. While the size of a stud can vary quite a bit, earrings that extend beyond the perimeters of the earlobes are not generally included in this definition. One of the identifying features of this type of earrings is the way in which they are fitted onto the ear: in almost all cases, they are affixed with a post rather than a hook. The material used and the shape of these materials can vary quite a bit.

There is a range in the quality of stud earrings. There are some pairs on the market that are inexpensive and are made with non-precious metals. They may be made entirely of metal or may be adorned with enamel, glass, resin, or plastic components.

On the other hand, there are studs that are incredibly valuable. These earrings are usually made with precious metals such as gold, white gold, and platinum. The adornments may be made of precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, or emeralds. The size and quality of the stone largely determines the price of the earrings. Stud pearl earrings are also quite common.

Of course, there are also earrings that fall between these two categories. They make use of more affordable metal, such as sterling silver, and may include natural stones, but are likely to include gems that are semi-precious instead of precious. Such stones may include turquoise, rose quartz, rutilated quartz, amethyst, or garnet. These sorts of earrings can be quite large as studs go without being prohibitively expensive for most people because an orb of rose quartz, for example, is much less expensive than a diamond of the same size.

There are many cases in which stud earrings are made as part of a jewelry set that includes a necklace. As studs are rather small as earrings go, they are sometimes paired with large, extravagant necklaces. This is done so that the ears are a bit accented, but the necklace is the featured item. In other cases, the necklace is a bit more demure and the entire look is meant to be elegant, yet understated.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"
Discussion Comments
By sherlock87 — On Jul 22, 2011

I got my first set of stud earrings at the mall, and it was not a bad experience for me at all. However, I admit that when I got my second and third sets of piercings in my ears, I actually did them myself- it was really popular when I was in high school and middle school to do that. Probably not the smartest idea, but it worked for me- I used a needle and lots of disinfectant. However, I would never recommend anyone doing anything besides the ear lobe themselves. It can get really messy.

By panda2006 — On Jul 21, 2011

My mother didn't let me get my ears pieced until I was 13. While I understand that people let their kids get it done much earlier much of the time, I am glad she waited. It made me really want them and really want to take care of them- the cleaning and other care takes time, and I don't think kids under 10 can take that responsibility themselves. Since then I have had my ears pieced several more times, including the inner ear on my right ear and the cartilage on my left. Since I was able to take care of them that first time, I've always been good about keeping them free of infection since then.

By Sara007 — On Jul 20, 2011

If you have kids who want their ears pierced never take them to the mall and have it done with a piercing gun. While most accessory shops claim to have well-trained staff on hand to get those first stud earrings in, I am pretty much convinced they just let anyone do it.

I took my daughter in to have her ears done but left when a teen about the same age as her came out with a piercing gun in hand, fiddling with the settings or whatnot. It did not instill a lot of confidence in us.

We ended up going to a popular body piercing shop, and they did a great job. They were professional, wore gloves, disinfected everything and used a new needle. A totally different experience from the mall.

By animegal — On Jul 19, 2011

I waited for years to get my ears pierced and finally got permission from my parents when I was a teenager only to discover that I was allergic to the metal they used. I ended up having to take my new stud earrings out and wait for my holes to heal back over. I tried again a few years after that and no matter how hypoallergenic the metal claimed to be my body just rejected it.

What eventually worked for me was a pair of glass retainers. You can have custom ones made for you at a decent piercing shop and since glass has absolutely no allergens in it you won't react to it. The glass earrings are more like a skinny post than an earring and hold your hole open while your ears heal.

By bythewell — On Jul 19, 2011

I finally had a cartilage earring put into the upper part of my ear a few years ago after wanting one for a long time. I can wear stud earring there too, but it's better to get one that's made for that area.

When I was there, I was told that it's actually not the best idea to get your ears done with a piercing gun at the local mall. Often they don't sterilize the equipment properly, and anyway, using a needle is just safer and more precise.

So, yeah. When my kids want to have their ears pierced, I think I'm going to take them to a proper piercing studio and get it done there.

By croydon — On Jul 18, 2011

I had my first pair of studs put in when I was about fourteen. My parents wouldn't let me do it until I turned twelve and it wasn't that important to me so I waited until my sister turned twelve and we could do it together.

I remember it didn't hurt as much as I was expecting. We did invest in really nice, hypoallergenic sterling silver stud earrings that were guaranteed for years, because my mother didn't want me to be hurt by cheap metal.

I appreciate that as I found out later that I seem to be somewhat allergic to other kinds of metal earrings. I can't imagine trying to heal my ears and having to deal with an allergic reaction on top of it!

By mabeT — On Jul 18, 2011

I am so excited! My daughter is turning five this August, and we always try to do something special for our kids on their birthdays. She has decided that she would like to have her ears pierced for her 'big' gift.

I had my ears pierced when I was six, so I think this is a fine age to do so.

We went to the store to look at the earrings so I would have some idea of how much I needed to save to pay for the whole thing, and she chose gorgeous diamond studs! They would be very appropriate for me, but not for a five year old.

We finally decided on a small red pair, although we also wavered on the tiny flowers that were made from different precious stones.

I personally liked those the best, but it’s her ears and her birthday, so she wins.

I was very impressed with her initial selection, though. She is her momma’s daughter through and through!

By bluespirit — On Jul 18, 2011

@snickerish - I bet your friends who have the 'push' presents are your friends who have babies. A 'push' present is the present a husband gives his wife after giving birth (hence the term push).

So far the 'push' presents I have seen have also been quite fancy, which I think is appropriate if they present is for giving birth!

By snickerish — On Jul 17, 2011

I only wear stud earrings. The dangle earrings often feel too heavy. So far my favorite earrings that I feel go with so many occasions are: pearl stud earrings (if you pay close attention you will see that pearls always stay in style, but the size of the pearl changes within different style trends) and the 1 carat diamond stud earrings my husband gave me.

I received the earrings for our first anniversary, but I have friends that have said there husband gave them diamond earrings as their 'push' present. I had never heard of this before! Does anyone know what a 'push' present is?

By Sinbad — On Jul 17, 2011

I remember when I was a girl getting my ears pierced at the special piercing stand at the mall. My first pair of earrings had to be stud earrings.

I don't know if they still have that as a rule, but I they had the rule then since I was young and they didn't want me to knock the earring out too easy and I think the thickness of the actual post was important. And dangle earrings usually have those hooks that aren't as thick, so I guess they wanted to make a better earring hole with the thicker post.

Anyway, my first stud earrings ever were star stud earrings, I loved them. I know a lot of girls that also chose stud earrings that were the color of their birthstone as their first ever earrings and I think that is a cute idea for little girls.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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