Different Styles of Wires for Earrings

Ear wires have different shapes for different types of earrings.

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Most women may have at least one ear piercing, but many of them aren't familiar with the number of different types of wires for earrings. If you want to wear chandelier earrings on New Year's Eve or fun flower drops on a summer day, your earrings will probably be attached to a different kind of wire. The style of wire an earring needs depends on the size and weight of the bauble or design of the earring itself.


Kidney shaped ear wires were very popular in the 1970s, and are still used today for inexpensive costume jewelry. The wire is shaped into a bell shape with one end sliding into a loop at the bottom for security much like the back of a lapel pin. If you find inexpensive holiday earrings or cheap earrings at a craft show, then they may use kidney earring wires.

Lever Backs

Lever back earring wires are sort of an industrial-strength version of kidney wires. Made of a thicker wire than kidneys, lever backs consist of a solid C-shaped metal piece that slips through the hole in your ear lobe. At the bottom of the wire is a small metal piece on a hinge that snaps onto the end of the wire, holding it securely to prevent if from slipping out of your ear.

Shepherd Hooks

Many of today's popular and higher-end earrings use shepherd hook earring wires. These wires are shaped like a large hook, just as the name implies. The end of the wire extends past the point where the jewel is attached at the other end, creating a balance that keeps the earring in place instead of allowing it to pull forward and slip out.


Earring threads or threaders are different in that they aren't one solid piece of wire. There is one straight wire at one end and a smaller straight or curved wire at the other end on which to attach the decoration. In between the two wires is a thin chain. Push the first straight wire through your ear lobe and pull the chain through the hole. The weight of the chain will hold the bauble in place, while adding another decorative element below and behind your ear.

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