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How To Convert Earrings To A New Earring Style

Written by Annabelle
April 16, 2020

Maybe they’re clip-ons. Maybe you don’t like wearing studs anymore. Whatever it is, you want to change up the style of your earrings and wear them differently. But how do you go about doing that? Here’s how to convert earrings into the style that you want; read on to learn more.

3 Factors That Affect Earring Conversion

Earrings come in a variety of styles; hoops, studs, dangle earrings, and clip-ons. Depending on your personal preference you might want a particular style over another! However, the conversion process isn’t straightforward. Here are a few factors to consider:


These unique dangle earrings were once hollow stud earrings. The client had us clip off the design and attach it to leverbacks.

  1. The design of your earring: Not every design is modifiable for certain earring styles. If you have a small pair of gemstone studs, you won’t be able to convert them to omega-back clip-ons simply because there’s not enough space for the jeweler to attach the new components. You’ll also have to consider how you want the new earrings to look; for instance, if you have a pair of rectangular earrings that you’re converting to dangle earrings, do you want them to hang vertically or horizontally? Is it a feasible conversion? Discussion with your jeweler will help you figure out what you can do with your earrings.
  2. The material of your earring: If you’re converting fine jewelry, that’s usually not an issue for most jewelers as the metals and stones will be high quality enough to withstand the conversion process. However, if you’re looking to convert costume jewelry earrings, the material will pose an issue. Many costume jewelry earrings are made from cheap alloys that do not take metalwork because they contain lead or zinc, or they’re set with plastic and glass rhinestones that will burn if exposed to heat. A jeweler can test the item with a laser to see if the earrings are workable before proceeding. 
  3. The finishing of your earring: If your item is gold-plated or gold-filled, metalwork can remove the coloration. Keep in mind that in order to restore its original look, the jeweler will have to re-plate your item after work. This may change its current aesthetic as new gold plating is very bright and fresh in color, which may affect the look of antique earrings in the conversion process.

The Earring Conversion Process

Once you’ve hammered out the details with the jeweler, it’s time to get started on the conversion process! In all scenarios, the jeweler has to supply components in order to change the style of the earring. Here’s a brief list below of the conversions:

  1. Stud Posts/Screwbacks: The jeweler removes the existing style of the earrings, such as bails, jump rings, clip-on backs, or dangle earring components to leave the design by itself. Once the design has been separated from the original components, the jeweler marks the desired solder point and attaches a stick post or screwback post to the back of the design.


    A pair of white gold diamond stud earrings with screwbacks. Note the textured posts.

  2. Hoop/Leverback/French Wire: If you’re converting any type of earring to a hoop or dangly earring, you’re essentially making the design into a charm earring. The original components of the design are removed, a bail or jump ring is attached to the top of the design, and this is then soldered or slipped onto the hoop, leverback, or french wire. The design then dangles from the earring.


    A pair of stud earrings converted into leverback dangle earrings.

  3. Clip-ons: Clip-ons come in two styles: screw clip-ons and omega-back clip-ons. Depending on your preferences, screw clip-ons can have the design directly attached to the flat front of the component, giving the earring a “stud” look. Alternatively, they can also be dangle earrings. On the other hand, omega-back clip-ons must be directly attached to the back of the design.


    These earrings have screw clip-on backs, which twist to tighten onto a non-pierced earlobe.


    These omega back clip-on open and close to snap onto an ear.

Now you’re all set on how to convert earrings! If you’re looking to change the aesthetic of your item without having to purchase a whole new pair of earrings, comment below and we can help you get started.

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