Losing an earring back is like losing half your earring. You won’t be able to use your earrings unless you are able to secure an appropriate earring back to replace the lost one. Fortunately, there are so many types of earring backs to choose from, and you can easily purchase a set of spare ones so you won’t be troubled by a lost push back or screw ever again.
The best part about the Internet is you can easily shop for spare earring backs from the comfort of your home, and you can also choose leisurely which ones you want to use and compare prices before you even buy.
We recommend that you get a dedicated earring holder, too, so you won’t lose any more earrings later on.
Identifying the correct earring back
To buy: Sterling silver earring backs – Amazon.com
There are actually only two types of earring backs that can get lost while in use: the friction back or push back, and the screw back. friction backs or push backs are so-called because they are literally pushed into the pole to secure the earring.
They can eventually get lost due to wear and tear, as the metal scrolls that provide the spring tension during use can eventually open up significantly, causing slippage. In some cases, a loose or damaged push back can cause you to lose your earring as well, as the earring will likely slide off when the push back is gone.
If you have some push backs at home that barely hold on anymore, what you can do is to take a small pair of pliers and give these push backs a slight squeeze across the opposing metal scrolls, so the scrolls will tighten again. You can use the fine tips of a pair of long-nosed pliers to widen the space a little if you squeezed too hard.
To buy: Screw-back earrings – Amazon.com
Now, in the event that you lost a screw back, replacing the screw back just might be a little trickier because there are slight differences in the measurements of the threading of earrings. Your best option at this point would be to check back on your previous retailer to see if they are selling any spares.
If not, try to get the measurement information of the earrings that you purchased. Once you have that information, you can hunt on the Internet for the perfect set of spare nuts for your earrings. In the event that you can’t find a matching screw back, what we can recommend is that you purchase a matching push back that fits the poles of your earrings.
Take note that push-backs come in so many different variations in terms of materials and size. If you have relatively lightweight earrings, you will only need to purchase small to medium-sized push backs.
Now if your earrings are heavy, you may want to double up the size and look for jumbo push backs. Jumbo push backs are designed to stabilize heavier earrings and you can also sandwich a silicone plate or two between your ear and the push back for some extra tightness. Either way, it is going to work because threaded or not, an earring pole is still a pole.
Securing your earrings
There are several ways to store earrings so you don’t accidentally lose earring backs. The most classical method is keeping them in a large jewelry case, along with other pieces of jewelry.
This works, but if you get frazzled easily and you aren’t that organized with jewelry in general, then stuff might get lost in the box itself, and you may end up with more mismatched backs and earrings than before.
Option two along this line of thinking is getting a jewelry box that has multiple compartments so you can separate smaller items from the bigger ones. In this scenario, the much larger items in your jewelry collection will be placed below the compartments, and you can just group your earrings in the smaller compartments so they’re easier to pair and find.
Another method, which we find very convenient and efficient especially for long term storage of jewelry, is putting individual pairs of earrings in polyethylene bags with zip locks. This way, they’re paired properly but you can still see which is which in the jewelry box regardless of how many earrings you have at the moment.
Grouping by type
An even more organized method of storing earrings is by grouping them depending on what type of locking mechanism they have. You already know the push back or friction back earrings – these are the ones that have a pair of small, metal scrolls that provide the spring tension so the earrings will not fall off.
There are jumbo-sized friction backs for larger and heftier earrings, too. Screw backs are the ones that operate with a threaded pole. These are the most secure for high-value earrings because there is literally a nut and bolt assembly preventing the earrings from falling off.
Lever back earrings, on the other hand, do not have a separate back or cap, because one side of the earring fits into a large grooved section on the opposing side of the ring, often creating the illusion of an unbroken and continuous earring.
French wires, on the other hand, are also single piece earrings that require the weight of the earrings themselves to keep the locking mechanism secure. A single thread of metal goes through the piercing and just hangs in there, thereby earning the alternate name of “fishhook back” for this type of mechanism.
Take note also that there are tabbed, mechanical backs for earrings that require the user to press the two tabs to release the mechanism inside, so as to accommodate the earring pole.
Once the earring pole is inside, the two tabs will then be released, which allows the inside of the back to bite the metal and secure it in place. Right next to the screw back, the tabbed, mechanical back for earrings is one of the most secure earring backs known in the industry, and is perfect for high-value earrings, too.