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What Are Post Earrings?

Piercing guns are the standard tool used for most ear piercings.
A woman wearing a diamond post earring.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 23 July 2014
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Post earrings are a style of earrings with a straight post that goes through the ear and a removable backing to go over the post and hold it in place at the back of the ear. This is as opposed to hook earrings, which are thin wires that go through the ear, but typically do not feature a backing. Post earrings are the type of earring that one wears when first getting the ears pierced, because they are simple and go straight through the earlobe, allowing the new hole to heal properly.

Stud earrings are not synonymous with post earrings; studs are earrings that do not extend below the earlobe. Some post earrings may have a post backing, yet still dangle below the earlobe similar to earrings on a curved wire. Stud earrings might also be referred to as "beginner earrings," but these will typically be very small and will not go below the earlobe. Usually getting one's ears pierced entitles one to a free pair of post earrings.

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When earrings are pierced with a piercing gun, these post earrings will have sharp, pointed ends to go through the ears, which is important to keep in mind if the earrings will continue to be worn in the future. Many advise against getting the ears pierced with a gun, preferring instead to go to a professional piercer who will use a needle to pierce the ears. In this case, the earrings placed in the ears will not need to have sharp, pointed ends, because they will not be used for the actual piercing process. People who are piercing their cartilage in the upper ear should always go to a piercer and not get that area pierced with a gun; the gun can crush the cartilage in that area, causing extreme pain, infection, or permanent damage.

The most common styles of post earrings feature a simple small silver or gold ball at the end of the earring, or a gemstone such as a diamond or a selected birthstone. Earrings are often made of gold or surgical steel because these are the least irritating metals, and should not cause allergic reactions. Some people who wear nickel coated earrings find that they will cause infection or irritation, so if that occurs it will be necessary to switch to a different metal. Be sure to clean the earrings regularly, and follow any directions following the ear piercing.

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Discuss this Article

tanner182
Post 4

@minthybear19 - I made my daughter wait until she was 14 years old. I wasn't sure she'd even want them pierced since she's kind of a tomboy -- but she grew out of being boyish. She originally wanted to get her ears pierced with a needle, but she got scared and decided to use the gun instead.

She wanted to get her upper ear pierced too but she found out that it has to be done with a needle and is sticking with what she has. She didn't get her birth stone though -- she just got plain gold post earrings.

Jacques6
Post 3

I only have one ear pierced and it's long closed up now. When I was in college, I went and got it pierced -- and it wasn't with the gun either. The woman who did my ear was very professional and did it quickly but it was far from painless. Punching a hole in your body should hurt, otherwise you have a nerve problem.

I never got a post earring, but I loved stud earrings. They were simple and you could get ones with neat designs. I tried the whole pirate look with the golden earring – but it was actually gold and I was nervous wearing it. I grew out of the phase and let my ear close.

minthybear19
Post 2

@Almita - My mom had my ears pierced when I was a baby, so I don't remember it. She kept my post earrings, so I know that it was with a piercing gun and not the needle. I guess the piercing gun makes sense for babies because you don't have to hold them still for too long. I can't imagine trying to position it right on a wiggling baby!

I actually promised myself that when I have kids I wouldn't get their ears pierced. I don't particularly like having pierced ears and I wish that mom had waited until I was old enough to decide.

Almita
Post 1

I went in to get my ears pierced when I was 13 years old. It was a place in the mall and the woman who pierced my ears used a piercing gun. The post earrings I picked had my birthstone on them -- which was great because it was a birthday present.

The gun was so fast, the sound scared me more than the sting in my ear. Over all, I didn't have any trouble with my ears except that I was squeamish about rotating them every day. It was worth it though – I'm a little scared of needles. The gun was quick – I probably would have chickened out if I saw a needle in her hand.

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