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Body jewelry comes in many different styles. When purchasing jewelry it’s important to be informed about what you are buying. Understanding these differences will help you make informed choices when purchasing your jewelry. There are many different choices but not all are created equal. The quality of your jewelry can greatly effect your healing and even healed piercings. Premium jewelry may be more expensive initially but it lasts years longer and the stones stay brighter. Quality over quantity is a good saying. Keep in mind your jewelry is something that you are putting “in” your body not “on” your body.
The main things to look for when purchasing jewelry are.
What is the material of the jewelry?
What type of threading does it have?
What type of stones (if applicable)?
What size jewelry do I need?
How easy is it insert and remove the jewelry?
Materials are so important when choosing your jewelry. An implant grade mirror polish finish makes healing easier on your body and are one of the factors on how long it takes to heal. Low quality metals with a lower polish slow healing. Jewelry that is labeled as implant grade isn’t always 100%. Often the whole piece isn’t implant grade just the part that is in your piercing. The parts that aren’t implant grade degrade and turn a rust color. I see a lot of plated jewerly. Colorful jewelry is often an unpolished rough steel with a layer of titanium paint over it. When this plating wears off it causes problems with your piercing.
316L Implant grade or Surgical grade is a good choice. It is a silver color metal. The higher the polish the better the jewelry.
ASTM F136 is implant grade titanium a great choice for body jewelry. It used in most surgical and dental implants. Although naturally a silver metal it can be put through a process called anodizing to color the metal. Different levels of heat create an anodized layer on top of the metal, over time this layer will fade.
Gold is a good choice for body jewelry. Gold is naturally a soft metal, it can be scripted and dented easily. Because of this other metals are added. Higher quality companies will add higher quality metals. The higher the quality of the added metal the less likely you will have a sensitivity or allergic reaction to your jewerly. 24kt is 100% Gold, 18kt is 75% Gold, 14kt is 58.3% Gold, 10kt is 41.7% Gold
Silver is not an implant grade metal and should not be worn in your piercings. It releases silver salts that can permanently discolor your skin to a grey or green color.
Implant grade silicone is an option for some. It is flexible and many find it comfortable. I have seen a lot of sensitivity to silicone jewelry.
Acrylic is not the best to wear in your body. Be aware than many online jewelry companies paint their acrylic jewelry which can chip off. Acrylic holds bacteria, it should only be worn in healed piercings.
Ptfe is an implant grade flexible plastic that can be sterilized. I find it useful for helping hard to heal piercings and piercings that have frequent flare ups during the healing process. Healing issue often have to do with a single trauma or repeated trauma to the piercing. Metal is hard and the skin cells forming inside your piercing are delicate. There isn’t much forgiveness if you’re too rough while these cell are trying to grow and get stronger. There is more forgiveness with the flexibility of the PTFE and with proper care of your piercing the two work together to get you back on track in your healing process.
Glass can be worn in healing piercings because it is non porous. It is a great choice for those who are sensitive to other materials.
Most barbells have a ball that screws or snaps into place. Straight, Curved, and Circular Barbells have threading. Rings do not
The easiest way to remember the difference is that Internally threaded screws “in” to the jewelry. This is the style that is preferred by most piercers. The end that you insert is smooth and is less likely to damage the inside of your piercing while inserting.
Externally threaded screws on to the jewelry. The threads on the skin inside the piercing. This can shred and tear the skin on the inside of the piercing anytime you take your jewelry in or out.
Threadless is a snap in rather than screw in (or on) style. It consists of a ball (or crystal, opal, etc) with a pin on the end that is inserted 1/3 of the way and given a small bend to the pin. Once the inserted the bend in the pin creates a tension that holds the jewelry together. In my opinion this style works best in titanium because it is such a strong metal and difficult to bend so it retains the bend when pushed in making it more secure.
Jewelry Stones & Settings
Jewelry Insertion Tips
More to come soon!