Jewelry Redesign Story #46: Ear Climbers: A New Jewelry Trend for Ears

October 13, 2021

custom jewelry, jewelry redesign, custom earrings
Before and After



Karen has been holding on to this diamond and emerald ring and bracelet set since she received them as a gift from her parents when she was a young girl. Karen loved the thought of her parents bestowing her with such a nice gift, however she continued to find that the jewelry set didn’t match her style. After so many years, she decided that the best way to honor the gift from her parents would be to redesign the two pieces into something new that she would love to wear.

We were so happy to be able to help Karen take these items out of the drawer -- both literally and physically -- by designing her an entirely new piece that she’d be happy to wear in near-constant rotation. 


jewelry design, jewelry redesign, sketches

initial sketches

Karen realized that the type of jewelry she enjoyed wearing the most was earrings and she just so happened to have a gap in her collection for a new set. 

Originally Karen asked us to make her earrings with a vintage, art-deco feel. We created a number of sketches that offered a 1920s style dangly cluster earring. 

Although Karen found the designs to be lovely, she realized that she actually was looking for something more trendy and contemporary.

jewelry design, jewelry redesign, sketches initial sketches
jewelry design, jewelry redesign, sketches initial sketches

Second sketches

For our more contemporary sketches we showed Karen designs of either simple linear earrings or the very nouveau style of ear climbers, a new style of earring that literally climbs the ear, working as both an earring and a decorative cuff for the entire ear and not just the lobe. 

Karen absolutely loved the idea of the modern and trendy ear climbers so we set to work getting measurements that we needed specifically for this kind of design. Much like a ring or bracelet, rather than a standard necklace or earring, getting customer-specific measurements is essential to making a design that is physically custom-fitted to the customer. This special fitting makes the design even more special to the wearer as they know that their final piece will fit them personally and be something that is only for them.

earrings, custom earrings, custom jewelry earrings, custom earrings, custom jewelry

Ear measuring

In fact, we found out that perfect custom fitting to an ear is no simple process. In addition to receiving measurements on Karen’s ear height and width, we also needed to carefully assess photos of the curve of her ear. There was a lot of observation, measuring, sketching, and even some complicated math but, in the end, we were happy that both the length and curved line of the ear climbers were to be perfectly suited to Karen’s ears.

rhino cad, earrings, studio remod, custom jewelry, custom earrings

rhino cad, earrings, studio remod, custom jewelry, custom earrings rhino cad, earrings, studio remod, custom jewelry, custom earrings

Rhino Model

We also had to make sure that the left and right ears looked like they matched perfectly, even while recognizing the slight differences in measurements from either one. 

Matching the shapes, sizes, and stone placement across these slightly different measurements proved to be a bit of a challenge but one we were totally up for. This was definitely a design in which our Rhino Modeling was an essential part of the design process!

casting, jewelry cad, rhino cad, jewelry design, jewelry redesign


Casting was another particularly important step for this particular redesign. It was at this point in our process that we were able to check that the climbers would indeed match and fit on Karen’s ears. When we saw that they fit her and all the stones perfectly we were ready to finalize the design and cast and set the stones for the final pieces. 


custom jewelry, studio remod, custom earrings

custom jewelry, studio remod, custom earrings

The finished jewelry

Karen loved how well the final piece fit her and was a completely new piece that still was able to remind her of her parents while also being incredibly modern and chic. She feels like a complete original wearing her custom ear climbers that are perfectly tailored to her body and we loved being challenged by a new style of jewelry design. 

Materials: 14k yellow gold ear climbers with marquise emeralds in prong settings

Manufacturing Level: Medium

Design Level: Medium

Want a custom jewelry piece that fits you like a glove? Get started here.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.