These earrings are models of a carbon molecule known as a Buckyball. This particular molecule is made of sixty carbon atoms and was given the name Buckminsterfullerene by its discoverers, due to its resemblance to the famous geodesic dome designs of Buckminster Fuller. This name is the origin of the nickname 'Buckyball' used for similar molecules with different numbers of carbon atoms, as well as the name 'Fullerene' which is used generally for carbon molecules. Buckyballs of various sizes are created naturally in flame and by lightning strikes, most commonly this particular size. Despite their natural origins, Buckyballs were unknown until 1985, when a team of chemists created and detected them in the laboratory by hitting a block of graphite with a laser. The team won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for their discovery!
These earrings are 22 mm (7/8") across. (The real molecule is about one nanometer across, so this model is made at about twenty million times scale!) There are no earwires in the model; earwires or studs can easily be added with a jumpring.
We have several other versions of Buckyballs in our shop too, as well as carbon nanotube pendants.