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Guide to Antique and Vintage Earring Styles

It’s true what they say – fashions come and go, but style endures.

Many of the vintage diamond earrings we sell at Gatsby Jewellery were designed around 100 years ago and these beautiful accessories can still be worn to achieve a variety of looks. Our collection of yellow gold earrings feature statement pieces, alongside those that can be worn every day. 

Vintage earrings are desirable because of the glamour they can evoke from bygone eras. Paired with a simple, modern outfit and hairstyle, they’ll make you stand out from the crowd.

Antique drop earrings

Drop earrings are earrings that hang slightly below the earlobe. They typically incorporate a gemstone or diamond at the base or bottom of the earring and are attached to the ear with either a stud, a hook, or a clasp.

Regardless of their design, drop earrings have an elegant and feminine appearance. They’re especially suited to formal occasions and prestigious ceremonies, which is why you’ll often see them worn by attendees of awards shows and exclusive formal parties.

Drop earrings have been popular throughout the years, but they were especially prominent in the first half of the 20th century when it was in vogue to wear hair on top of the head or beneath a hat. Their length helped women with concealed or minimised hair achieve an elongated effect to the neck.


antique drop earring

Art Deco Half Moon Ruby Drop Earrings

When to wear drop earrings

Drop earrings are subtle enough that they won’t distract too much attention from the rest of an outfit or appear tacky but glamourous enough that they can elevate a look for a formal occasion. This makes them a popular choice for parties, award ceremonies, weddings and more. They look wonderful when worn with a hairstyle that allows them to shine, such as an up-do, or with hair pulled back.

Vintage drop earrings at Gatsby Jewellery

These, retro jade and diamond drop earrings and Art Deco half-moon ruby drop earrings are perfect for styling with simple evening wear or suits. They have a timeless design and incorporate green and pink stones, that, respectively, will complement any outfit.

Meanwhile, these Art Deco 1.52 carat old cut diamond drop earrings are nothing short of mesmerising – the perfect pair of antique drop earrings for even the most special of occasions.

Antique chandelier earrings

Chandelier, or girondelle, earrings are long and elaborate earrings that often have small gemstones or diamonds on their strands and larger diamonds on the stud from which they hang.

They tend to have a hook or stud base with a slight drop. Strands of metal fall from the shoulders of the earrings, and diamonds or gemstones descend from there.

Unlike more rigid types of drop earrings, chandelier earring designs allow for more movement. Chandelier earrings that have diamonds or precious gemstones in their strands sparkle in a unique way, and like the drop earrings are the perfect complement to a special occasion – they are a great statement piece and make a worthy addition to any jewellery collection.

When to wear chandelier earrings

Chandelier earrings are incredibly glamourous, making the perfect finishing touch to any look for a formal occasion. These earrings have long been favoured as a choice of earrings for weddings, parties, award ceremonies and other black tie events. The right pair of chandelier earrings will complement any elegant outfit, however formal the event.

Antique chandelier earrings at Gatsby Jewellery

Paired with hair pulled back or piled high, these Victorian diamond and silver chandelier earrings are the perfect choice of vintage bridal jewellery.

Victorian DIamond and Silver Chandelier Earrings

For those looking for a real showstopper to add to their jewellery collections, we’d recommend these Art Deco natural pearl, diamond & onyx chandelier earrings. This is a truly stunning pair of earrings featuring an intricate onyx and diamond arc panel above a total of 126 cascading natural pearls.

Vintage stud earrings

Stud earrings sit on the earlobe of the wearer, and often feature a single diamond, gemstone, or pearl, or sometimes even multiple stones in a small cluster. Vintage diamond stud earrings are versatile look equally good worn every day or on special occasions.

These particular diamond cluster earrings demonstrate how studs can be suited to special occasions. They’re bold enough to make an impression and would make a wonderful pair of vintage bridal earrings, beautifully complementing a traditionally feminine wedding dress.

Diamond Cluster Earrings

When to wear vintage stud earrings

Stud earrings are a great all-rounder and can be worn for almost any occasion. Whether you’re looking to dress up a casual outfit or add the perfect finishing touch to a cocktail dress, the right pair of vintage studs is sure to make a statement.

For everyday looks, opt for small and delicate earrings that don’t distract from the rest of your ensemble. A simple pair of gold or silver antique stud earrings pairs well with everything from jeans and t-shirts to more elevated styles like blazers and trousers. When attending more formal events like weddings, consider choosing larger pieces that have intricate detailing and will stand out against your eveningwear.

Vintage stud earrings at Gatsby Jewellery

If you are looking for the perfect pair of vintage stud earrings to wear on a day-to-day basis, these 1.08 carat round brilliant cut diamond stud earrings are nothing short of perfect. This classic pair of stud earrings features two stunning diamonds set within 18 carat white gold – so glamourous but subtle enough to work with any outfit for any occasion.

108 carat round brilliant cut diamond stud earrings 18k white gold

Of course, it’s certainly worth having a more extravagant pair of studs ready for special occasions. Our Victorian 2.47 carat old cut diamond cluster earrings are sublimely beautiful, each one featuring a 0.85 carat principle diamond surrounded by twelve stunning old mine cut diamonds, all backed with rose gold.