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HomeHow to buy jewelryHow to buy Earrings
How to buy Earrings

By Julie Livingston

Few fashion accessories make as much of an impact as earrings. One of the earliest forms of jewelry, earrings were first designed by ancient cultures. Impressive examples of gold hoops and other more elaborate earring styles were found in the Egyptian king Tutankhamun's gold encrusted tomb. To this day, earrings remain in the forefront of fashion.

Earring Essential

Like lipstick, earrings are a beauty basic that make you feel pulled together and "dressed," even when accenting the most casual attire. Because of their close proximity to the face, earrings can light up a woman's complexion, draw attention to her eyes or change the tone of an outfit almost single-handedly. Although the design options are literally endless, there are several core styles that are "workhorse pieces": the ones that take a woman from day to evening and are appropriate for a variety of outfits and occasions.

1. Diamond or Pearl Stud:
Quietly elegant, these fashion basics can be worn with other jewelry--a strand of pearls, diamond solitaire necklace, even a gold chain--or on their own. If you lean toward the classic, look for round diamond studs of a quarter carat or more. Updated shape and style variations include square princess cut diamonds, pearl studs with diamond accents or delicate diamond flowers and stars.

2. Hoops:
Depending on hoop size and style, you can look sexy--think: Jennifer Lopez--or sophisticated and stylish. Either way, today's hoops are definitely more glam than ever and include bold gemstone accents, such as narrow gold wires dotted with diamonds or white gold with diamond heart-shaped flat hoops that contour the ear. Also, check out the new crop of reversible hug-style designs, which change from yellow to white gold or platinum. Sometimes adorned with jewels or embellished with rich texture, huggies, like all hoops, dress up or down.

3. Dangles:
Dainty drops add a subtle romantic accent to any outfit. Petite Eurowires bedecked with diamonds graze the tip of the ear lobe with their antique look and feel while longer, more dramatic styles--a multistrand drop that dangles in front and behind the ear-- are made for dressier occasions.

4. Colored Gemstones:
Colored gemstone earrings add a vibrant burst of color to a woman's jewelry wardrobe. Check out gemstone favorites, including blue topaz, pink or green tourmaline, citrine and amethyst which offer radiant color without a hefty price tag. When purchasing gemstone jewelry, it's wise to consider your favorite color, opting for hues that flatter your complexion and eyes.

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