When were clip-on earrings invented?


When were clip-on earrings invented?

The history of clip-on earrings is a fascinating journey that spans several centuries. These unique accessories have evolved over time, adapting to changing fashion trends and cultural customs.

In this blog post, we delve into the history of clip-on earrings, exploring when they were invented, and how they became a stylish alternative to pierced earrings.

The history of clip-on earrings:

Clip-on earrings have been around for centuries, but their popularity soared during the 19th and 20th centuries specifically.

The concept of clip-on earrings emerged as an innovative solution for those who did not have pierced ears. This ingenious invention allowed women to adorn their ears without the need for painful piercing procedures.

The convenience and accessibility of clip-on earrings made them a desirable choice for many.

Victorians witnessed pierced ears as impure:

During the Victorian era, pierced ears were considered taboo and associated with impurity. Society viewed pierced ears as a symbol of rebellion and often associated them with undesirable social behaviors. As a result, clip-on earrings became a popular alternative for women who wanted to adhere to societal expectations while still accessorizing their ears.

The emergence of clip-on earring designs in the 19th and 20th Century:

As the demand for clip-on earrings grew, designers began creating a wide range of styles and designs. The 19th and 20th centuries witnessed a surge in creativity, with intricate and elaborate clip-on earrings becoming fashionable accessories. From elegant pearls to dazzling gemstones, clip-on earrings showcased a variety of materials and designs, allowing wearers to express their personal style.


Why were clip-on earrings so popular for Queen Elizabeth II?

Fun fact, Queen Elizabeth didn’t pierce her ears until she was 25 years old. Before then, all of her earrings were adjusted into clip-ons. This was because it wasn’t yet considered popular or healthy. Imagine all the beautiful clip-on earrings the young Queen would have had, all custom-made! It was only shortly after her accession in the 1950s that she decided to pierce her ears, after Cartier gifted her the famous pair of chandelier diamonds for her wedding.


The history of clip-on earrings is a testament to the ingenuity and adaptability of jewellery design. From their invention to their rise in popularity during the 19th and 20th centuries, clip-on earrings have provided a stylish solution for those with unpierced ears. Today, they continue to be cherished accessories, embracing individuality and offering an alternative to traditional earrings.

Don’t forget to check out our article on the Clipit Collective Brand Story. It delves deeper into the inspiration behind our brand and its commitment to providing stylish and comfortable clip-on earrings for all.