When it comes to body jewelry I believe in quality over quantity. Poor quality jewelry can impede healing and can cause healed piercings to get irritated. Quality is even more important because you're not just putting the jewelry "on" your body your'e putting the jewelry "in" your body. All professional piercers will have their own opinion on what quality jewelry is and what is acceptable. To show the differences in quality I've placed the jewelry into groups of poor, basic, and fine body jewelry. There is so much information on jewelry please note that this is a basic list to show the differences.
Non implant grade materials
May corrode in body turning a rust color
Skin sensitivities and allergic reactions are more likely
May discolor skin
Metal shine fades significantly
Colors have a plated coating that chips off in your piercing
Plastic gems that easily fall out and discolor
Implant grade materials
Allergies not common
Some may experience sensitivity while healing but not usually once healed
Metal shine fades somewhat
Does not corrode or rust
Does not discolor skin
Cubic zirconia crystals are less likely to discolor
Stones less likely to fall out
Limited guarantee to be free from manufacturing defects
Highest quality implant grade materials
Sensitivities are rare
Allergies are rare
Mirror polish finish, metal shine doesn't fade
- Does not corrode or rust
- Does not discolor skin
Genuine crystals that stay sparkly
Stones don't fall out
Made in the USA
Lifetime guarantee to be free from manufacturing defects
& Upsizing Appointments
Jewelry Change Lesson
Body jewelry is not a "one size fits all" but it is usually sold that way. There are many different sizes of jewelry. Body jewelry is often sold with only the gauge listed. In my experience the length, diameter, ball/stone size make huge difference in how well you heal, how the jewelry looks, and how well it fits. It's definitely not a one size fits all. An experienced piercer can help you find the size that will fit your piercing perfectly.
Straight, Curved, Circular Barbells and Flatback body jewelry styles have an end that screws on or snaps into place. It's important to check your jewelry balls daily as they can slowly loosen over time. If you don't you may lose your jewelry and your piercing.
Internally threaded ends "screw in” to the jewelry post. With this style the post of the jewelry that you insert into your piercing is smooth and is less likely to damage the delicate skin inside while inserting. This is one of the styles that is preferred by professional piercers.
Externally threaded ends "screw on" to the jewelry post. With this style the end of the jewelry that you insert into your piercing has jagged threads that can damage the skin inside your piercing when you insert or remove it. This style is not suggested by most professional piercers.
Threadless ends "snap in" to the jewelry post rather than screw in (or on). With this style the post of the jewelry that you insert into your piercing is smooth and is less likely to damage inside your piercing. This is one of the styles that is preferred by professional piercers.
With bezel settings the metal encapsulates the stone. You will see more metal and less stone. This is the style I suggest my clients heal with bezel set during the first year. The smooth edge is more comfortable and easier on the healing skin cells.
With prong settings multiple small prongs support the stone. You see less metal and more stone. I suggest my clients wear prong set after the first year. The edges of the prong can get pushed into the piercing. Delicate healing skin cells don't tolerate this as well as stronger more healed skin cells.
It's important you know the materials body jewelry is made from. Body jewelry quality is because the jewelry is going in your body rather than just on it. Non implant grade jewelry corrodes, rusts, or chips off which can impede healing or cause your piercing to flare up.
316L Implant grade or Surgical grade is a good choice. 316LVM is even better. 316 stands for the type of steel and L stands of low carbon. It is an implant grade silver colored metal. The higher the polish the higher the quality as it polishes out microscopic pits that hold bacteria.
ASTM F136 is implant grade titanium a great choice for starter body jewelry as it is used in most surgical and dental implants. Although naturally a silver metal it can be put through a process called anodization to color the metal. Different levels of heat create oxide layer on top of the metal. The layer doesn't interfere with the quality of the metal. Over time the color will fade but it's only aesthetic and won't negatively effect your piercing.
Gold is a good choice for body jewelry. Gold is a naturally soft metal, it can be easily damaged. 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.
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. Glass retainers can be worn to keep piercings open during medical procedures or to conceal them at work.
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.
Implant grade silicone is a good option for some. It is flexible and many find it comfortable. I have seen some sensitivities to silicone jewelry.
Acrylic is not the best to wear in your body. Acrylic holds bacteria, it should only be worn in healed piercings temporarily. Be aware than many online jewelry companies paint their acrylic jewelry which can chip off in your piercing.
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.
Plated jewelry is not suggested for piercings. Plating is coating placed on the jewelry. The coating is thin and wears down or chips off to reveal a rough surface underneath. This irritates the delicate skin cells inside your piercing. You'll see this sold in malls and online in gold, black, white, and other jewelry colors. Know that this jewelry is of the poorest quality even though it is packaged as implant grade.
PVD is a type of coating placed on jewelry. Gold and black are the most common PVD colors. Some tolerate it well and some don't. If you choose to wear it's best if you piercing is healed.