Introducing: The Interchangeables Collection
There is something about you that you don't know that I know: You already own the earrings you long to wear.
As much as I flatter myself that you dream of the pretties on my shop page, I know that can only true part of the time. There are little ghosts in our jewelry boxes that are far more complex than that. Most of us nickel-allergic folks have a drawer full of earrings that have been tried and discarded. They have been worn for a while, then set aside, never to see the light of day again. But some of those earrings are actually precious memories from people in your life, and admit it, some of them still get worn, even though they cause you pain every time.
Allergy or not, jewelry is often a tangible connection to another place and time, and to the most important people in our lives. There are certain pieces we will never part with, not always because the piece is so marvelous, but because we want to remember. But because of our allergy, we can also no longer wear them.
Here's the Plan
If your earrings are constructed in such a way that you can just remove a dangle, I think I can help.
I have offered individual earwires before, but the idea never quite took off. I failed to redesign the earwires in a way that did not require you to use additional tools, and because of this they were not as useful as I had hoped. Now I have completely re-designed these earwires to fit your needs better. They are intended to be easy to slide your dangle onto, but also hold securely. You may choose to only keep one pair of dangles on one set of earwires permanently, or you may choose to change the dangles from time to time, making them even more versatile.
I am currently offering two new styles of earwires with this end in mind: Loop n Latch Earwires, and Snap-In Earwires. But as I have been working with this idea, I realized there are styles I already make that could easily be used this way. Hoop Earrings and Oval Post Hoop Earrings are both easy to slide a dangle on and off. I'm making these styles in either Niobium or Argentium Sterling Silver, and if you consider that I can anodize the Niobium to be a variety of colors, the possibilities just blossom.
So let me show you what's happening over here in my corner.
Loop n Latch Earwires
I did make some true Kidney-style earwires to experiment with this idea, but quickly decided they were not useful to me. Kidneys have a "notch" where the dangle hangs, but to my taste, it was not secure enough. If only I could design the notch more like a closed loop, but still allow a dangle to be easily removable ... (pause, pause, while Donna thinks...) My solution: Loop n Latch Earwires.
They latch on the back so you won't lose them, and they still hold your dangle securely on the front. You can slide the dangle of your choice right into the loop, no tools needed. You may need to give it a little "push" with your hands, but they will pop right into place, and you'll be set to go.
Based on a simple French Hook design (a.k.a. Shepherd's Hook, Fish Hook), these have a graceful curve at the front that I think you'll really enjoy. I hammer the end of the little loop flat for style, then form it similar to a reverse French Hook for a graceful style. You can just slide your dangle over the arch from the back, no tools necessary. *By the way, you can always make your French Hook earrings more secure by placing a small plastic stopper on the back of them.
While you are selecting your earwires, you will, of course want to consider what color your dangle is.
Argentium Sterling Silver is easy, because it's, well, Silver. Niobium, however, may require a little advice on what colors might go with what.
Here's a quick reminder of the colors that I can make in Niobium by anodizing the metal. You can also read more in my previous blog article: What Color Are Your Dreams?
What Matches What?
So here's a handy reference guide for your consideration. The colors in the photos are going to be just a little different from what you see in real-life, but they are meant to be a close approximation. Also, the colors of gold, brass, bronze, and even silver vary widely, so consider carefully if you want a true match. For the most part, I think it will be more useful to choose a color that complements your jewelry rather than truly matching, but that will still depend on the piece. So here are some ideas for you.
If your jewelry is: Brass & Bronze
then choose: Niobium 1 Light Bronze, 2 Dark Bronze, 12 Pale Yellow, 13 Bright Yellow, 14 Bright Gold, 15 Dark Gold
If your jewelry is: Stainless Steel & Gunmetal, Oxidized Sterling Silver
then choose: Niobium Natural Gray
If your jewelry is: Gold:
then choose: Niobium 1 Light Bronze, 12 Pale Yellow, 13 Bright Yellow, 14 Bright Gold, 15 Dark Gold, 27 Light Yellow, 28 Pink Yellow
If your jewelry is: Silver
then choose: Argentium Sterling Silver, Niobium 11 Silver Blue
Or you can get creative. I'm a big fan of contrasting bright colors with other bright colors, or try to match a color that's embedded in your earring dangle. Other colors just go well together - Blue and yellow, for example, Red and Silver, or whatever you choose. Some of the most versatile colors are plain niobium gray, brown (any shade), dark gold, and silver.
How Does It Work?
I offer earwires in small packs of 1, 3, or 5. Because of the small scale of my operation (*Donna waves* -- "hi, it's just me :)" ) I have to price these "as jewelry." Although I do offer incremental discounts for packs of 3 and 5, I cannot go lower on the price that they are in the 5 packs, and I do not wholesale my products. Prices vary according to the type of metal used, and by whether they are anodized. Shipping costs less on these little babies, though, because packaging is minimal and they are very lightweight.
If you would like to choose a different style of earwire on a pair of earrings that I have already completed and posted for sale, just let me know what you would like. Some styles will be easy to change out - some will not be feasible because of the styling, but you are welcome to ask. I will charge and additional $2 for changing the earwires according to your request.
I do need to let you know, though, that I don't do repairs on existing jewelry, unless it happens to be something I made myself.
The best way to see what's being offered is to see my "Interchangeables" page on my shop. Use the drop-down menu on the side bar to shop by earwires or dangles, or to see everything at once.
Can I Buy Dangles Separately?
Why, yes you can, and thank you for asking. Now that I'm thinking along these lines, and really exploring what versatility means, the question has come up about whether I can sell the charms / dangles separately from the earwires. Well, of course I can. I have started a little selection to get us started, but rest assured, more are coming ...
You'll start to see "Interchangeable" earwires popping up on completed earrings too, so use your imagination - you can get one pair of completed earwires with a couple of extra dangles, or get at little pack of earwires to complete earrings you have at home.
You choose the style, you choose the dangle, you choose the color.
The choice is yours.
Interchangeable Earwires Collection
Niobium Anodizing and Care
Argentium Sterling Silver Care
My Contact Page