Kelim, Chapter Eleven, Mishnah Nine
Today’s mishnah deals with the purity of earrings.
1) If an earring was shaped like a pot at its bottom and like a lentil at the top and the sections fell apart, the pot-shaped section is susceptible to impurity because it is a receptacle, while the lentil shaped section is susceptible to impurity in itself.
2) The hooklet is clean.
3) If the sections of an ear-ring that was in the shape of a cluster of grapes fell apart, they are clean.
Section one: The earring described here has two parts: the top is shaped like a pot and the bottom like a lentil (maybe someone should go into designing Talmudic jewelrymight make a good business). When the earring is whole, all of it is of course susceptible to impurity. If it falls apart both parts are still susceptible to impurity. The bottom part is no longer considered a piece of jewelry, but since it has a receptacle, it is still susceptible. The top part has no receptacle, but it is still susceptible because it is still considered a piece of jewelry.
Section two: However, the hooklet thread used to attach the earring to the ear is pure.
Section three: The individual pieces of this type of earring are not considered to be jewelry, and therefore when it falls apart they are clean.
To summarize: if the parts of a larger piece of jewelry are considered to be jewelry in their own right, they are still susceptible to impurity.