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Choosing Body Jewelry

Information you need to know to make an informed decision.

This page has a lot of information for you to empower yourself. Browse through it carefully so you can make an educated decision.

Body Jewelry Information

Don’t be sold on cheap jewelry that does your body a disservice

What to look for in your jewelry.

Standards

When referring to size of jewelry, there are two measurements. One is the width (of a ring, also known as its diameter) or the length (of a barbell or straight post). The other is the thickness of the jewelry, or gauge. When talking about the jewelry gauge, the smaller the numbers, the thicker the jewelry.

When choosing what to put in a piercing, especially a fresh one, remember that jewelry quality can make a big difference in the health of the piercing. Jewelry should be polished to a mirror finish. It should be brilliant and reflective; jewelry that is dull, grey in color, or has nicks, scratches, or polishing compound on its surface should not be used. Jewelry for initial piercings should be made of material that will not react with the body: implant grade stainless steel and titanium; gold (14K or higher); or platinum. In some cases, inert plastics like Tygon® or PTFE (Teflon®) are also acceptable. Sterling silver is not appropriate for healing, and acrylic should not be used for initial piercings. Earring studs should never be used for anything other than earlobes.

In addition, the U.S. APP membership has elected to use only internally threaded jewelry for initial piercings. This means that the threading to screw together the ends on a barbell are on the ball, or end, and not on the shaft itself. It is believed that the exposed threading causes unnecessary trauma going through the skin.

JEWELRY MATERIALS STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATIONS

Very few metals and alloys have been proven safe and effective for initial wear in piercings. for acceptable body jewelry materials, our industry utilizes the materials guidelines established for medical implants as defined by the ISO and ASTM, along with materials that have a history of documented compatibility with the human body such as gold, platinum, and niobium.

CURRENT APP STANDARDS FOR INITIAL PIERCING JEWELRY

The following is the list of approved certified materials for use in a new piercing. Check the APP website for any updates or revisions to this list:

• Steel that is ASTM F13886 compliant or ISO 5832-187 compliant
• Steel that is ISO 10993-6,88 10993-10,89 and/or 10993-1190 compliant

Materials used for costume or fine jewelry, belt buckles, watches, or other metallic accessories with direct skin contact. It does not specify nor prove that a material is safe to wear in the body; Therefore, compliance with this directive alone is not sufficient for meeting the aPP initial jewelry standards.

Jewelry To use

Stainless Steel

Low carbon stainless steels such as 316L and 316LVM are used in the body jewelry industry because of their proven biocompatibility. for many years 316LVM was the preferred steel standard for a fresh piercing. Not all 316l(VM) stainless steel will meet ASTM or ISO certification, and as a result they may vary in biocompatibility.

Titanium

Titanium is an extremely inert and lightweight element. It can be anodized to create jewelry of different colors by producing an oxide layer. The thickness of the layer will reflect light differently, thus giving various colors. this does not affect the biocompatibility of the metal. Colors may fade with time and certain types of chemical exposure, but this does not affect the safety of the jewelry.

Gold

Gold has been used successfully as piercing jewelry for thousands of years. it is considered by both our industry and the medical field to be biocompatible for most people when pure enough. Gold should be 14k or above. Rose or green gold, alloyed with copper, silver, or other metals, are not suitable for piercings. White gold must be nickel free.

Niobium

Niobium is very similar to titanium, but denser. It is used extensively in the medical industry for implant components and has been the subject of thorough biocompatibility testing. Like titanium, niobium can be anodized to produce different colors. Unlike titanium, it can also be turned black using a heat treatment. Matte black niobium has
a rough finish and is not suitable for fresh piercings. After being turned black, niobium can be polished to give a smooth and glossy finish, which is acceptable for use in initial piercings.

Glass

Glass made of fused quartz, lead-free soda lime, and lead-free borosilicate are acceptable for initial piercings. These materials are autoclavable and very biocompatible. In smaller sizes they can be fragile and susceptible to breakage.

Acute sensitivities to acrylic can develop suddenly, even in those who have worn it successfully in the past. Care should be taken when choosing to use acrylic jewelry. Since it cannot be autoclaved, it should be worn by one person only. Acrylic may crack, shatter, or cloud upon contact with alcohol or alcohol-based disinfectants, hair products, and mouthwashes.

Jewelry to avoid

Conventional Jewelry

Jewelry designed specifically for earlobe piercings is rarely appropriate for use in body piercings. The materials are seldom implant quality and the styles may involve sharp edges or areas that can trap excreted body fluids and bacteria, such as the butterfly closures commonly found on ear studs.

Gold-filled, rolled, or Plated Jewelry

This type of jewelry is never acceptable for body piercings. these products are made by placing a very thin layer of gold over either inferior metal (e.g. nickel or aluminum), or over a steel piece first covered by an underplating of nickel or copper to help the gold adhere. The thin gold outer layer can wear off, leaving sharp edges and exposing the poor quality metals underneath.

Silver

Silver is an unstable metal that oxidizes (tarnishes) easily and is not biocompatible. Many piercees find that even if they can wear silver comfortably in ear piercings, other areas of the body are more sensitive and are quickly irritated by it. Even sterling silver is not appropriate for use in body piercings. Many piercees will have reactions to silver beads or charms that contact sensitive skin near piercings or rest against piercing holes (especially on navels).

Aluminum

Aluminum resembles niobium in appearance and it is similar to titanium in weight, however it is never appropriate for body jewelry. Long-term aluminum exposure has been connected to neurological damage, alzheimer’s disease, and metal sensitivities.

Because the body jewelry industry is overly saturated with substandard products, it is common for piercers and clients alike to forget that quality, not cost, should be the deciding factor in the selection.



Jewelry for Healed Piercings
When used and cared for properly, the following materials are generally considered appropriate for healed piercings. Because all bodies are different, some individuals may experience sensitivity or reactions to one or more of these.

High-Density, Low-Porosity non-Toxic hardwoods

Hardwood plugs are a popular and comfortable choice for many piercees. Not all woods are acceptable as some are naturally toxic and others are treated with various chemicals that can be harmful. Wood cannot be sterilized in a steam autoclave or by other high temperature methods, and it can absorb toxic chemicals from some disinfectants. therefore, each piece should be worn by only one piercee. Suggested cleaning for wood jewelry generally involves washing it with soap and water then immediately drying it. regular conditioning of wood pieces with certain oils can improve durability, appearance,

Surface Finish

High quality piercing jewelry must be polished to a mirror finish. Jewelry that is not highly polished will be more porous, potentially causing discomfort and delayed healing. Poorly polished jewelry may also have compromised biocompatibility. Piercing jewelry must be free of all polishing compounds. these may appear as deposits near a fixed bead or in the threading. All jewelry must also be free of nicks, scratches, and burrs.

Jewelry for healed piercings

When used and cared for properly, the following materials are generally considered appropriate for healed piercings. Because all bodies are different, some individuals may experience sensitivity or reactions to one or more of these.

High-Density, Low-Porosity non-Toxic hardwoods

Hardwood plugs are a popular and comfortable choice for many piercees. Not all woods are acceptable as some are naturally toxic and others are treated with various chemicals that can be harmful. Wood cannot be sterilized in a steam autoclave or by other high temperature methods, and it can absorb toxic chemicals from some disinfectants. therefore, each piece should be worn by only one piercee. Suggested cleaning for wood jewelry generally involves washing it with soap and water then immediately drying it. regular conditioning of wood pieces with certain oils can improve durability, appearance,

Surface Finish

High quality piercing jewelry must be polished to a mirror finish. Jewelry that is not highly polished will be more porous, potentially causing discomfort and delayed healing. Poorly polished jewelry may also have compromised biocompatibility. Piercing jewelry must be free of all polishing compounds. these may appear as deposits near a fixed bead or in the threading. All jewelry must also be free of nicks, scratches, and burrs.
Courtesy of the Association of Professional Piercers

What People are Saying about us

“BEST Shop,  BEST Crew,   BEST Overall Experience.  I would not go anywhere else for a tattoo, I cannot say enough about the entire process...from design to the tattoo itself and then the follow up afterwards, everyone at ECW truly cares about their craft and want the customer to be happy.”

Rick

 - Google Review User

 - Yelp Review User

“The atmosphere inside is welcoming and relaxing – and most importantly CLEAN.  I will definitely be back and recommend ECW to anyone in Jax who wants a top-notch body modification.”

Sarah

 - Google Review User

 - Yelp Review User

I walked in and was immediately impressed. Nicest shop I have ever walked into. I recommend this shop to any and everybody who is into tattoos and piercings. Best piercer and shop in Jacksonville HANDS DOWN!

Caleb

 - Google Review User

 - Yelp Review User

“When I walked in, I was impressed by how clean the place was. The high tech equipment they have makes me know they take their profession seriously. I would certainly recommend this shop to anyone looking for professional staff and clean environment.

Enza

 - Google Review User

 - Yelp Review User

“ECW is the best tattoo shop that I've been in. Everyone at ECW is extremely professional. I highly recommend ECW for anyone that wants a professional tattoo. I will get more tattoos from Patrick the next time I come down from Virginia, even if I need to make a special trip for it.”

Geoff

 - Google Review User

 - Yelp Review User

"If I could give it an extra star I would. My piercing experience was excellent. James made well informed and instructed me through the entire process, I felt completely comfortable, everything was clean like doctor's office and everyone was extremely professional and I don't think I could go anywhere else now."

Jasmine

 - Google Review User

 - Yelp Review User

“Super clean environment!! Definitely a plus! I waited for maybe two minutes to go back. Before the service was performed James made sure that I was well educated on what to expect from the whole experience. Everything is sterilized right in front of you. The piercing was super fast and they use high quality jewelry!"

Kamiah

 - Google Review User

 - Yelp Review User

If I could give it an extra star I would. My piercing experience was excellent. James made well informed and instructed me through the entire process, I felt completely comfortable, everything was clean like doctor's office and everyone was extremely professional and I don't think I could go anywhere else now.

Jasmine - Google Review User

“ECW is the best tattoo shop that I've been in. Everyone at ECW is extremely professional. I highly recommend ECW for anyone that wants a professional tattoo. I will get more tattoos from Patrick the next time I come down from Virginia, even if I need to make a special trip for it.”

Geoff - Google Review User

“When I walked in, I was impressed by how clean the place was. The high tech equipment they have makes me know they take their profession seriously. I would certainly recommend this shop to anyone looking for professional staff and clean environment.

Enza - Google Review User

I walked in and was immediately impressed. Nicest shop I have ever walked into. I recommend this shop to any and everybody who is into tattoos and piercings. Best piercer and shop in Jacksonville HANDS DOWN!

Caleb - Google Review User

“The atmosphere inside is welcoming and relaxing – and most importantly CLEAN.  I will definitely be back and recommend ECW to anyone in Jax who wants a top-notch body modification.”

Sarah B - Google Review User

“BEST Shop,  BEST Crew,   BEST Overall Experience.  I would not go anywhere else for a tattoo, I cannot say enough about the entire process...from design to the tattoo itself and then the follow up afterwards, everyone at ECW truly cares about their craft and want the customer to be happy.”

Rick W. - Yelp User

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Close Contact

904 685 6516

Support@eastcoastworldwide.com

420 3rd St. South

Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

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