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A Guide to Earring Styles

After diamond rings, earrings are the most popular jewelry gifts for women. In order to make the best choice, you should factor in a number of considerations -- your budget, the 4C's, the style and the earring size. Consult this earring guide to help you choose the precisely the right earring.

One consideration that is important to be aware of is the metal that the earring is made of, particularly the part that comes into contact with the skin. If your partner has sensitive skin then you will want avoid nickel-based alloys which are usually used in jewelry made of silver. While gold, silver and platinum in their pure state generally don't cause reactions in skin, some material, notably nickel, that is added to gold and silver to make it stronger and more scratch resistant may cause a reaction.

New alloys avoid these problems and you can ask if the earrings you are interested in are nickel-free. Many items will explicitly say so in their accompanying literature or right on the tag. Of the three metals, platinum is the most inert and probably the best choice for very sensitive skin. The best news is there are different metal alloys and styles from which to choose.

Before selecting your style, give a minute's thought to the shape of the face of the recipient because different earring styles look better on some face shapes than others. That is why you will see women holding earrings up to their ears and checking the effect in the mirror when they are considering a purchase. A simple rule to keep in mind is that round faces look good with longer earrings, and oval faced individuals can wear pretty much any style of earrings.

Also keep in mind, the general size of the woman, the size of he earlobes and even the person's hairstyle. Petite women will frequently look better in earrings with some length. However, it is a good idea to avoid long elaborate chandelier styles for shorter women. For a tall woman, stud earrings and dangling hoops are a good choice.

Naturally, you should consider the size of the person's earlobes and avoid earrings which are too heavy or large for smaller earlobes. If you are looking for earrings that will be used every day, then lightweight styles are likely to be the best option for you.

Two of the most common choices are hoops and studs.

Hoop earrings These earrings are ring-shaped and either circular or semi-circular in design, and can be worn every day. While they can be large, weight is not usually an issue because they are frequently hollow. They can complement almost any outfit. Those seeking lower price points will find a lot of good choices in sterling silver.

Stud earrings Stud earrings are one of the most popular styles that go well with all almost any outfit from jeans to fancy cocktail dresses. Studs can feature diamonds or emeralds, pearls or topazes or almost any kind of sparkly gem imaginable.

You can, of course, find a huge variety of other earring styles to match the woman's individual style and personality, and your budget. There is an earring out there that will make every giver and receiver happy. And part of the fun is finding the right one for you.