How to Fix a Broken Hoop Earring
Annabelle / March 18, 2020
Hoop earrings are a classic staple in anyone’s jewelry box! However, their design means that they’re prone to a variety of issues. If you have a broken hoop earring, here’s how you can get it repaired.
Types of hoop earrings
To get an understanding of how to start your broken hoop earring repair, you need to identify what type of hoop earring you have! Not all hoop earrings have the same structure, so knowing what needs to be fixed (and how) is the starting point.
- Wire hoop earrings: A thin wire is threaded inside a hollow hoop. To open it, the wearer has to shift the wire sideways in order to create a gap and thread the wire through their piercing. While this creates a “seamless” look, the wire is fragile and can easily snap or break during the opening and closing process.
- Hinged hoop earrings: The hinged hoop earring is a more sturdy design that relies on a hinged post at the top of the earring. To open it, the post swings out of a notched holder, allowing the wearer to put the post through their ear piercing and close it by pushing the post down until it clicks back into the holder. Over time, the hinge can wear down or stop working, breaking off the post and requiring replacement.
- Post hoop earrings: Unlike hinged hoop earrings, these hoops work like stud earrings. Their design is not closed, and the post at the top goes through the ear and is fastened with a regular stick post earring back. Like regular stick post earrings, these posts are prone to snapping off if weakened from wear.
- Huggie hoops: Huggie hoops are designed to be very small and fit close to the ear. Many of them are hinged, but in a different way than larger hinged hoops. Instead of the hinge being at the top of the earring, the entire earring is designed to open from a hinge at the bottom of the hoop. At the top, a post goes through the ear piercing and closes by wedging itself into a little notch on the other side. Unlike the notched holder, which is a separate piece of metal attached to the earring, this notch is simply a small cut or hole in the metal on the opposite side of the earring. It can be less secure, especially as the notch wears down over time. This causes the earring to swing open.
Popular Broken Hoop Earring Repairs
Most hoop earrings come in for post repairs, but we’ve also compiled a list of other popular issues here. As these earrings are delicate and prone to damage, an assortment of restoration work is often needed even for one pair.
- Post repair & replacement: Each type of hoop earring has its own method of repair when it comes to post repair. As this component of the earring is the easiest to damage, it’s hardly surprising that over 80% of the repairs we receive in-house for earrings are for fixing posts.
- Wire hoop earrings: Once the wire has snapped, the only way to repair these hoops is to thread it with a new wire. Depending on the metal and the thickness of the earring, the jeweler selects a new wire in the same material that can fit the hollow tube. They fasten the wire securely within the tube, ensuring that it can be easily drawn out and bent back and forth for opening and closing.
- Hinged hoop earrings: The posts at the top of these earrings are not easy to repair, as the jeweler needs to replace the post and the hinge. Fortunately, the posts for these earrings are supplied with a matching hinge for assembly. The jeweler simply checks the earring to make sure they have a post and hinge of the correct size, and solders the new hinge to the end of the tube to secure it to the earring. Then they check to see if the post swings in and out, and if it clicks into the notched holder at the end.
- Post hoop earrings: The easiest post repair out of all of the hoop earrings. The jeweler supplies a new post or solders the new post straight onto the back of the earring.
- Huggie hoops: Much like the post hoop earrings, the jeweler only has to attach a new post to the end of the earring as the hinge on this design is part of the earring structure. An additional step is to deepen the notch on the other end of the earring, to ensure that it can hold the post properly.
- Hinge repair: Unique to hinged hoop earrings and huggie hoops, the hinge on a hoop earring can loosen over time. In order to repair it, the jeweler examines the piece to determine the issue. For hinged hoop earrings, the jeweler can tighten the hinge or replace it entirely. Huggie hoop earrings cannot have their hinges replaced, and the only solution is to tighten the hinge or deepen the notch that holds the end of the post.
- Stone replacement: Hoop earrings can lose stones over time! Replacing and setting stones in earrings is a fairly simple process if the settings are prong settings; the jeweler pries the prongs back and inserts the stone before closing the prongs. Channel-set hoops are more difficult, as the lip of the channel needs to be widened to insert the replacement gem and tightened to make sure all stones are set properly.
- Gold plating: Common to costume jewelry hoops, the color of these earrings can wear off over time. The gold plating process restores that coloration by fusing a thin layer of gold to the surface of the item.
Repairing Hollow Hoop Earrings
We commonly hear from customers who want to pop a few dents out of hollow tube earrings. Unfortunately, the construction of these items are near-impossible to work with, and the repair could potentially worsen the damage. Some jewelers recommend soldering a wire to the earring and pulling out the dent, but we always make sure that the customer is aware that there are risks associated with the repair. If the metal is too brittle or too thin, we don’t even attempt the process as it could destroy the earring.
Now you’re ready to get started on how to fix your broken hoop earrings! Whether it’s a loose hinge, missing post, or flaking color, you know how to get it repaired. Comment below if you have something to fix and we’ll help you out.