Don't want anyone to know what precious jewels you are displaying on your ears while you travel??? Then you need Victorian Coach Earring Cover / Orbs! What a clever idea, unless you know the secret! People were so clever and the designs are just jaw dropping.
photo credit from pinterest
With the discovery in 1869 of diamond deposits in South Africa, jewelry became "ablaze with diamonds." Earlier sources of diamonds for American jewelers had been India and Brazil, but after 1870 African mines supplied most of the demand. While etiquette proscribed against a show of dazzling stones during the daytime, at night they were worn everywhere. Beauty and practicality combine in these diamond-drop earrings with removable "coach" covers.
In the late 1800s, detachable orbs known as coach covers were used to disguise diamond drop earrings during the daytime or while traveling. (The Hairpin, via Skinner Auctions)
McLaughlin: I’d never heard of coach covers until I came across a set in an auction catalog last fall and was totally delighted. They’re little hollow, hinged balls—I’ve since seen them enameled in black and also in gold with a textured finish—that snap over the drops in drop earrings. They were used during the late 1800s as camouflage: They hid one’s diamonds during the day, and could be removed for evening soirees. I’m in awe that any of them have survived, and I also know that I will never buy a pair, because I would immediately lose one of them.