Hoop earrings were worn by ancient Greeks, Romans, Asians, and Egyptians. What began as a way to identify tribal members turned into symbols of religion and power within societies.
The first hoop earrings originated around 2500 B.C.E. in Nubia, an African civilization located in what we now call Sudan. The ear jewelry was created in gold, silver, and bronze. In 1000 B.C.E., tapered hoop earrings spread to other cultures around the world.
In 1500 B.C.E., Egyptian men and women both flaunted gorgeous hoops on their ears. They believed earrings enhanced a person's beauty and were made using twisted gold wire and beads. Royal Egyptians wore heavy and thick gold hoops to symbolize their wealth and power.
Ancient Roman and Greek art show that these cultures embraced hoop earrings as well. The jewelry was predominately worn by women, but men with high social status sometimes sported hoop earrings as well. In ancient Persia, carvings depict soldiers wearing a single hoop earring in each ear.