Antique Diamond Semi

Antique Diamond Semi

The historical consensus on hoop earrings is that they date back to 3,000 B.C. eastern Iran, and are one of the oldest earrings styles known to man. Back then, hoop earrings were generally made of an organic base of fibrous material, over-lain with gold leaf, and worn by royalty and society’s wealthy. At what point, then, did someone have the notion to bring the hoop and diamond together? Let’s find out.

Hoops hung around much as they had in their royal beginnings until about the 11th and 12th centuries. It was then that hoop earrings found value with sailors who believed that, should they drown at sea and their bodies be recovered, the earrings they wore would be payment for a proper Christian burial. This belief, not surprisingly, prompted a surge in the gold hoop earring trade at the time. This is also where hoop earrings found their home, for hundreds of years, sailing the seas of the world in relative obscurity.

It wasn’t until the mid 1920s that earrings of circular and other geometric shapes, set with diamonds and colored precious and semi-precious gemstones, found popularity with fashion forward crowds. Though the the short hairstyles of the era made pendant earrings the most popular design, this is the first occurrence of diamonds and precious metal merging to hint at a primitive version of a diamond hoop earring.

After that time, the hoop’s history is spotty at best, but here’s what can be pieced together from what is known:

  • 1930s saw the innovation of the clip earring style, which brought designs closer to the earlobe, with the first pair of actual diamond hoop earrings being produced during this time by an unidentified source. We know this only because De Grisogono* produced an interpretation of these original diamond hoop earrings in 2000, and credited the inspiration to a pair of French earrings from the 1930s, of which the jeweler is unknown.
  • Shortly after that, the onset of World War II halted the production and artistic progression of fine jewelry until the 1950s post-war boom. It was during this prosperity that jewelry enjoyed a resurgence toward opulence in big, bold, colorful style. From this moment and well into the 1960s, Indian and Islamic influences brought animals and other organic characters and shapes back into the mix. This was also the point at which diamonds and partial or J hoop earring settings finally staked their permanent fashion claim.
  • However, the actual launch of diamond hoop earrings into popularity wasn’t until the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Pop Art Movement of the mid-50s had transitioned into the Conceptual Art period and the Bulgari (Bvlgari) jewelry houses reigned supreme. This is the moment that diamond hoop earrings finally made their red carpet debut.

Today, diamond hoop earrings remain a favorite of celebrity and main street circles world wide. Their continued popularity has produced an abundance of variety and styles to fit every occasion and budget. They complement all hairstyles with a glittering sensuality that is hard to resist. Maybe knowing more about the history of diamond hoop earrings, you’ll be brought together in a relationship of dynamic radiance to enjoy for many years to come.

* Bennett, D., & Mascetti, D. (1989). From 1980 to 2000. In Understanding Jewellery (p. 460). Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Antique Collectors’ Club Ltd.

Katie Keefe Smith is the General Manager for – a fine jewelry retailer specializing in diamond hoop earrings, pearl drop earrings, pearl rings, gemstone rings, pearl necklaces, diamond bracelets and other fine jewelry classics.

Readers with a passion for the history of jewelry, art, collectibles, architecture and other creative endeavors will find a wide variety of resources when they visit

Antique Diamond Semi
Antique Diamond Semi
Antique Diamond Semi

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