An earring is a piece of jewelry attached to the ear via a piercing in the earlobe or another external part of the ear (except in the case of clip earrings, which clip onto the lobe).

Earrings have been worn by people in different civilizations and historic periods, often with cultural significance. Locations for piercings other than the earlobe include the rook, tragus, and across the helix .The simple term “ear piercing” usually refers to an earlobe piercing, whereas piercings in the upper part of the external ear.

Earring components may be made of any number of materials, including metal, plastic, glass, precious stone, beads, wood, bone, and other materials. Designs range from small loops and studs to large plates and dangling items. The size is ultimately limited by the physical capacity of the earlobe to hold the earring without tearing. Body piercing jewelry is often used for ear piercings, and is selected for a variety of reasons including the availability of larger gauges, better piercing techniques, and a disdain for mainstream jewelry.

  • Captive bead rings– Captive bead rings, often abbreviated as CBRs and sometimes called ball closure rings, are a style of body piercing jewelry that is an almost 360° ring with a small gap for insertion through the ear. The gap is closed with a small bead that is held in place by the ring’s tension. Larger gauge ball closure rings exhibit considerable tension, and may require ring expanding pliers for insertion and removal of the bead.
  • Barbells– Barbells are composed of a thin, straight metal rod with a bead permanently fixed to one end. The other end is threaded, either externally or tapped with an internal thread, and the other bead is screwed into place after the barbell is inserted through the ear. Since the threads on externally threaded barbells tend to irritate the piercing, internal threads have become the most common variety. Another variation are threadless barbells or press-fit jewelry, with a hollow post, a fixed back disk and a front end that is attached with a slightly bend pin that is inserted into the post.
  • Circular barbells– Circular Barbells are similar to ball-closure rings, except that they have a larger gap, and have a permanently attached bead at one end, and a threaded bead at the other, like barbells. This allows for much easier insertion and removal than with ball closure rings, but at the loss of a continuous look.
  • Plugs– Earplugs are short cylindrical pieces of jewelry. Some plugs have flared ends to hold them in place, others require small elastic rubber rings (O-rings) to keep them from falling out. They are usuallyused in large-gauge piercings.
  • Flesh tunnels– Flesh tunnels, also known as eyelets or Bullet Holes, are similar to plugs; however, they are hollow in the middle. Flesh tunnels are most commonly used in larger gauge piercings either because weight is a concern to the wearer.