Most of the button or stud earrings available in today’s market are secured with traditional friction backs. The friction back is a basic, efficient, clutch and post style clasp that operates on a simple principle. A precious metal post passes through the ear, and a flexible ear nut is built to slide over this post securing the earring in position.
Friction backs can range in gauge from light weight flimsy posts used in low end earrings, to some Middle Eastern and Asian styles which can be heavy and uncomfortable. For this reason it is always a good idea to try earrings on before your purchase them.
The benefits of friction backs are all about simplicity. Friction back earrings are easy to use and operate, and they are cost efficient.
Friction backs are fallible. Over time the flexible ear nuts can loosen, therefore, they are not advisable for heavy or high value items.
Many high end earrings and diamond studs are fitted with screw backs. Screw back earrings provide an added element of security, ensuring that your earrings will not be lost when tugged or pulled. Earrings with this feature are crafted with threaded posts, created from the appropriate precious metal. The clutch, or ear nut as it is known, is often ornamental and has a receiving end that screws onto this post. Once in the ear, the clutch is tightened along the threaded post until it is snug.
There is no question that the addition of screw backs will provide peace of mind to anyone owning a valuable earring. The security provided by these backs usually outweighs the additional cost.
One downside to screw back earrings is that the corrugated surface of the threaded posts can irritate sensitive skin along the ear. Another concern is that it takes some time and manual dexterity to thread these posts until they are tightened.
La Pousette Backs
For those earring owners who are looking for a balance of both comfort and security, the la pousette back is a nifty little invention. This tried and true ear clutch has made it possible for people to confidently wear valuable earrings without fear of loss, and without the fuss of screwing the clutch onto its earring.
Operating much like the lens cap of a 35mm camera, squeezing two small tabs depressed into the earring clutch allows it to pass smoothly over an ear post. The clutch then locks securely into position upon release. The la pousette back has proven to be the most credible post for valuable earrings.
This post is smooth, making it comfortable and easy to wear with sensitive ears. Although not quite as easy to manipulate as friction backs, they are easier to clasp than screw backs. Once locked in place, they are as secure as any backs available allowing you to wear your more valuable earrings with confidence.
The la pousette back is a bit more expensive compared to its contenders. Furthermore, some people with arthritis or dexterity issues may become frustrated in trying to squeeze the small tabs that position it onto the post.