February 09, 2022

The History of Handmade Hoop Earrings

Handmade hoop earrings

Hoop earrings come in so many different shapes, sizes and styles - it can be a bit of a minefield. Here's my brief guide to handmade hoop earrings - a staple for any earring collection, without a doubt there will be a hoop earring that suits you, whatever your style!

What are hoop earrings all about?

Bold, confident and perfect for making a statement, hoops have rarely been out of style even with their origins being centuries old. Hoops are some of the oldest accessories around, being proudly worn by men and women of many cultures for thousands of years. Worn by Black and Latinx women for decades, hoop earrings are a symbol of resistance and strength, alongside womanhood, empowerment, culture and pride.

When I designed my latest range of hoop earrings I wanted to create something that celebrates individuality, with an easy to wear pair of small hoop earrings that can be combined with multiple different looks, check them out here

9ct gold and solid silver hoop earrings

Where did handmade hoop earrings originate?

Gold hoops are one of the oldest forms of jewellery. Their simplicity and impact are appreciated world wide, in fact when you delve right into the history you see that they arrived simultaneously across many different cultures spanning the ancient world. Some of the earliest evidence suggests they originated in Africa in the 4th century, but undoubtedly they emerged concurrently in several entirely separate cultures in the ancient world. They were worn by both men and women in Ancient Egypt.

This image dates back to 17th century showing a saffron picking girl from an Akrotiri fresco on the island of Santorini:

Hoop earrings have held special cultural significance for Black and Latinx women for centuries, to have such wide appeal across so many contrasting cultures, there is clearly something innately powerful about the shape and statement of the hoop earring.

What do hoop earrings symbolise?

This can vary depending on the style and the wearer! Hoop earrings can symbolise Wealth, Beauty and Female Empowerment. For some they are symbols of resistance, strength and identity.

There is so much variation in hoop earring design that the symbolism can shift depending on the specific style, and of course the wearer themselves. Large door knocker style hoops celebrate power, confidence and beauty with a bold statement. Where as smaller hoop earrings have a much subtler nod towards these aspects. I have a range of different styles of hoop earring available to buy, some with softer curves, celebrating femininity while others have more angular 'powerful' shape

Hoop earring styles

How to choose hoop earrings?

When choosing hoop earrings one of the biggest style choices is the size. The smallest hoops are often called 'Huggie' hoop earrings, these are designed to hug the ear lobe. They are the subtlest, easiest to wear size - but they can still make an impact and draw the eye.

Solid silver hoop earrings


Looking for a big impact? Large hoop earrings really make a statement, they are a bold look that can celebrate your style/culture/political stance and should be worn with confidence.

In between large and small there is a whole spectrum of 'medium' sized hoop earrings that balance wearability with impact, a classic pairing for almost any outfit.

small hoop earrings with sharp lines   9ct gold hoop earrings


Size isn't the only thing to consider though, Hoop earrings can come in every colour, metal and style under the sun with embellishments and decorative details to create truly unique designs, from the subtle to the flamboyant.

How to wear hoop earrings

Thats a toughie, hoop earrings should be a celebration of your own style so I can't tell you exactly what will work for you! Hoop earrings can be worn in such different ways that the same thing wont work for everyone, but you can be certain that without a doubt there will be a hoop earring out there that matches your style.

Some of the key things to think about are what you are going to wear with your hoop earrings and how you will wear your hair. If your hoop earrings are large and impactful you want them to take centre stage, so let them do the talking without adding a necklace. Smaller hoop earrings don't want to be hidden behind your hair so consider wearing your hair up or tucked behind your ears.

Angular hoop earrings

Large, bold earrings might form the starting point of your look that you can build the rest of your outfit around, whereas small subtle, delicate hoops might be the finishing touch to make your outfit complete.


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Are hoop earrings in style?

Hoop earrings transcend style! They are more than a fashion fad, they are no 'flash in the pan'. This question to some extent belittles the cultural significant of hoop earrings. For Latinx and black women 'style' might have very little to do with it, the significance of hoop earrings transcends fashion and style and has far greater meaning. Find the right hoop earring for you and celebrate this keystone of the jewellery world

Which hoop earrings will suit me?

A very difficult question! Not one anyone can give a definitive answer to in a blog post. You need to experiment, the only thing I can guarantee is that with so many styles available - you will find something that suits you and you'll know it when you see it. Some guidance can be given around face shapes, but even this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. For rounder faces angular styles can be more flattering, while oval faces can suit thicker, smaller hoops.

How are hoop earrings made?

Hoop earrings can be made in a multitude of ways, my newest hoop earrings are made using traditional jewellery making techniques. I hand forged the design with nothing more than fire, hammers, stakes, and files. Creating clean sinuous lines and gentle curves, a classic design with a modern touch. Watch me hand forge them here:


Hoop earrings to buy...

If you are looking for hoop earrings to buy then take a look at my range of 9ct gold and solid silver hoop earrings for sale. All my jewellery is handmade in the UK by me, they are all my own design and I love them! I'm also available to take on commissions if you have something specific in mind

sterling silver huggie hoop earrings
Hoop earrings for sale uk


Thanks for checking out my blog post, I hope you found it useful. If you would like to read more like this then sign up to my mailing list, follow me on instagram, or take a look at my full range of hoop earrings.