If Queen Latifah is wearing a modern take on chandelier earrings, you can bet they’re in style. Chandelier earrings may be hot now, but they have been depicted in European portraits since the mid-16th century.


Chandelier earrings typically have three or more drops suspended from a single element and are often set with gemstones or pearls. Forerunners of this style appeared as early as 300 B.C.E. They earned their nickname in the 1920s because they resembled chandeliers, but prior to this, they were often referred to as girandole earrings.

Courtesy of Neil Lane, Inc., Beverly Hills, CA. (c) GIA & Tino Hammid

These Art Deco chandelier earrings have Asian and Arabesques motifs. Courtesy of Neil Lane, Inc., Beverly Hills, CA. (c) GIA & Tino Hammid

What accounts for the resurgence of this style? GIA exhibit designer McKenzie Santimer shares her thoughts on their revival: “Chandelier earrings frame the face of the wearer and make for an elegant look. It’s a timeless look fueled by short hairstyles. They are a real statement piece that has moved from the ballroom to the office.”

Gift of Leslie Weinberg Designs

GIA alum Leslie Weinberg’s “Give Her Your Heart, the Moon and the Stars” earrings show that inspiration can literally come from the heavens. The earrings have a pavé diamond heart stud with hammered and satin finished half-moons accented with diamonds. Suspended from the half-moons are 26 multi-colored sapphire stars that look like a meteor shower. Gift of Leslie Weinberg Designs

This style is getting a makeover by modern designers. Innovations include creative designs and using lighter materials and smaller stones while still creating a bold look.  As you can see from the range of styles below, chandelier earrings are stunning for their beauty and versatility.

Courtesy of Marco Marchese

These trendy white gold earrings set with diamonds and pink tourmalines, sometimes referred to in the trade as rubellite, are a modern interpretation of classic chandelier earrings. They wear well in the workplace and in the nightclub. Courtesy of Marco Marchese.

Chandelier earrings are classic, and these beauties can light up anyone’s life.  Tell us how many you have in your collection?  Let’s see who has the most!

Gift of James McShane.

These haunting tortoise-shell earrings could have been worn by a celebrity attending the 2013 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s gala, Punk: Chaos to Couture, but they actually come from the Victorian era (1837 – 1901). Gift of James McShane. Gift of James McShane.

Main Image: A close-up of the earrings Queen Latifah is wearing. Created by Le Vian, they are a reimagining of the chandelier style. The interlocking tear drops make the earrings playful and create negative space. This gives the design added depth and airiness. Image courtesy of D’Orazzio.