Earring (One of a Pair)

Period: Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C.–A.D. 668)

Date: Silla Kingdom, 5th century

Culture: Korea

Medium: Gold

Dimensions: L. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)

Classification: Jewelry

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1943

Accession Number: 43.49.13


This pair is a representative example of pure gold earrings from fifth-century Silla. Most earrings from the Three Kingdoms period have a tripartite composition. In this pair, the top section consists of a hollow fat ring and an interlocking thinner ring; the bottom section consists of a thin leaf-shaped pendant cut from plain gold sheet. The top and bottom are connected by a relatively small linking piece with openwork design. Similar earrings have been unearthed from various tombs in Kyōngju, including Inwang-dong Tomb no. 20 and the North Mound of Hwangnam-daech’ong Tomb.

Excavations of large Silla-period tombs in Kyōngju have yielded vast quantities of gold earrings. Varied in design and level of complexity, these dazzling earrings vividly illustrate the skill of Silla craftsmen and the tastes of Silla royalty and nobles.